John R Bruning’s Indestructible, a biography of Paul Irving (Pappy) Gunn, reads like a novel. However, one could not make up Gunn’s accomplishments during the battle for New Guinea and the Philippines during WWII. Gunn not only did battle with the Pacific enemy, but he had continuing conflict with antiquated military regulations and protocol.
And, Indestructible is as much of a love story of the times as Bill Lascher’s Eve of a Hundred Midnights.
PI’s wife from before their marriage was a devout Catholic and he wasn’t necessarily agnostic, but didn’t share her devotion to God and church. The one thing they did share without deviation was their love for and devotion to each other. Polly and their children, separated from him by war on Christmas Eve, 1941, survived incredibly difficult conditions as prisoners of the Japanese.
As if good fiction with a happy ending, Gunn and his family are rejoined when MacArthur’s “I shall return,” was in progress. In real life, just as in fictional irony, Gunn survived the worst and most intense air combat, but died in a weather caused civilian air crash.