Praise for The Last Lightning
“A great story . . . you won’t want to put this book down.”
—Col. Perry Dahl, USAF (Ret.), WWII veteran and P-38 ace, 432nd Fighter Squadron, Southwest Pacific Theater
“MacIntosh has skillfully blended interesting fact with intriguing fiction to capture the experiences of our combat aircrews of WWII and the impact on their immediate families and descendants.”
—Brig. Gen. Dennis Shulstad, USAF (Ret.)
Wood spotted a slab resembling a wing in dense undergrowth covering the jungle floor. In the undisturbed foliage, Wood came across a twisted tubular shape overgrown with knotted roots like some grotesque sculpture. It was an upended landing gear, its tire rotted long ago, wheel spokes still recognizable. Kneeling, he shook off his backpack, snagged a small digital camera from his shirt pocket and began snapping pictures as if afraid the evidence would disappear.
His two companions probed hesitantly among a trail of jagged spires of twisted metal rising from the jungle floor. Wood, his heart racing, followed Simeon along the length of the debris field. What looked to be an engine had buried itself vertically, leaving three telltale feet of prop blade showing. Possibly a bomber, more likely a fighter, he guessed.
To Wood’s left, Joshua began chopping at saplings to free a hulking cylindrical shape. His booming voice shattered the scene. “Hey, Pastor, come quick!”
Tripping over fallen limbs and grasping vines, Wood staggered to the black man. Joshua had severed a mat of saplings and was busy pulling debris from what was obviously a cockpit. As more of the aircraft emerged, Wood stepped back and took a series of pictures of a smiling Joshua leaning triumphantly against the wreck. Peering inside a shattered, detritus-filled cockpit, Wood took more pictures. Putting aside his camera, he joined Joshua in slicing matted tendrils clinging to the airplane’s crumpled front end. As fast as the two cut, Simeon pulled the stubborn vines free, dragging them to one side and flinging them into a growing pile.
In thirty minutes of frantic slashing, the airplane’s nose emerged. Raising his hand, the exhausted missionary halted the pruning. He had seen enough. Tossing a bottle of water to each sweating man, Wood crabbed his way through tangled boughs to crouch at the front of the aircraft. Straddling the rounded bullet shape, he leaned forward, reverently brushing away leafy debris. His efforts revealed five blackened, rusted stumps poking from the fighter’s nose.
“Gentlemen,” he said hushed, “we’ve found ourselves a Lightning.”