Cordova Public Library: Upon our shelves

81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy

New to our Alaskana section, 81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy, is the story of Leon Crane, an aviator with the Army who survived a crash and nearly 3 months in the unforgiving Alaskan interior.

Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska’s Ladd Field on a routine flight to test their hastily retrofitted B-24 Liberator in harsh winter conditions. The mission ended in a crash that claimed all but one – Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with no wilderness experience. With little more than a parachute for cover and an old Boy Scout knife in his pocket, Crane now found himself alone in subzero temperatures. Crane knew, as did the Ladd Field crews who searched unsuccessfully for the crash site, that his chance of survival dropped swiftly with each passing day.

But Crane did find a way to stay alive in the grip of the Yukon winter for nearly 12 weeks and, amazingly, walked out of the ordeal intact.

81 Days Below Zero recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane’s remarkable saga. In a drama of staggering resolve and moments of phenomenal luck, Crane learned to survive in the Yukon’s unforgiving wilds. His is a tale of the capacity to endure extreme conditions, intense loneliness, and flashes of raw terror – and emerge stronger than before.

Sidebar stories within Crane’s tale bring the reader into realization that we are all woven together in life and death. Photos put faces to the stories.

Here’s what author Michael J. Tougias (Fatal Forecast, A Storm Too Soon and Overboard) says about Murphy’s book:

“The hardships endured by Leon Crane are unimaginable, and author Brian Murphy expertly takes the reader into Crane’s inspiring journey of survival. You will find yourself rooting for Crane to take the next step, make the next right decision, and fight on. 81 Days Below Zero pulls you into Crane’s thought process, and you might find yourself wondering, “What would I have done in a similar situation?’ Few of us would have that combination of creativeness and mental fortitude to do what Crane did.”

Stop in the Cordova Public Library, YOUR community library and check out this historic tale today!

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