Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff provides an intense insight into a forgotten moment in history.
During the winter of 1942 a C-53 cargo plane crashed in Iceland. Almost immediately rescue missions were started. Surviving in the frozen land in sub-zero temperatures is almost impossible and everyone knows it, so it was clear that it was imperative to get to the crew as quickly as possible.
However, one of the rescue attempts fell short and a Coast Guard plane, a Grumman Duck, crashed as well.
Fast forward several decades later, Lou Spaienza is trying to retrieve the bodies of the US servicemen under the belief that no-one, dead or alive, should be left out in the field.
Mr. Spaienza spent a huge amount of time and energy organizing a retrieval mission, his passion touched many people and even the author joined the recovery group.
I truly enjoyed Zuckoff’s first book, Lost in Shangri-La and jumped at the chance to read Frozen in Time. The book didn’t disappoint.
Zuckoff has an uncanny ability to tell a story in a personal, yet comprehensive way, which leaves the reader yearning for more.
The author describes Greenland as an almost extra-terrestrial land, a desolate world covered in ice and snow with ever-changing landscapes that humble the bravest of men.
During the winter of 1942/1943, a group of American flyers were stuck on the ice, Zuckoff takes the reader to that time and the suffering which they endured, hoping beyond reason for a rescue.
The book is thus actually composed of two stories. Both parts are interesting, engaging and enlightening, the strategic importance of Iceland is discussed as well as the importance of finding the missing men. The author took part of the recovery effort which gave the book an interesting twist, a historian making history.
This is an exciting account of the actions of many brave men and women who were trying to do what was right, disregarding personal safety. Mr. Zuckoff wrote an intense narrative of thrilling adventures of hope and survival, well-researched and dramatic with a modern twist.