Dallas War Hero “Lucky” Inspires Apple TV+ “Masters of the Air” | Spielberg & Hanks Executive Produce

Written by Ariel Herr

Dallas veteran and centenarian John “Lucky” Luckadoo attended the “Masters of the Air” premiere in Los Angeles with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The Apple TV+ series will debut this Friday, January 26 with two episodes of the nine-episode series based on the book by Donald L. Miller, Masters of the Air: How The Bomber Boys Broke Down the Nazi War Machine. It follows the men of the 100th Bomb Group, of which Lucky is the last living original pilot.

Attendees at the premiere included executive producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, alongside stars Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Nate Mann, Anthony Boyle, Barry Keoghan, Raff Law, Sawyer Spielberg, Jonas Moore, Elliot Warren, Matt Gavan, Edward Ashley, David Shields, Ben Radcliffe, Jordan Coulson, Branden Cook, Josiah Cross, Francis Lovehall, Phillip Lewitski, Jerry MacKinnon, Ella Rubin, Josh Bolt and Kai Alexander.

The final episode of “Masters of the Air” will air on March 15, the day before Lucky’s 102nd birthday, and will also feature a 90-minute documentary featuring the real vets of the “Bloody Hundredth” like Lucky. Last month, Lucky sat down for an episode of the “At The Forefront Podcast” with Tim Mallad, CEO of Forefront Living, to discuss Damn Lucky, a book by Kevin Maurer about Lucky himself, as well as other remarkable projects like an interactive holographic representation of Lucky coming soon to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Luckadoo earned the nickname Lucky while flying bombing runs over Nazi-occupied France and Germany. His group suffered staggering high casualties, and by the war’s end in 1945, 36 of Luckadoo’s 40 classmates from flight school had either withdrawn from flying, been shot down, or killed in action.

He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during the war, and went on to help found Home Front Heroes Day because he never forgot how much the support of civilians back home meant during his service. Lucky spearheaded the effort to establish the day recognizing the support, work and sacrifice of everyone on the home front during times of war. Plans are in the works for resident watching parties at Presbyterian Village North as the series continues airing.

Listen to a podcast interview with “Lucky” here. 

About the author

Ariel Herr

I find pleasure in the chase, and thrill in the placement, truly believing every person and organization has a story to tell.