A straight-arrow midwestern flyer and a rising mafioso team up to clip the wings of a murderous Italian ace who terrorizes the skies over WW II Sicily. Co-writers Pacheco (the nonfiction Fight Doctor, 1977) and Skimin (Gray Victory, 1988; Chikara!, 1984) based the story on a real incident. Bad things have been happening to Africa-based bombers on their way back from raids over Europe: injured stragglers are mysteriously disappearing. Young Captain Josh Rawlins discovers the reason when his own limping B-17 is joined by an American Lightning fighter that turns from apparent friend to murderous foe, shooting down the bomber and then strafing all the survivors except Josh. The wolf in sheep's clothing is Franco Adamo, an Italian who spent his formative years in Boston and who now uses his flawless Yankee slang and captured airplane to lure innocent flight crews to their death. Vowing revenge for the murder of his pals, Rawlins goes AWOL and stows away on the plane inserting OSS agent Maj. Rudy ``Lotions'' Sabatini into Sicily. Peacetime mafia consigliäre Sabatini has orders to find and eliminate Adamo, who is actually the son of an enemy of Sabatini's old boss Vito Genovese. Sabatini and Rawlins chase Adamo from Sicily to Sardinia to Cairo, where Adamo's gorgeous Jewish-Italian archaeologist wife whiles away the war looking for Mrs. Tutankhamen. Guess who Rawlins falls for. There's not a tongue anywhere in cheek in this thin, Indiana Jones adventure. Too bad.
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