By Nikos Ligidakis
2003 Award Winner For Published Non-Fiction–Arizona Author’s Association for The Last Mission.
During World War II a bomber crew was shot down in enemy territory. The crew-members made a heroic run for freedom that spanned several hundred miles and 34 days. It was a run that bonded them in life and death.
This crew of brave Americans endured the steep mountains of Yugoslavia and the harrowing German occupied valleys while a vicious storm of guerrilla warfare, political maneuvering, and ethnic cleansing raged around them.
Some of the crew-members were able to survive this adventurous journey. Others did not. William Kollar was one of the lucky ones who lived to tell his story, a story that recounts human tragedy and captures the triumph of the human spirit.
William Kollar was born in Middleville, Michigan in 1920.
He joined the United States Air Force in 1942, in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack.
William retired from the Air Force in 1966 after serving in World War II, Korea, France, England, and Formosa. Mr. Kollar served his country with integrity and honor.
In this book you will meet an extraordinary hero, yet a humble man, who will insist that it was his duty to defend freedom.
Reviews About the Book
“”The life of Bill Kollar reads like fiction, good fiction. It is, instead, fact. Growing up through the depression years, he developed the strenth of character necessary to survive the rigors and dangers of his trek behind enemy lines. This should be read by American history students so they can better understand this remarkable generation.””
Kenneth A. Weene
“”A reader is essentially an outsider looking in. The story of William Kollar and his fellow survivalists on his journey towards Freedom during World War II opened a door that allowed me the ability to walk with them.
This book is for the most part well written, easy to read and exciting. With descriptive language that makes you feel as if you too are experiencing the adrenalin, laughter and tears on a personal level.
It appears that Mr. Kollar’s personal experiences during his youth gave him the determination and skill required for his survival. In fact, it seems as if bad times, people and situations can be used to build a character of necessary strength to survive even in the face of death and destruction.””
“”This was a wonderful story. You feel as though you are walking with them on this journey. Bill is an amazing guy. How do you say thank you to someone who has given such a service to our Country? In this time, when we are in conflict with so many nations, and feel as though we are alone, it is important to remember our Heros who made sure we have the freedom that we do today. Thank you, Bill and thank you for this book!””
“”The Last Mission: The Incredible Story of William Kollar, speaks about those on the front lines. It also talks about how life events can shape a person into someone who could be called– a survivor.
That is what I liked about this book. It is not only the story of war, both the glory and the tragedy. It is not only about this man finding the love of his life and marrying her. It is about this man as a child growing up in Michigan and about how his difficult childhood prepared him to survive an extraordinary situation. It is about a sense of duty and doing what you think is right out of love, love for your country.
I feel this book is very timely due to current events, and was written in a way that is very easy and enjoyable to read. It flows very quickly, is very descriptive, and has the ability to move the reader. It is very easy to ‘be there’ climbing mountains, and avoiding enemy soldiers. I found myself at times ducking to avoid enemy fire or laughing at the crazy antics which occured.
I read some of it to my 9-year-old son and he was on the edge of his seat begging me to tell him what happened next.
I highly recommend this book, not only for its historical value, but for the empowering emotional journey it takes the reader on.””
About the Author
Nikos Ligidakis, born and raised in Greece, came to America in 1969, at the age of 24 years old.
While serving in the Greek military during the civil unrest in his country in April 1967, he made the courageous decision to oppose its ruling Junta at the risk of personal safety.
While in America, he began to write with clarity and passion in a voice for all people everywhere who find themselves called to join in the eternal struggle for life and freedom.
In his best selling book, The Heroes of my Thoughts, Ligidakis has written a warm and loving tribute to his life long heroes, his parents. The book became the genesis for the “”Children’s Pen Foundation”” a non-profit educational program founded by Nick in 2001 to inspire 6th and 7th graders to develop writing skills by composing short stories and poetry with the common theme “”What kind of hero does our world need today?””
Today Nick devotes his life to coaching first-time authors to write and publish their books. His publishing company, Inkwell Productions, has attracted numerous new and published authors through its doors and it’s becoming a rapidly growing influence in changing the traditional face of publishing.
Nick believes passionately in writing “”from the heart.”” His 7th book, Songs of Freedom, An Odyssey of Untamed Spirits, has been in development for seven years, its contents expected to be approximately one thousand pages. It is scheduled for release in the summer of 2003.
Nick’s on going Thanksgiving Project to feed the hungry is now in its 20th year. His selfless work has earned him several humanitarian awards.
Ligidakis lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and has three children and four grandchildren.