The Lost Airman is a true story of escape from nazi occupied france by seth meyerowitz featuring arthur meyerowitz

For fans of Unbroken, the remarkable, untold story of World War II American Air Force turret-gunner Staff Sergeant Arthur Meyerowitz, who was shot down over Nazi-occupied France and evaded Gestapo pursuers for more than six months before escaping to freedom.

Bronx-born top turret-gunner Arthur Meyerowitz was on his second mission when he was shot down in 1943. He was one of only two men on the B-24 Liberator known as “Harmful Lil Armful” who escaped death or immediate capture on the ground.

After fleeing the wreck, Arthur knocked on the door of an isolated farmhouse, whose owners hastily took him in. Fortunately, his hosts not only despised the Nazis but had a tight connection to the French resistance group Morhange and its founder, Marcel Taillandier. Arthur and Taillandier formed an improbable bond as the resistance leader arranged for Arthur’s transfers among safe houses in southern France, shielding him from the Gestapo.

Based on recently declassified material, exclusive personal interviews, and extensive research into the French Resistance, The Lost Airman tells the tense and riveting story of Arthur’s trying months in Toulouse—masquerading as a deaf mute and working with a downed British pilot to evade the Nazis—and of his hair-raising journey to freedom involving a perilous trek over the Pyrenees and a voyage aboard a fishing boat with U-boats lurking below and Luftwaffe fighters looming above. With photographs and maps included, this is a never-before-told true story of endurance, perseverance, and escape during World War II.

The Lost Airman is a true story of escape from nazi occupied france by seth meyerowitz featuring arthur meyerowitz

How It All Started

The search for Arthur’s story started in December 2011. It began with an invitation to Spain to visit some friends I had made while vacationing in Mexico. I knew Arthur had been in France during WWII and figured maybe I could go to France and see some of the places he had been.

I asked my father (Arthur’s son) for any information he had. There was no info to pass on; my father simply didn’t know. Arthur died more than ten years before I was born and a box of letters and a couple of vague stories were the only things that remained of Arthur’s wartime experiences.

“A challenge”, I thought to myself. I was pretty computer savvy having grown up fascinated by computers and the internet. I learned to build websites at the age of 12 and had transitioned that into a career in the online marketing world. In some ways, I had been training most of my life to crack this case. I could not have imagined, however, just what a remarkable story awaited me.

First I looked through a forgotten box of letters written in French to my grandfather from the French men and women who had saved him. Once I jumped online, it only took me about 24 hours to make my first major discovery. Arthur’s recently declassified government file and debrief from when he turned up in Gibraltar some 6 months after the Germans blasted his plane, Harmful lil Armful, out of the skies above France.

Within 36 hours I found a book about the Resistance by a scholar name Bernard Boyer, whose pages included some of the French men and women who had written to Arthur after the war. By the end of the first week, I was on the phone with Patrick, the son of Gisele Chauvin, a valiant and amazing Resistance operative who took Arthur in at one of the most perilous points of his journey and surely saved his life.

That was all I needed to convince me (and my father) to fly to France to continue tracking down this incredible story. We were able to meet Bernard, who’s father was the head of a resistance group who saved Arthur as well. We went to meet museum directors and local historians who helped unravel my grandfather’s harrowing odyssey in Occupied France all those years ago. All of this has happened in about 3 weeks.

Over the next 2 years we researched, wrote, rewrote, researched more, conducted interviews, wrote again and finally sold the book rights to Penguin/Random House. More writing and rewriting and editing and now, after all this work, we are ready to present our finished product to the world. I am so excited to bring Arthur’s story to life and honor those brave men and women who saved his life.

Seth Meyerowitz
Arthur’s Grandson & Author of The Lost Airman
September 25, 2015

The Main Characters

Arthur Meyerowitz
Arthur Meyerowitz
Staff Sergeant USAA

Arthur is our main character as we track his life or death struggle to escape Nazi occupied France and make it back home to his family.

Marcel Taillandier
Marcel Taillandier
Leader, Morhange Resistance Group

Marcel protected Arthur and saved his life on numerous occasions. He was in charge of Morhange, a band of RUTHLESS resistance fighters.

RFW Cleaver
RFW Cleaver
RAF Pilot

Cleaver was also shot down over France. He and Arthur were paired up while hiding out in Toulouse and for the long journey over the Pyrenees and out of France.

People Who LOVED The Lost Airman

Michael Shulman
The fascinating World War II biography The Lost Airman tells the powerful story of a B-24 pilot Arthur Meyerowitz who was shot down by the Nazis over France in 1943 ... What follows afterwards is Meyerowitz’s determined quest to stay alive, evade the Gestapo which was hot on his tails, and ultimately get home. Despite setbacks and close calls with death, he achieved his goal and lived to tell about it.The Lost Airman is a very powerful biography. Seth Meyerowitz is a great story teller. His book is not only a look into his grandfather’s life, but he also shines the light into the lives’ of the French Resistance fighters to whom Arthur owes his life, particularly Marcel Taillandier. Also, the author weaves in some historical works found in the archives as evidence by the book’s notes section and bibliography.
Alex Kershaw
NYTimes Best Selling Author of Avenue of Spies and The Liberator

The Lost Airman tells the suspenseful story of  a truly remarkable American, shot down over enemy occupied territory in WW2, who amazingly managed to stay a step ahead of the Nazis for over six months and get back home. A terrific, thrilling tale you won't want to miss.”

Jack Cheevers
Author of Act of War, Winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature

The Lost Airman is a deeply researched, finely wrought gem. The story of Staff Sgt. Arthur Meyerowitz’s harrowing struggle to escape from Nazi-infested France across the snow-bound Pyrenees to Spain will haunt you long after you’ve put this riveting book down. The courage, quick wits, and sheer guts displayed by Meyerowitz and the men and women of the French Resistance who gambled their lives to help him are simply extraordinary.”