Clarence Philip 'Phil' Manger

Age 92 The longtime Baltimore grain merchant had piloted Liberator bombers in the Philippines during World War II.

August 22, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun Reporter

Clarence Philip "Phil" Manger, who flew B-23 Liberator bombers during World War II and later became a Baltimore grain merchant, died Tuesdayof coronary artery disease at Franklin Square Hospital Center. The longtime Towson resident was 92.

Mr. Manger was born in Baltimore and raised on the city's west side and in Fowblesburg, Baltimore County. He was a 1933 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1937.

In the late 1930s, he worked as an engineer at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point plant while holding a reserve commission in the Army.

FOR THE RECORD - An obituary published in Friday's editionsof The Sun for Clarence Philip "Phil" Manger incorrectly stated the type of bomber he flew during World War II. He flew B-24 Liberators.
The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

In 1940, he was called to active duty and assigned to command an engineering company in the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Benning, Ga.

Two years later, Mr. Manger transferred to the Army Air Forces, where he trained as a pilot and attained the rank of captain.

"One of his favorite anecdotes was when he began training on four-engine bombers and the pilot who took him up in the B-17 was actor Jimmy Stewart," said a son, Philip Roy Manger of Cockeysville.

"It turned out only to be Stewart's second flight on a B-17, and Dad said it proved to be as terrifying as anything he ever encountered in combat," he said.

Mr. Manger was assigned to an air base on Morotai Island in the Southwestern Pacific.

"He saw lots of combat and flew missions aboard B-24 Liberator bombers in the Philippine campaign. They also bombed Borneo and Vietnam, which was occupied by the Japanese," the son said.

"He always said the worst thing was flak and recalled the time it shattered the cockpit glass and badly cut his arm," his son said. "He was able to safely land the plane and even though he was eligible for the Purple Heart, didn't put in for it."

After the war, he transferred back to the Army Corps of Engineers and remained an active reservist until the late 1960s, when he was discharged with the rank of colonel.

In civilian life, he joined his father in 1946 in the grain business at J.A. Manger & Co., which was located in the old Chamber of Commerce Building at Commerce and Water streets in downtown Baltimore.

"The grain business in Baltimore underwent a fundamental change during his years in it," his son said. "When he entered it, Baltimore was a major exporter and boasted three large public grain elevators, all of which were willing to rent storage space to his company and to the dozen or more other small grain merchants located in the city."

Mr. Manger served as president of the city's grain exchange and as a director of the National Grain Trade Council.

"Phil was extremely knowledgeable about the grain business and certainly one who helped keep the port of Baltimore in the forefront back in the days when there were three grain elevators running," said former U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a former maritime editor of The Sun.

"He was highly respected in the agriculture community throughout the U.S. in those days when Baltimore was one of the leading export ports for grain," Mrs. Bentley said.

By the time Mr. Manger retired in the 1980s, there was only one grain elevator at Locust Point, which was owned by CSX Corp. and leased to the Indiana Grain Co-op, the son said.

"The few small grain merchants that were left in the city effectively had been reduced to broker status," Mr. Manger's son said.

Mr. Manger's other port interests included serving as chairman of the state board that regulates Chesapeake Bay pilots.

He also had been a president of the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Baltimore Criminal Justice Commission, later renamed the Mayor's Committee on Criminal Justice.

He was a former member of Towson Presbyterian Church.

His wife of 66 years, the former Nancy Edmunds Galloway, died last month.

Mr. Manger enjoyed listening to music and gardening.

Services will be held at 12:30 p.m. today at the Evans Funeral Home, 8800 Harford Road in Parkville.

Also surviving are another son, Donald Edmunds Manger of Columbia; and three grandchildren.

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