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Posted: 10/9/2002 11:36:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/9/2002 11:52:37 AM EDT by Happyshooter]
America's top World War II ace and the first commissioner of the American Football League, retired U.S. Marine Maj. Joseph J. Foss, was in critical condition today at Saginaw's Covenant Medical Center Cooper. Foss, 87, was visiting Beaverton when he suffered an aneurysm Monday night. He was there in support of his great-nephew, Beaverton High School senior Justin Mishler, who has applied to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Mishler is the son of Steve and Kim Mishler of Beaverton. Foss was in town to speak to students and community members Tuesday afternoon at the High School. The school and Gladwin County Veterans Affairs office were hosting his stay, said Karen Carpenter, secretary to the school superintendent. A resident of Sioux Falls, S.D., Foss was a fighter pilot in the South Pacific. He was the first to break the 1918 aerial record of Eddie Rickenbacker, who shot down 25 German planes during World War I. Foss led a Marine Air Force unit known as Joe's Flying Circus. The unit shot down 72 Japanese planes. Foss, flying an F4F Wildcat, destroyed 26 of them. The entire squadron shot down 164 Japanese planes during 122 days of fighting at Guadalcanal, losing 20 pilots. President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded the Medal of Honor to Foss in May 1943. The military also awarded Foss the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Purple Heart. Foss, who was born near Sioux Falls, was Republican governor of the state from 1955 to 1959. He returned to active duty as a colonel in the Air Force during the Korean War, becoming director of operations for the Central Air Defense Force. Later he helped organize the Air National Guard in South Dakota, retiring from the guard as a brigadier general. He was the first commissioner of the American Football League, serving from 1959 to 1966, until the league merged with the National Football League. He also was president of the National Rifle Association at one time. In the late 1960s he hosted a weekly television series called "The Outdoorsman -- Joe Foss." History buffs may also know of top ace Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who shot down more Japanese planes than Foss. Boyington doesn't carry the record, however, because the military doesn't count six aerial victories achieved while Boyington was with the Flying Tigers, an American Volunteer Group that flew in China with Chinese Nationalist Forces against the Japanese. t
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 11:58:11 AM EDT
The very same Joe Foss who was practically strip searched by the airport ninjas at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport for having the audacity to bring his Congressional Medal of Honor onboard the flight. [rolleyes] I hope and pray for his full recovery. He's a good man.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 4:54:45 PM EDT
BTT because he is a man. One of the very few.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 5:05:53 PM EDT
I met the MAN at a fun show at a VFW hall,he's a guy anyone could look up to.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 7:00:47 PM EDT
I met Joe Foss at the NRA National Convention in Kansas City. He was signing autographs, and doing the grip and grin with everyone who stopped by and asked for it. He was kind enough to answer every question asked and did not hurry anyone off. If you look up the word "gentleman" in the dictionary, there is a picture Joe Foss by the definition. May God bless him with a speedy recovery.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 7:32:35 PM EDT
For some of us who weren't aware of it but Major Foss was president of the NRA in the early 90s, I think it was something like 1990. I don't remember exactly. I wish him a speedy recovery.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 8:20:27 PM EDT
He has always been a great supporter of the rights of law abiding gun owners and I was always hoping that since he and Tom Brokaw were from the same state and had known each other, that he would set anti gun Tom straight. Well we can wish anyway.[:)] I hope he can get through this. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
Link Posted: 10/9/2002 8:48:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2002 5:40:40 AM EDT
I met General Foss at the GCA convention in Reno last year and he is a true gentleman and a great American hero. General Foss served as an Air Force Colonel in the Korean war and later was Chief of Staff of the South Dakota Air National Guard with the rank of Brigadier General. He was also president of the NRA from 1988 to 1990.
Link Posted: 10/10/2002 3:14:47 PM EDT
What is funny is that our local paper called him by his Marine rank in the headline and adressing him, they included his other ranks in the story. I wonder if that was respect for the Corps or for his Medal? I would hope the Medal.
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