Friday, December 28, 2012

Foster Field Diploma

Be it known that Howard Lockhart Fogg

United States Army, has satisfactorily completed the course of instruction prescribed for Pilot.

In testimony whereof and by virtue of vested authority I do confer upon him this

-- Diploma --

Given at Foster Field, Victoria, Texas, this tenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-two.

H. H. Van Auken,
Colonel, Air Corps,
Sam A. Carnes,
Major, Air Corps,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you joy and laughter, a beautiful train, and stacks of books beneath the Christmas tree!

Richard and Janet Fogg

December 25, 1978 watercolor by Howard Fogg.
One of Richard’s proudest possessions, this watercolor was a 1978 Christmas gift from his father, Howard Fogg. With snow cover and low hanging clouds obscuring much of the scenery, it allowed Howard to finish the painting quickly without taking too much precious time from his backlogged schedule.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The 359th Fighter Group's First Mission

VIII Fighter Command policy required that each unit in the growing roster of Thunderbolt groups be led into battle by pilots experienced in the theatre. This objective was achieved by sending a new group’s senior flying officers to fly on the wing of combat-tested pilots in an older organization while a veteran of the theatre was detailed to lead the new group in its first missions.

Thus, during the first 10 days of December, Colonel Avelin P. Tacon Jr., Majors William H. Swanson, John B. Murphy, Albert R. Tyrrell, Rockford V. Gray, and 12 captains and lieutenants waited at Duxford for an opportunity to fly operationally with the 78th while Major Richmond, commander of the 486th Squadron, 352nd Group, moved from nearby Bodney to Wretham Hall to act as flying group commander of the 359th. Command of the 359th Group devolved upon Captain Chauncey S. Irvine, operation officer of the 370th Squadron, promoted to major later in the month.

The contingent at Duxford had a lazy time waiting for a break in the weather, but the activity at their home station continued at a pace only a little less than feverish as all departments checked their readiness to undertake operations.

Major Richmond in this period made an unobtrusive but thorough study of the Station’s operational scheme. He also demonstrated the necessity of personally digesting all available information on the enemy and the war, an attitude that made a lasting impression on the pilots and tactical sections of the 359th Group.

On 11 December 1943 the waiting ended for the command detachment at Duxford. The 78th flew withdrawal support for the 2nd Bomb Division after the attack on Emden that day and the 359th’s pilots flew with elements in each of the two tactical groups Duxford put in the air. The group in which Colonel Tacon flew destroyed an Me109 in the course of escort.

Our pilots played a role in the combat: the flight led by Captain Irvine with Colonel Tacon on his wing, made an unrewarded bounce of an Me109, and a top cover flight including First Lieutenant James R. Pino, 368th Squadron, was bounced, also unsuccessfully, by enemy fighters.

There were no losses on the mission and on the night of the 11th the 359th officers returned from Duxford with their ground crews. The atmosphere resembled a swimming pool after the bathers’ first plunge, with general announcements that the water felt just fine.


This text excerpt is from the December 1943 original monthly narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group archived at HQ USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The complete documents were transcribed and provided courtesy of Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, from reports filed by Maurice F. X. Donohue, 359th Fighter Group historian and combat intelligence officer.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Map of Mission Destinations

Howard Fogg's mission destinations:

Map by Janet Fogg

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Education of a Nazi

While at Dartmouth, Howard began drawing cartoons for the undergraduate magazine The Jack O’Lantern as well as for the student newspaper. His sense of humor and innate drawing talent seemed to point directly toward a career as a political cartoonist. This example and others we've included in Fogg in the Cockpit suggest he would have been successful in that endeavor had he not dedicated himself to railroad art.
"Education of a Nazi"
February 20, 1940 cartoon by Howard Fogg
Courtesy of Richard Fogg

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 1943

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit, the Wartime Diary of Captain Howard Fogg:

Thanksgiving, November 25, 1943: Wretham

   Beautiful day. Went down to line. Everyone flying. Not me. Hell! Cater flew my ship. Hydraulics out again. Double Hell!
   Turkey for dinner.
   Our “Yanks” GI team beat the “Rebs” in the squadron, in a hot touch football game.
   I went to bed at 6:30 P.M. Bound and determined to go to London tomorrow. Curse this weather, the dampness, cold rooms, poor ventilation.

