Chloe Melas Honors Her Grandfather, WWII Airman Frank Murphy, with Republishing of His Harrowing Memoir

Melas' grandfather is set to be depicted in upcoming Apple TV+ war series Masters of the Air

CNN's Chloe Melas
Photo: Mark Supik

CNN's Chloe Melas is honoring her late grandfather's legacy.

The network's entertainment reporter, 36, is behind the republishing of her WWII airman grandfather Frank Murphy's harrowing memoir — Luck of the Draw: My Story of the Air War in Europe — more than 20 years after it was originally published.

Murphy, who passed away in 2007 aged 85, survived 18 months in a German prisoner of war camp after being shot out of his bomber plane in England in 1943, according to a release from the book's publisher St Martin's Griffin. He was a member of the 100th Bomb Group, also known as "The Bloody Hundredth".

"My grandfather and his service men displayed remarkable courage every time they climbed into those airplanes to take to the skies over Nazi occupied Europe," Melas tells PEOPLE. "Now I feel it's my mission to make sure we never forget these incredible examples of heroism and the will to live."

"Luck of the Draw features harrowing descriptions of the battles, including the 'suicide mission' that Murphy and his fellow crewmen survived deep over enemy territory in Regensberg, and their final battle over Munster during what came to be known as Black Week," the release reads.

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Melas' grandfather is also set to be depicted in the upcoming Apple TV+ series Masters of the Air, which is being produced by Steven Spielberg and Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Murphy will be played by newcomer Jonas Moore, with the cast also featuring Globe Globe winner Austin Butler, BAFTA winner Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner and Rafferty Law.

Last year, Melas and her family visited the set of the war drama series. She, her mother Elizabeth Murphy and her grandmother Ann Murphy have republished the book in paperback with a foreword from Melas and her mother ahead of the premiere of the show.

"My grandfather once told me he spent the rest of his life walking with ghosts but looking back with pride," Melas writes in the foreword of the memoir, which was originally published in 2001. "Our family's goal is to keep Frank's memory and that of his fellow men alive and pass on the greatness to the next generation."

Kirk Saduski, executive and producer at Playtone, said back in November 2022 that Masters of the Air is due to air on Apple TV+ in "mid-Spring 2023" during an interview with Visit East Anglia, an area of England where many of the scenes were shot.

The series tells the story of the thousands of American bombers who took to the skies during World War II and were shot down, killed or held captive. It is based on Donald L. Miller's book of the same name.

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