Lucky Strike: When the Americans Came to Our Village features local WWII pilot, Bob Birmingham, 90, who was among hundreds of American airmen who landed in Sweden after their badly damaged planes couldn’t make it home in January 1945.

The documentary is based on the 2013 book by Jan-Olof Nilsson (its Swedish title translates to "Lucky Strike: Swedish war brides, war children and Allied airmen"), that depicts a country in the shadow of war in which the U.S. bombers made a great stir after their improbable rescue. To Swedes, these young men seemed completely carefree. They talked like movie stars, they shared chewing gum and taught the locals the Jitter Bug. But they all had terrible experiences behind them, and the story follows them from training in the U.S. to bases in England and the horrors during their missions over Hamburg. The men lived in Sweden for various amounts of time, some until the end of the war.


Seventy years later, Nilsson, searched for and met those fliers on both sides of the Atlantic. He shares the heartfelt stories of Americans and Swedes who were personally involved, filming men and women who lived through the years when the American fly boys moved in.

"Lucky Strike: When the Americans Came to Our Village" will be shown in Greendale at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at St. Alphonsus Community Room, 6060 W. Loomis Rd. Ticketing and details can be found here.

After many research trips in Sweden, the U.S. and Britain, Jan-Olof Nilsson tells this story of the Second World War, perhaps the most dramatic plane crash in Sweden. Nilsson, the book's main author, has a BA in history and has previously written several critically acclaimed books about war.