Wretham Hall, one mile from East Wretham Airfield. “D” Flight 
occupied the 2nd floor room to the right of the entrance.
Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association,
from records at HQ USAF Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Got my plane!

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit: The Wartime Diary of Captain Howard Fogg

Saturday, November 13, 1943: Wretham

Got my plane!

Captain Pezda of the 370th and I went to Wattisham in the command car. Captain Irvine flew down to lead us back. I have a P-47D-10, 275104, with a P&W (Pratt & Whitney) R-2800-63 engine. Eleven hours on the ship. Flies beautifully. It’s a thousand pounds lighter than the D-2s.

I landed at dusk with field lights after coming in Xtee (cross-wind) first try. First pilot to land with lights here. Captain Malley (Control) all excited. Me too!

Lieutenant Howard Fogg's P-47D-10 Thunderbolt CV-T 42-75104. 
Photo courtesy of Peter Fogg.

East Wretham Airfield, England 5 February 1946
Source: Royal Ordinance Survey. Annotations on photo from
Freeman, Roger A., Airfields Of The Eighth, Then And Now, 1978.
This artistic work created by the
United Kingdom Government is in the public domain

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Wonder the English Drink Tea

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit, the Wartime Diary of Captain Howard Fogg:

Thursday, November 18: Wretham

Painted on plane insignia in cold canvas hangar all day. Hands nearly numb. Paint equipment is poor but it looks fair.

Gall is still fighting trouble in the hydraulic system on my plane.

My cold is worse. Worked on the locomotive model.

Had tea at eleven. Hit the spot. No wonder the English drink tea:
1) to keep warm
2) to prevent starvation


The following essay, "Tea Call" by Helen Moore, is not included in Fogg in the Cockpit, but Helen would have served tea to Howard many times. Helen, a volunteer, was the Tea Wagon's effervescent, cheerful, kind and always pleasant operator. She and her best friend, Bonnie Cole, became “big sisters” to a whole field of men at Station F-133. Captain John G. Dales, Supply Officer of the 648th Air Material Squadron wrote that, “Helen Moore was a delightful person, so animated and full of life."


Bonnie and I were filled with trepidation when we first learned that we had to work among American troops. We were excited and rather nervous about our reception.

We had served previously with Czechs, Poles, New Zealand and, Australian, Canadian, South African and British troops of all descriptions, but the thought of working with Yanks was, well, somehow we knew it would be different to say the least. That it was!

Arriving on a day in August, 1943, to welcome our Allies with tea and cakes, we were vastly interested in the different variety of clothes they worked in -- especially the queer little hats with the turned up brim, worn anyway on the head apparently, but the one it was intended for.

At first sight we noticed how pale and thin all the men looked. In amazement we wondered if these were the United States A-1 men! Since then we discovered there had been a very rough crossing and a tedious journey to the station. I now constantly tease everyone by saying how much better they look and how the weight they have put on since partaking of YMCA tea and cakes everyday. And they do!

When we made our first stop the boys crowded round curiously, looked us over and shook our ego immensely by anxiously asking "Could you tell us if there are any American girls 'round here?" They demanded coffee and we persuaded them earnestly that our tea was very good and hot! They found later when the proverbial English winter developed that the hot tea was to be appreciated. Soon we were distributing from 30 to 40 gallons daily in our two vans, which you will admit is a lot of tea when doled out in cupfuls.

We were very cheered when an Officer came up the first day and told us he was from San Francisco and knew Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Haas who had donated my van to the British War Relief Fund -- It was then we began to think we "really belonged".

When at first we arrived in the morning blowing the horn vigorously the Americans sauntered over slowly. This wasn't the procedure we'd been accustomed to, as the RAF who had been there before made one mad rush when the nose of the van drove into sight.

The GI's soon discovered they had to run fast if they wanted the best cakes or a morning paper and now I wish their folks at home could see them when I turn into the field. They came chasing along on bicycles and every conceivable kind of vehicle. They hang on the van and push and pull to obtain the best position in the "queue".

