Charles E. Stanley’s ‘Lost Airman’ wins $5,000 military writing prize

May 11, 2023, 10:18 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles E. Stanley’s “Lost Airmen,” an author’s account of his father’s harrowing World War II experiences, is this year’s winner of the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Award.

“’Lost Airmen’ is an important addition to the history of World War II, brilliantly researched and fluently told,” award committee chair Ian Kershaw said in a statement Thursday.

The $5,000 prize is presented by Norwich University and named for the late ambassador and CIA director. Previous winners include James Bradley, Karl Marlantes and Marcus Luttrell.

Stanley worked for more than 20 years on “Lost Airmen: The Epic Rescue of WWII U.S. Bomber Crews Stranded Behind Enemy Lines,” which draws upon interviews, letters, memoirs and other sources in documenting how his father and fellow soldiers endured a freezing trek across the Dinaric Alps.

“It is an honor to be named as this year’s Colby Award recipient and to join the distinguished ranks of the historians who have received this distinction in the past,” Stanley said in a statement. “When I decided to write the book, I knew I had discovered a great story about a group of ordinary men who performed extraordinary deeds during World War II.”

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Charles E. Stanley’s ‘Lost Airman’ wins $5,000 military writing prize