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Czech’em Out Book Club

Join NCSML volunteer Steve Pederson in the Skala Bartizal Library this month where we’ll discuss Miss Fortune’s Last Mission. Czech’em Out Book Club meets on the third Monday of each month following the reading of each months selected book.

Would you like to join virtually? Email info@ncsml.org for instructions on how to join via Zoom.

About the book

Bill Boyce always wanted to know why his father, William D. Boyce, refused to discuss his tour of duty on a B-24 Liberator bomber during World War II. The experience had affected every aspect of his father’s life, but an unspoken agreement kept the topic classified: Bill failed to ask, and his father failed to tell. Twenty-five years after his father’s death, Bill found the one man who might tell him what his father would not. Ray Noury had flown with Boyce in late 1943 and saved his life. Would Noury be willing to talk? Able to remember? From Noury, Bill learned that on February 22, 1944, a B-24 nicknamed Miss Fortune had crashed into the Czech countryside after being attacked by Luftwaffe fighters over Germany. Of eleven crewmembers, only Noury came home. Had Boyce not received a devastating wound only weeks earlier, he would have been with them on their fatal mission. That conversation led Bill to stacks of old photographs, records and letters, across the United States, and to the Czech Republic. It also led him to John Torrison, who had spent a decade tracking down facts about the crew and his uncle’s role as the tail gunner. Together, they pieced together the full story of Miss Fortune and her last mission. A mid-life journey guided by an eighty-nine-year-old veteran taught them about war, love, loss, sacrifice, survival, honor and family. And, through the shared stories of the extended family that formed around Miss Fortune’s crew―spouses, children, relatives and grateful Czechs―Bill Boyce finally came to understand his own father.

About the moderator, Steve Pederson

Steve is an UW Eau Claire graduate with a history major and a Scandinavian studies minor. He taught U.S. history, economics, and advanced placement American history in two Wisconsin high schools.  Living in Iowa for the past 19 years, Steve is currently employed as a tour guide for the Walter’s Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian home at Cedar Rock State Park in rural Buchanan County.

Cost: Free


October 16, 2023
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Event Category:


Skala Bartizal Library
1400 Inspiration Pl SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 United States
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