"Queue" was one word they didn't use before -- only for a Chinaman's pigtail. Now it's used with great frequency and without ever noticing it.

Of course, we had great fun over the difference in the language pronunciation. "Have" was one word that still causes amusement. "Have a cup of tea" is a daily phrase used a thousand times and I pronounce it with a long "A" which still gets a laugh.

When first told we looked "sharp" we looked at each other in amazement as "sharp" is an adjective used over here if a person is particularly intelligent(!). Since I have absorbed so much American slang and expressions that I astound my family by using rather peculiar phrases such as "sweating it out" or "on the beam" -- which just isn't done in polite society and often causes me confusion.

Dealing with the money caused a great deal of fun. The boys handed us out messes of coins of every sort in order to give us, say two pence half penny and many always handed us some huge amount such as ten shillings or a pound note in order to pay one penny for a cup of tea. We feel we helped them considerably from the start to learn the value of our system of exchange.

Bonnie and I became big sisters to a whole field of men. After a time we knew most of them by their first or nick names -- knew their life stories, their troubles, their pleasures, their homesickness and their ambitions.

I've discussed every conceivable problem with the GI's. Those parted from their wives I can readily understand and sympathize with as my own husband has been away from me in the Army overseas for nearly four years.

As time went on we found our tea wagon activities were only a small part of our efforts to promote Anglo-American relations. All our free time gradually got involved with the life of the field.

Bonnie is a professional dancer and she started a weekly dancing class at the Aero Club. As the class grew I was called in to "be practiced on" when she'd taught the steps. Bonnie since left to work with the Y in another area and I found myself doing the incredible by carrying on with about six other girls as partners. These evenings are really fun and are enjoyed immensely by both the girls and the men. Now and again we get a GI to give us a jitterbug lesson -- a lease-end arrangement.

Last year I lent my tennis court four nights a week for the use of the men. This was a great success. I hope to repeat them again this year when the grass is induced to grow again on the bare patches!

Almost overnight we found ourselves gradually doing the personal shopping for the whole base. This started in a small way when somebody said "Helen can you get me a bicycle tyre or tube in town" -- or "Bonnie can you get my pictures developed for me". Soon it grew to such dimensions we spent literally hours each day buying the oddest collection of things imaginable! We've purchased among other things countless tyres and tubes, spokes for wheels, cotter pins, chains, pedals, patches and all the things that go to repair a bicycle. We've bought birthday cards, Easter cards, Christmas cards to be sent to wives, mothers and sweethearts. Those for the girl friend take the longest time (I must be sentimental). Then there's been frying pans, coffee and teapots, a puppy, an electric iron, a mouse trap, cups and mugs, buttons, darning wool, dyes, nails and tacks, brushes, sheets of music, Christmas presents of jewelry and antiques. Photographs to be developed by the hundreds. I've never been on such good terms with the local tradesmen. This, incidentally, is good for us.

We've delivered countless messages 'round the town. Someone rushed up desperately saying "I'm working tonight, can you tell Doris I shan't be in town?" or "Alice is coming down from London or Manchester is there anywhere in town where she can stay?"

Phone calls come from all over the country from friends asking me to deliver messages. Telegrams have to be sent, etc.

Of course, we've assisted in several weddings. For one we arranged, at the last minute, to obtain a bouquet of scarlet dahlias for a bride who unexpectedly arrived without a bridal outfit! I remember driving a frantic bridegroom into town for this occasion to meet trains. Somehow the bride had set out in the wrong direction and mislaid her outfit en route amidst the confusion of it all. She arrived alright and I attended a very charming ceremony and the bride looked beautiful with scarlet bouquet!

Our coming and goings soon became known and the boys found they had a regular van service at their disposal. Now we usually find small bunches waiting, coming or going on passes or furloughs.

So many interesting incidents happen every day it's impossible to record them -- like serving a bride and groom with tea and cake just before their wedding. We grew to love our life on the field just as it was. The boys are always so glad to see us, always so friendly and helpful.

Someone always jumps in the van and helps pour the tea and do the washing up and can now dole out 'Limey' change as well as I.

