A Manifest Spirit: The 359th Fighter Group 1943-1945

A Manifest Spirit: The 359th Fighter Group 1943-1945

by Charlotte Baldridge, Richard Fogg, Janet Fogg


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Aerial combat. Strafing. Bombing. Protecting the bombers. Pilots, armorers and crew chiefs. Officers, cooks, mechanics, and more. These were the men of the 359th Fighter Group.The three fighter squadrons of the 359th Fighter Group, based northeast of London, flew 346 missions over continental Europe between December 1943 and April 1945. Their green-nosed Thunderbolts and Mustangs not only protected the bombers but often embraced an even more dangerous tactical role engaging ground targets. In the deadly dance that ensued many a brave young pilot lost his life in the skies over western Europe, but our bombers got through and the GIs landed at Normandy.Relying not on recollections rendered imprecise by the passage of time, or secondhand reports which inevitably lose context, A Manifest Spirit instead presents observations from the group historian, base chaplain, and the fighter pilots themselves, recorded as they occurred during the war. The complex operation of a fighter base, the deep satisfaction of a successful mission, and the heartbreak of waiting for pilots that never returned, are presented with the clarity that can only come from contemporaneous reports.A Manifest Spirit is a tribute to the officers that gave the 359th Fighter Group its organization and direction, the enlisted men who made it work, and above all the pilots, 121 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781546791638
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 414
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Lt. Arlen R. "Baldy" Baldridge was one of four 359th Fighter Group pilots shot down on 21 May 1944. When his mother died, John and Charlotte Baldridge discovered letters Baldy had written to the family. Resolving that Baldy's loss never be forgotten, Charlotte began accumulating an extensive 359th archive, and in 1994 was appointed Historian for the 359th Fighter Group Association. Charlotte assisted on a number of books and articles, including Mustangs & Unicorns: A History of the 359th FG by Jack H. Smith, USAAF Fighter Stories by Ian McLachlan, and Fogg in the Cockpit by Richard and Janet Fogg.

Janet Fogg's focus on writing began when she was CFO of one of Colorado's largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later she resigned to follow the yellow brick road, and soon after signed a contract for Soliloquy, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner. With Casemate, she and husband Richard published Fogg in the Cockpit, nominated by the Air Force Historical Society for best WWII book reviewed in Air Power History. She's recently enjoyed the release of two new novels. You can learn more at janetfogg.com/.

A New Jersey native, Richard Fogg was raised in Colorado after the family moved to Boulder in 1955. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in English Literature and, inspired by his father's service, served in the U.S. Air force for four years, including a year in Vietnam. Richard was a VP and Trust Officer with a Boulder bank and then became a small-business owner. Fogg in the Cockpit, based on the wartime diary of his father, Captain Howard Fogg, lead to Richard's extensive WWII research, with a focus on the 359th Fighter Group and P-51 Mustangs. His work on A Manifest Spirit has reinforced his goal of honoring those who served.

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