During World War II, Staff Sergeant Melvin T. Tucker was an eyewitness to it all. The Holocaust. The atrocities committed in POW camps. The senseless deaths of thousands of soldiers. For thirteen months between 1943 and 1944, he was a prisoner of war in Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria. Tucker was a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber when his plane was shot down over Germany. Previously, Tucker had never been more than one hundred miles from home. Growing up on the farm during the Depression offered him hard work and little money. But his devoted parents gave him and his siblings all the love they needed. In 1942, Tucker, newly married, joined thousands of other men and signed up for the army. Later, he joined the air force and flew several bombing missions over Europe before his plane was shot down. For years after his retirement from active duty, Tucker could not speak about the horrors he witnessed as a POW. Now, in Four Seconds to Live, he poignantly writes about his almost suicidal bombing missions, the depraved conditions, the indifference toward life in a POW camp, and the three hundred mile “death” march he endured with hundreds of other soldiers, among other memories. Four Seconds to Live will give you a gripping, firsthand look into a soldier’s life during World War II. In Tucker’s own words, “This book is nothing fancy, just the honest truth.”
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