I didn't realize how we were liked until Bonnie had to go. She was missed very much and I was besieged with enquiries, and still am asked as to her whereabouts and when she is coming back. In fact I began to think it was I who should have gone instead.

If ever we're in trouble with our tea wagon, a puncture or engine trouble, willing hands are always ready to help out. All sorts of odd jobs have been done for me too. One regularly mends the tea strainers when they become the worse for wear. Cake knives are sharpened, even our vacuum cleaner was mended, our poker soldered together, lawn mower and my watch repaired. These things were all next to impossible to be done in war time England.

I feel I have so many friends on the base that when we do visit the States, as I threaten to do one day, I shan't lack companions to show me around. I feel I belong to the base now so much. The personal loss I shall suffer when eventually they leave will be very acute.

If all Anglo-American friendships prosper as ours has the world won't need to worry for many a long day.


Photo: Helen Moore, a “Tea Girl” for the 359th FG at East Wretham with her “Tea Wagon.”

Photo courtesy of Alfred M. Swiren. Text and photo archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

California Zephyr

Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad’s California Zephyr 
climbing the foothills westbound out of Denver in the early ‘50s.

1983 watercolor painting by Howard Fogg. 
Image courtesy of Leanin’ Tree, Inc.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Book Trailers

Soliloquy by Janet Fogg

A tale of passion. Of heroes, hope, and the consequences of creating extraordinary music amidst the dark nights of World War II.

Swept back in time to Nazi-held France, concert pianist and composer Erin Meyer protects members of the Resistance by ghost-writing music for an influential German officer. She's now performing for her life - and for those in the Resistance. But what she thought was already a maze of confusion becomes even more mystifying when she helps a wounded British pilot evade capture. Arick Ambrose. She recognizes him from her own life and time. Erin's attraction to Arick could prove deadly as the German officer who holds the key to Erin's return demands more than she is willing to give. And if she returns home, will she ever find Arick again? For Erin, time is running out.

Review: "You'll be hooked from page one of this mesmerizing tale, which uses a beguiling method of transport to the past. The prose is smooth and satisfying, and the characters come alive. Passion and promise fill the pages, as well as fear and deception." ~ D. M. Brown, RT Book Reviews

A 2010 HOLT Medallion Award of Merit recipient.


Fogg in the Cockpit 

by Richard and Janet Fogg

Howard Fogg -- Master Railroad Artist, World War II Fighter

Prior to a distinguished career that saw him referred to as the dean of American railroad artists, Captain Howard Fogg kept a diary during his World War II combat tour in England. He flew 76 missions with the 359th Fighter Group 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 Howard's fascinating and often unexpected story.

Review: "As an ex fighter pilot I read the book with great anticipation and was rewarded with a gem." ~ Rene Burtner, 369th Fighter Squadron Leader, 359th Fighter Group

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Southern Pacific Railroad “Daylight” 4-8-4

Southern Pacific Railroad “Daylight” 4-8-4 in the special 1976 Bicentennial colors. The train toured the country from April 1975 through December 1976 and carried items of Americana as diverse as the original Louisiana Purchase and a moon rock.

1976 oil painting by Howard Fogg.  Image courtesy of Leanin’ Tree, Inc. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Interment of President Roosevelt

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit:

April 12, 1945:
On the morning of April 12th, Roosevelt mentions that he has a terrific headache. Later that day he dies. The doctor diagnoses that the President has suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd President of the United States of America.

April 15, 1945:
In Millville, New Jersey, where he is in charge of ground school, Howard continues to teach young pilots while also keeping current on his own flying. He is honored when asked to join a handful of pilots to fly a special mission: to overfly the interment of President Roosevelt.

Fly-over at the interment of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Second 378 of video clip U.S. Government Archive Number [208 UN 151 FGMC] from funeral ceremonies held at Hyde Park, New York. Courtesy of CriticalPast.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rough Sketch of Forge-Welded UTLX Tank Cars

We recently discovered final images for two of the pencil sketches included in Fogg in the Cockpit, and thought we would share one of those with you today.

Howard Fogg would often create a “rough sketch” for a customer to ensure that his vision for the final painting matched their expectations. Depending on the circumstances, the sketches were done in either pencil or watercolor. This pencil sketch example is presented with Howard’s original notations, and now you can compare the sketch to the final painting.

