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353rd FG "Jonah's Feet Are Dry"
lampie
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Posted: Sunday, November 02, 2008 - 12:49 AM UTC
Literally a heavyweight amongst unit history books, Jonah's Feet Are Dry tells the story of the 353rd Fighter Group.
Limited to 2000 copies, each of which is numbered and signed by the author George Cross, the book contains almost 1000 photographs of the 353rd.
ISBN 0-9541164-0-2
FalkeEins
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Posted: Saturday, December 27, 2008 - 08:29 AM UTC
..as Nige says ...a massive & superb work of remembrance devoted to one of the lesser known 8th AF fighter groups. A complete a work of history as you could wish for - if anything the book is too big! Superbly written and featuring countless first person accounts, the work is virtually two books in one, comprising a day-by-day detailed unit diary, plus sympathetically written chapters on such diverse subjects as navigation methods, flying the P-47s and P-51s, becoming a POW etc etc...
If anything less is sometimes more as the pics are a little small side in places...one of the last FG's to go over to P-51s so plenty of P-47 coverage..
http://www.aviation-bookshop.com currently has copies at less than half price
jsontag
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 05:21 AM UTC
Do you know where to get a copy of the book if there are any still available? Didn't they print 2,000 copies of it?
lampie
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 08:29 AM UTC


Quoted Text

Do you know where to get a copy of the book if there are any still available? Didn't they print 2,000 copies of it?



Hi James, and welcome to the site
Your correct in thinking there are 2000 first edition copies of this excellent book, and they are all signed and numbered.
They sometimes come up on Ebay, and you can often find them on Amazon.Its started to go back up in price again now. In the UK, it starts at around 50, and in the USA around $200.

The early home of the 353rd was Metfield, and like most of the old airfields not much remains. However, Metfield stands out in being one of the very few airfields where the water survives.

Nige
jsontag
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 08:40 AM UTC
Thank you, Nigel. I especially like the pic of the water tower at Metfield. I guess you can't get a copy of the book from the author anymore? Wasn't it when Glenn Duncan I believe he was, commander of the 353rd, that the Group kind of pioneered dive/glide bombing in the P-47?
lampie
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 09:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thank you, Nigel. I especially like the pic of the water tower at Metfield. I guess you can't get a copy of the book from the author anymore? Wasn't it when Glenn Duncan I believe he was, commander of the 353rd, that the Group kind of pioneered dive/glide bombing in the P-47?



Hi James.
It was Glenn Duncan and Walter Beckham who gathered 16 volunteers together from four fighter groups and developed strafing techniques at Metfield ,. "Bills Buzz Boys" as they became known were formed on March 15th 1944 and as well as the training flew 8 missions.One was a fighter escort mission and another aborted due to bad weather, but the 6 missions that were flown as ground attack missions resulted in the following claims
Aircraft destroyed on the ground 20, 6 probables and 14 damaged.
There was also a probable air to air kill.
Locomotives....17 destroyed, 5 probable,3 damaged.
Boats. I destroyed , 9 probables.
9 Flak Towers were straffed and one airfield hanger was destroyed with 3 probables and 6 damaged.
Not a bad tally for only 6 missions!
The final mission was flown on April 12th 1944 when the experimental group was disbanded by General Kepner, C/O of 4th Fighter Command. It was William Kepner that inspired the name "Bills Buzz Boys".
Looking across Metfield today, its quite easy to imagine why, when the Buzz Boys were practicing their low level attacks, the safest place for any ground crew who happened to be out on the airfield was face down hugging the earth!!

Hope you manage to find a copy of the book!
Nige
jsontag
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 09:52 AM UTC
Thank you for the info Nigel. I love that photo. One can imagine the roar of engines and seeing P-47's in their revetments or taxiing out. Aren't most of the airfields farm land or abandoned now?
lampie
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 10:14 AM UTC
Hi James.
The vast majority of the 8th airfields have reverted to the farmland from which they emerged.
Some are still in use to various degrees. Bassingbourn for example, is an army camp, Horsham St Faith is now Norwich International Airport, and others survive as private flying.gliding clubs.Duxford famously is well known as an aviation centre.
Some buildings are in use to this day, and many can be found abandoned and forgotten.
A few control towers remain, in conditions ranging from derelict to private dwellings. Some are restored as museums.
Ocasionally, you come across some surprises when exploring the old airfields such as this..


Another of my interests is photographing the remains of old airfields, memorials, and taking "then and now" photographs, but thats a story for another thread
Nige
jsontag
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:14 AM UTC
Wow, I would love to visit and photograph old airfields. I wish I lived in England for that. I would love to see your photos. I think they have a museum at the 95th Bomb Group airfield at Horham. Wow, Bassingbourne is an army camp.
Tomcat31
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:20 AM UTC
RAF Goxhill is only 15 miles down the road from me, As soon as I can convince Sam to take a field trip I plan on visiting and getting some photos. Apparently most of it is still intact and there a nice memorial there as well
jsontag
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:30 AM UTC
RAF Goxhill only 15 miles from you. That is sweet. I would love to see all those old airfields.
lampie
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Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 - 12:08 PM UTC
I'll post these here as its 353rd FG related as well as Goxhill. ( which incidentaly G.I's couldnt pronounce and it became known to them as "Goats Hill"
The memorial.

And the small plaque dedicated to the 353rd FG who trained there before moving down to Metfield.

Nige
jsontag
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Posted: Friday, January 07, 2011 - 06:22 AM UTC
Got this book this past September and it is a great book. I would put Charles Johnson's History of the Hell Hawks above it, but this is a must have book.
AussieReg
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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 11:36 AM UTC
My copy arrived from the UK yesterday, #1404 of 2000 first edition prints.

Picked it up for less that $40 AUD including shipping, from Amazon.

You won't see me for about 3 weeks now, some reading to do !!!

Cheers, D
ppawlak1
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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 - 10:26 PM UTC
My copy has been ordered too

I should see it in about 2 weeks ! Can't wait

Cheers

Paul
lampie
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Posted: Saturday, January 22, 2011 - 04:58 AM UTC
Nice to see that this (literally) heavyweight amongst unit histories is still available at a sensible price.
Well worth getting hold of a copy if you see it available anywhere.
Nige
jsontag
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Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 10:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice to see that this (literally) heavyweight amongst unit histories is still available at a sensible price.
Well worth getting hold of a copy if you see it available anywhere.
Nige



I'm surprised that one can still find a copy of this cheap. Considering they only printed 2,000 of them, you would think they would sell for much higher.
ppawlak1
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Posted: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 - 05:15 PM UTC
Mine arrived today #1819), I'm glad I had someone here to lift the package (these ribs are killing me) !

Looks like an awesome book, highly recommended

Cheers

Pauk