Men At War refers to the agents of the OSS.
Precursor to the post-war CIA, the Office of Strategic Services formed at Franklin Roosevelt's direction by William "Wild Bill" Donovan. It was created to handle clandestine operations behind enemy lines as Europe was in the early days of War with Germany and in the Pacific, Japanese imperialism was rampant. Donovan and his agents soon found themselves the thick of things on both fronts as well as at home as many politicians feel such activities amounted to war-mongering to force America into the conflicts.
The series is about the men and women who make up the OSS from Wild Bill on down and through its pages the reader will get to know a good number of them and see several pay the ultimate price for their country. It does concentrate, however, largely on two key agents, Richard Canidy and Eric Fulmar.
As the series starts, both Canidy and Fulmar are in the mid 20s.
Canidy is the son of a well respected minister. He went to a particularly good prep school, where he met and became friends with Fulmar, and then went on to university at MIT. He helped pay for that cost with a scholarship from the Navy, obligating himself for four years of service afterwards. A Lieutenant (jg) in the Reserves, he also parlayed his pilot training, having earned a commercial license, for a position with the Navy Air Corps.
Canidy is described as dark-eyed, dark-haired, tall and lanky and is said to move with a "fluid grace". Not especially good looking but had a flair that made him quite popular with the ladies, Canidy was brash and sure of himself, "when his name came up, one would hear words like cocky, blase, arrogant, or defiant."
The same cockiness would also apply to his former hi-jinks cohort, Eric Fulmar. He was the son of a quite famous Hollywood actress who usually felt it best to keep her son's existence hush-hush to not diminish the young girl-next-door image the world was lead to see. While there was certainly love there, the covertness of it was not lost on the young man. Fulmar's father was a German citizen who had a good and profitable life in Germany, one that Fulmar would often be a part of. As that nation prepared for war, though, Fulmar, having dual citizenship, was certain to be pulled in to serve. For that reason, he chose to not be country. Since his mother preferred to love him from afar, that meant Fulmar was on his own a lot.
It would be Canidy that is first invited into ever-clandestine world of Wild Bill Donovan but when the opportunity arose, Fulmar was brought in. They might not always work together but when they did, they were a heckuva team.