First forge-welded UTLX tank cars climb the Blue Mountains of Oregon in 1931:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

His chute was afire when he jumped

This excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit is from the narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group, Office of the Group Historian, June 1944 dated 4 July 1944:

On D plus 2, the heavies went after the bridges over the Loire, seeking to snap the fabric of the railroads there as medium bombers had previously chopped every line over the Seine.

There was a FO (377) but it was not in until 0425 and the effect was a hurried briefing at 0515 by Colonel Murphy.

Again the weather was execrable, haze and low ceiling, but Colonel Murphy discussed all that in a memorable line (“Weather is weather, and all weather is bad.”) and by 0627, when 45 planes took off, the mist had in fact cleared, although scud and mist rolled back over the field for the landing at 1150. There was a great score for strafing, especially in the 369th Squadron, which caught a German convoy control point at a crossroads and wiped out 26-odd vehicles.

But by now the Germans had light flak guns by the dozen at every vulnerable point, and there were two losses, 1st Lieutenant Benjamin M. Hagan III, one of the 368th Squadron originals, and Lieutenant Robert B. Sander, of the 369th. Sander was believed to have crashed in the woods near the control point but Hagan jumped after being hit in a wild strafing bee on a train southeast of Breteuil. The tall, lean, dour-faced jokester owned a questing mind, fortified by a rare depth of spirit. Aged 19 when he arrived in England, he had lived a curiously full life, although all of this was customarily masked in the prankery by which he was best known. He habitually explained he had become a fighter pilot to escape the perils of the explosives plant where he had been working and it was usually impossible to decide at what, if any point, his fantasies ceased to be fact. Two friends, Earl Perkins and Bill Simmons, followed him down and though his chute was afire when he jumped, both saw it later, empty, in a field.


Photo: Brigadier General Edward W. Anderson presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Benjamin M. “Hag” Hagen III. April 13, 1944 photo courtesy of R. Hatter: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Transcribed by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, from reports filed by Maurice F. X. Donohue, 359th Fighter Group historian and combat intelligence officer, from the original monthly narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group archived at HQ USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The 359th FG is Inspected by the Russians

The 359th Group was chosen by General Anderson as a model station for the inspection of Major General Ivan Skliarov of the Russian Army on 9 August (1944)This was a full-dress affair, with the aircraft and all equipment shown the Soviet visitors, who spent an hour overtime in the briefing room with Colonel Swanson discussing escort and air combat tactics.

Photo:  Visiting Russian officers inspecting East Wretham USAAF Station Number 133. Four men at front of photo, from left: Unknown pilot in flight gear, Captain Howard Fogg, Major Petrosky (Russian Interpreter), Major General Ivan Skliarov of the Russian Army; at back of photo: Colonel Linquist with his back to the camera, other two unknown. August 9, 1944 photo courtesy of R. Hatter: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

This excerpt was selected from transcriptions of the August 1944 original monthly narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group archived at HQ USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The complete document was transcribed by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, from reports filed from December 1943 through September 1945 by Maurice F. X. Donohue, 359th Fighter Group historian and combat intelligence officer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rough Sketch of UTLX Pressure Car

We recently discovered final images for two of the pencil sketches included in Fogg in the Cockpit, and thought we would share one of those with you today.

Howard Fogg would often create a “rough sketch” for a customer to ensure that his vision for the final painting matched their expectations. Depending on the circumstances, the sketches were done in either pencil or watercolor. This pencil sketch example is presented with Howard’s original notations, and now you can compare the sketch to the final painting.

The 50,000 gallon UTLX pressure car rolls through southern Georgia in 1963:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Jacket Text

Renowned for decades as the world’s foremost railroad artist, Howard Fogg’s career spanned half a century and some 1,200 paintings. However, while his art has been welcomed for decades, few of his enthusiasts have been aware of his prior career, as a fighter pilot in the U.S. 8th Air Force during World War II. Fortunately Fogg left behind a detailed diary of his experiences, proving himself as adept with a pen as with a brush, and his day-to-day comments illuminate this brief but exciting aspect of his life, as he engaged in direct combat with the Luftwaffe at the controls of P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs.

