Vanished by Wil S. Hylton
The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II

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Hylton interviews family members and some of the surviving, aging airmen. Some of the most emotional parts of "Vanished" are the letters to and from the airmen as they waited to fly yet another mission, possibly to die in a sky lighted with anti-aircraft fire.
-LA Times

Synopsis

From a mesmerizing storyteller, the gripping search for a missing World War II crew, their bomber plane, and their legacy.

In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn’t there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why.

For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.

Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith—of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.
 

About Wil S. Hylton

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Wil S. Hylton is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine. His award-winning stories have appeared in many national magazines, including Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, and Rolling Stone, and have been chosen for the books The Best American Political Writing, Best Music Writing, and The Best Business Stories of the Year. He teaches creative nonfiction in the Master’s in Writing program at Johns Hopkins University. Vanished is his first book.
 
Published November 5, 2013 by Riverhead Books. 290 pages
Genres: History, War, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Vanished
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 29 2013

An absorbing read that is well-structured to pull readers through the narrative. A perfect complement to Bryan Bender’s You Are Not Forgotten...

Read Full Review of Vanished: The Sixty-Year Sear... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Judith Reveal on Nov 24 2013

It should be noted that there is one drawback to this fine book: no index. This makes Vanished somewhat unusable as a reference unless the researcher uses a whole bunch of yellow sticky tags to mark the important items being researched.

Read Full Review of Vanished: The Sixty-Year Sear... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Tony Perry on Dec 26 2013

Hylton interviews family members and some of the surviving, aging airmen. Some of the most emotional parts of "Vanished" are the letters to and from the airmen as they waited to fly yet another mission, possibly to die in a sky lighted with anti-aircraft fire.

Read Full Review of Vanished: The Sixty-Year Sear... | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for Vanished
83%

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