Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
The Blister Club: The Extraordinary Story of the Downed American Airmen Who Escaped to Safety in World War II
Foyalty 69

The Blister Club: The Extraordinary Story of the Downed American Airmen Who Escaped to Safety in World War II (Hardback)

Pre-order for despatch on publication.


During World War II, some 10,000 American bombers and fighters were shot down over Europe. Of the crews aboard, 26,000 men were killed, while 30,000 survived being shot down only to be captured and made prisoners of war. Against the longest of odds, nearly 3,000 airmen made it to the ground alive, evaded capture, and escaped to safety. These men proudly called themselves the Blister Club.

Drawing on tens of thousands of pages of mostly untapped documents in the National Archives, Michael Lee Lanning tells the story of these courageous airmen. They had received escape-and-evasion (E & E) training, and some were lucky enough to land with their E-&-E kits-but all bets were off once they hit the ground. They landed after an air catastrophe. The geography was usually unfamiliar. Civilians might or might not be trustworthy. German soldiers and Gestapo agents hunted down airmen as well as civilians who dared help them. If an airman abandoned his uniform for civilian garb, he forfeited Geneva Convention protections. Most faced the daunting task of escaping on foot across hundreds of miles. The fortunate connected with one of the established escape routes to Spain or Switzerland or across the English Channel, or they hooked up with the underground resistance or friendly civilians. Upon return to friendly lines, these men were often able to provide valuable intelligence about enemy troop dispositions and civilian morale. Many volunteered to fly again even though regulations prohibited it.

The Blister Club is history with a punch. With a historian's eye, Lanning covers the hows and whys of escape-and-evasion and aerial combat in the European theater, but the book also vividly captures the stories of the airmen who did the escaping and evading, including that of a young pilot named Chuck Yeager, who, during his own escape, aided the French Resistance and helped another downed airman to safety-and then begged to fly again, eventually securing Eisenhower's approval to return to the air, where he achieved ace status.

Stories of escape are popular, especially those set during World War II, as are stories of the war in the air. Combining both of these, The Blister Club should find an enthusiastic audience.

History & PoliticsMilitary HistorySecond World War Publisher: Stackpole Books Publication Date: 01/12/2021 ISBN-13: 9780811739740  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Michael Lee Lanning, a graduate of Texas A&M, served more than twenty years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel with the Senior Parachute Badge, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Ranger Tab, and Bronze Star. In Vietnam he commanded an infantry platoon, a recon platoon, and a rifle company. His military career included service as public-affairs officer for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and Department of Defense public affairs work. He has appeared on NPR, CBS, and the History Channel and has written twenty-five books, with more than a million copies of his books in print in fifteen countries and twelve languages. His previous books include the classic Vietnam, 1969-1970: A Company Commander's Journal (Ivy Books, 1987; Ballantine, 1988; Texas A&M, 2007), which the New York Times called "one of the most honest and horrifying accounts of a combat soldier's life to come out of the Vietnam War." With Stackpole, he has published Tours of Duty: Vietnam War Stories (2014), reprinted Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam (2017), and written The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (Spring 2020). A native of Texas, Lanning lives in Lampasas, Texas, not far west of Fort Hood.

More books by Michael Lee Lanning

Leave Review

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin. 


Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
Free UK Standard Delivery on Orders Over £25 (2nd Class)     3-5 Days
UK Standard Delivery (2nd Class) £2.99 £0.00 3-5 Days
UK 1st Class Delivery £3.99 £0.00 2-3 Days

Click & Collect / 
Delivery to a Foyles Bookshop


Free Free Currently not available
UK Courier* £7.95 £0.00 1 Working Day
Western Europe**Airmail £9.00 £1.00 7-8 Days
Rest of World Airmail £12.50 £1.00 7-10 Days

* For courier service please contact the Charing Cross Road store

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

For goods delivered outside of the UK, the consignee (ie the person to whom the consignment is sent) will be the declarant and importer into the country for which the consignment is destined. The consignee will be responsible for both customs clearance and payment of customs duties and local taxes where required.

Customs Charges - if you are ordering goods for delivery outside of the UK, please note that your consignment may be subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), other taxes, customs duties and/or fees levied by the destination country. Any such charges levied in relation to customs clearance must be borne by you. It is accepted by you that Foyles has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance. Foyles recommend that you check with your local customs officials or post office for more information regarding importation taxes/duties that may be applicable to your online order.

Delivery Help & FAQs

A Year of Books Subscription Packages 

Delivery is free for the UK. Western Europe costs £60 for each 12 month subscription package purchased. For the Rest of the World the cost is £100 for each package purchased. All delivery costs are charged in advance at time of purchase. For more information please visit the A Year of Books page.

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Untitled: .
Becky Brown
Resistance: The Underground War in...
Halik Kochanski
The Irish Myth of the Second World War
Bernard Kelly
Nazis on the Potomac: The Top-Secret...
Robert K. Sutton
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close