We’re excited to announce that Bailout Over Normandy: A Flyboy’s Adventures with the French Resistance and Other Escapades in Occupied France is now available from Casemate Publishers!
Bailout Over Normandy is the memoir of Ted Fahrenwald, a U.S. pilot in the 352nd Fighter Group during World War II. On his 100th mission, two days after D-Day, Ted bailed out of his P-51 Mustang and parachuted into the Farmlands of Normandy. Upon his landing, he was picked up by the local Maquis, the guerrilla branch of the French Resistance and spent the next couple of months with their band. However, determined to rejoin his squadron, Ted left the Maquis to hike through the most heavily occupied area of northern France towards the advancing Allied liberation armies.
Written after his discharge and return to the States when he was 24-years-old, Ted placed his finished manuscript on a shelf and never pursued it any further. It was not until seven years after his death, that Ted’s daughter, Madelaine, decided to publish his memoir.
Minimally edited from it’s original state, this memoir is a witty and suspenseful tale of Ted’s amazing experience in World War II.
For a preview of this great memoir, continue below for an excerpt from Bailout Over Normandy:
“I looked down between my dangling feet and it seemed awfully high to be minus an airplane: some five hundred feet of nothing between toe and treetops. I was drifting fast – about 25 mph, I judged – but damned if I was losing any altitude…just drifting quietly along like a big-assed bird. Then, in the direction of my drift, I saw a camouflaged German airdrome upon which I calculated I’d land, whether or not I wanted to. It seemed quite logical to assume that every trooper in the entire Wehrmacht was observing my downfall with sanguinary glee: the least I expected was a reception committee equipped with muskets, fixed bayonets, and a set of leg-irons. But I still appeared to be holding my altitude, and the comforting thought came to mind that perhaps I’d float right on over the airfield, a hanging target for one an all. I fished out a cigarette and lit up, feeling oddly pleased that my Zippo should function so nicely in this strange perch.
Watching the trees flowing under me, I knew suddenly that I was losing altitude, allright, and losing it fast. Indeed, I was dropping like something going through a tin horn. I dropped my cigarette and grabbed a double handful of shroud lines and tried to crank myself around so as to land facing the direction of drift, but I only succeeded in acquiring a dandy pendulum effect. I skimmed over a row of tall trees, just cleared the ridgepole of a farmhouse, careened down past the eaves of a large stone barn, and landed hard in the center of a narrow gravel road behind a big hangar at the edge of the airdrome.
A bounce and a roll and I got up running, to dive headlong into my ‘chute, collapsing it. I scrambled out of the harness, bundled my ‘chute with frantic haste, and looked around, wild-eyed.” (p. 24)
*update: If you’ve enjoyed Bailout Over Normandy, be sure to check out Wot a Way to Run a War! also by Ted Fahrenwald. For more information, go here.