Delaware Public Media

Arts Playlist: "Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story"

Nov 16, 2018

We recently marked Veterans Day, honoring those who have served the country in the military.  But with each passing year there are fewer and fewer surviving veterans of World War II to recognize and thank.  And there fewer opportunities to hear their first hand accounts of that era.

That’s what makes a new book from Mitch Topal worth a read.  It’s called “Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story.”

Firmani, an Elsmere resident,  was a 23-year-old Second Lieutenant during World War II and the co-pilot on 25 bombing missions over Germany and France between December 23, 1944 and April 20, 1945.

In this week’s Arts Playlist, Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele interviews Topal and Firmani about “Against All Odds: The Ray Firmani Story” – and starts with an excerpt from the book's forward

Firmani, now 97, is a retired United States Army Air Corp (USAAF) 1st Lt. 


During World War II, he participated in Battle of the Bulge and Operation Clarion. He received the DFC and other medals.


Topal says the idea for the book originated at a Delaware Press Association luncheon in December 2014, when he had a conversation with a woman who brought up World War II.


Topal says one of his hobbies is studying World War II and he jumped at the opportunty to write about it when he was introduced to Firmani.


You can get more information about the book, where book signings will held and more here.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.