Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Foothills Genealogical Society Presentation

Please join us at the September 10, 2014 meeting of the Foothills Genealogical Society where we'll present our research and journey to publication of Fogg in the Cockpit.

Book signing to follow!

Wednesday September 10, 2014
1:00 P.M.
Applewood Valley Methodist Church
2035 Ellis Street
Golden, CO

Ample parking in the church parking lot. Handicap accessible.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ALCO and Mixed Train Daily

March 1946: With the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in the midst of converting from steam to diesel locomotive production, Duncan Fraser, President of ALCO, makes the decision that launches Howard’s artistic career. Hired as ALCO’s new company artist, Howard begins painting their locomotives in the livery of prospective customers, and examples of his work for them can be viewed at

September 1946: At a three-day gala hosted by ALCO at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, Howard’s paintings are on display, and Lucius Beebe attends. A journalist with the New York Herald-Tribune, Beebe is considering leaving New York to pursue freelance writing and publication of railroad books. Lucius seeks out Howard and a long-term relationship is born, with Beebe buying a number of paintings over the years.

1947: Mixed Train Daily, co-authored by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg, is the first of many to use a Fogg painting on the cover. The following photo from Howard's archives shows L-R: Clegg, Fogg, and Beebe (seated), in front of the display of six paintings that Howard completed for their book.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fogg in the Cockpit

For many people the iconic B-17 bomber is the face of the US Army 8th Air Force's participation in the European Theater of World War II. Their missions deep into the heartland of industrial Germany helped turn the tide of war, but they could not have succeeded if it were not for the protection afforded them by the pilots of their long range fighter escorts.

One such pilot was Howard Fogg. Prior to his distinguished career, which spanned six decades and often saw him referred to as the dean of American railroad artists, Captain Fogg kept a diary during his combat tour in England. Based at US Army Air Force Station 133 northeast of London, Fogg flew a total of 76 missions in both bomber escort and ground attack roles.

From a backstage encounter in a London theater with Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, to the pre-dawn chaplain's benediction on June 6, 1944, to a mission escorting B-17s flying down a valley in the snow capped French Alps as they dropped supplies to French freedom fighters, Fogg in the Cockpit offers a first hand look at his fascinating and often unexpected story.

Uncolored by time and subsequent events, this is not a memoir but the gritty day to day life of a fighter pilot documented as it unfolded.

 The diary, presented in its entirety, is augmented with a wealth of additional material, including a biography, period photographs, examples of Howard's art from both before and during his career, excerpts from the base chaplain's monthly reports, and supplementary details which enhance many of the terms and events referenced in the diary.

Ultimately, Fogg in the Cockpit is more than just the story of one man's service. It presents the reader with a unique perspective during a pivotal moment in world history, as the Allies gained momentum for their final push to victory.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Described for decades as the world’s foremost railroad artist, Howard Fogg’s fascination for railroading began early, and he sketched his first train when only four years old.

After graduating from Dartmouth College with honors in 1938 with a degree in English Literature, Howard attended the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts.

“Better Make Up Your Mind F. D. Or There’ll Be A Wreck”
February 24, 1940 cartoon by Howard Fogg
Courtesy of Richard Fogg

Appreciative of the many ironies in life and politics he hoped to pursue editorial cartooning, although he also painted, which is where his talent ultimately led him.

The Alaska Railroad was finished in 1923 and owned by the US government until 1985 when it was purchased by the state of Alaska. Mount McKinley looms in the background. 1978 oil painting by Howard Fogg. Image courtesy of Leanin’ Tree, Inc.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Mad Rebel: Lt. John H. Oliphint

Lt. John Houston Oliphint - "The Mad Rebel"
359th Fighter Group, 369th Fighter Squadron

Lt. John H. Oliphint flew with the 359th Fighter Group from April 1943 through June 8, 1944, when he was nearing La Fleche and his P-51 began to lose coolant. He continued to strafe, releasing his bombs point blank into the side of a locomotive. He crash landed, was injured, and needed medical attention, so the Maquis reported his position to the Germans. It was the Gestapo, though, who took him prisoner.

After interrogation and torture, Lt. Oliphint and several others escaped. During his stay with the Resistance, Lt. Oliphint gathered data for British Intelligence. On August 5, 1944, he was picked up by the RAF at a covert airfield and returned to England.

He served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, through World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and was awarded Command Pilot wings and 43 medals including the Silver Star, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 8 Air Medals, 2 Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, Commendation Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, and numerous theater and foreign medals.

John Houston Oliphint passed away on December 19, 2011. He was a true Texan and a great fighter pilot.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Book review by Rene Burtner

Fogg in the Cockpit is based on a diary by Howard Fogg. Howard, a fighter pilot in WWII with the 359th Fighter Group began his diary shortly before the Group sailed to England in October 1943. His intention at the time was to provide notes if at some later date he decided to write a book about his war years. The book did not materialize during his lifetime but has now become a reality thanks to his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Janet Fogg. Howard’s college degree in English Literature and his artistic perception are displayed throughout the book.

As an ex fighter pilot I read the book with great anticipation and was rewarded with a gem. The time, places, events, and routines in the diary were those shared by all fighter pilots and they rekindle lost memories as well as enhance memories fading through time. First impression of England – the beauty of the countryside – quaintness of the villages – fortitude of the British people – the weather – sinus – blackouts – bicycles – air raids – buzz bombs – V2s – card games – billiards – briefings – missions – periods of dullness – perils of strafing – sports – hobbies – parties – leaves in London, Scotland – Flak Home – Me109s – Fw190s – Me262s – Me163s are there to be relived along with the lack of glory in war and the little time for mourning.

Richard and Janet Fogg have provided well chosen information connecting the individual pilot’s activities and those of the Group to the overall war effort. References to military terms are explained and timely news items are mentioned regarding the progress of the war around the world. Howard’s lifelong love affair with trains and his art work combine for a very successful career as a railroad artist and we enjoy some examples of his beautiful watercolors and oils in the appendix.

~ Rene Burtner, 369th Fighter Squadron Leader, 359th Fighter Group

On August 2, 1944, Lt. Rene L. Burtner Jr. was one of five replacement pilots assigned to the 369th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group. On his fifth mission he was shot down while strafing the St. Dizier Airfield after a bomber escort mission. He was able to evade and escape capture, and returned to Wretham on September 1, 1944. He continued flying until April 17, 1945. Photo courtesy of Anthony C. Chardella: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book trailers!

Fogg in the Cockpit
by Richard and Janet Fogg

by Janet Fogg

Trail Winds
by Janet Fogg