Based in England with the 359th Fighter Group, Captain Fogg flew 76 missions in bomber escort and ground attack roles. From his backstage encounter in a London theater with Lawrence Olivier and Vivian Leigh, to the pre-dawn chaplain’s benediction on June 6, 1944, to a mission escorting B-17s as they flew below the snow-capped Alps dropping supplies to French freedom fighters, his diary offers a firsthand look at his fascinating and often unexpected wartime career.

Fogg in the Cockpit offers a frank and fascinating glimpse into the life of a fighter pilot, both in the sky and in wartime England. Through 1943–44 it offers a confidential perspective of life as a “flyboy,” during which Howard was awarded the Air Medal with three clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross with one cluster.

The diary is supplemented with material by Richard and Janet Fogg as well as excerpts from the Chaplain’s Informal Monthly Reports of Morale, and the Monthly Reports of the 359th Group Historian. It also incorporates period photographs and examples of Howard’s artwork, including previously unpublished political cartoons and preliminary drawings.

From the smallest daily details of the airmen’s life to the strategic and tactical decisions that affected their fates, Fogg in the Cockpit presents a hidden side of one of the 20th century’s great artistic geniuses, with a vivid look at the life of a fighter pilot in World War II.

(Text from inside front book jacket.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 1944

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit, the Wartime Diary of Captain Howard Fogg:

Wednesday, August 30, 1944: Wretham
Lousy, grey, rainy morning. Released until noon. Briefing at 1300, took off at 1400. Escort B-17s to Kiel above weather. Moose Nose raised Hell on take off. I slammed on the brakes, stopped on the edge of the field. Got stuck in a rabbit hole taxiing back with brakes on fire. Nuts!! Now they’ll put in a new carburetor.

"Moose Nose" P-51D-5 CV-D 44-13762.
Photo courtesy of Ira J. “John” Bisher.
Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

 No action on the mission. They were out for four hours.
Olin Drake, the old bum, is okay and in an English hospital. He went down in France on June 10th.  Also Sansing of the 369th. Must have been picked up in the present drive into France.
Fixed up Hunter’s battle jacket. Never meant to fit him and is a bit big for me. I’ll pay Randy, who picked it up for Hunter. Billiards with Raines and Jeff (Geoffry) Darlington the S-2 RAF wing liaison guy. Swell evening.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The first Me 163 is conquered

16 August was a reasonably historic day, Colonel Murphy became the first Allied pilot to destroy one of the new and still-mysterious German liquid-rocket fighters, an Me 163. The Colonel damaged another, which Cyril Jones, his wingman, destroyed and Jimmy C. Shoffit, also of the 370th, engaged in a long and educational combat with a third, which was damaged. The story received a greater play in the world press than any other single story of an Eighth Air Force pilot.

Briefing on FO 518 was early, at 0630. Before rendezvous, tanks were dropped when the enemy struck at Erfurt, and Colonel Murphy left his briefed course to rendezvous early. In addition, Major Cranfill and Lieutenant Lux each shot down a more orthodox 109. There was considerable excitement in higher HQ at news of the first victory over the Me 163s, and some confusion on the station, since Colonel Murphy’s film had been sent to Honington to go up to Fighter Command by courier. The film was retrieved and flown to Command by Lieutenant Gilmore that night. Earlier in the afternoon, Colonel Swanson had his promised long talk with the 15 pilots who returned early from the mission.

Photo:  Colonel John B. Murphy of the 370th Fighter Squadron, 359th Fighter Group. Photo courtesy of Elsie Palicka, wife of Ed Palicka, 370th Fighter Squadron Photographer: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association


This excerpt was selected from transcriptions of the August 1944 original monthly narrative History of the 359th Fighter Group archived at HQ USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The complete document was transcribed by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, from reports filed from December 1943 through September 1945 by Maurice F. X. Donohue, 359th Fighter Group historian and combat intelligence officer.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The 359th Fighter Group

During its 17 months of operation, members of the 359th Fighter Group, comprised of the 368th Fighter Squadron, the 369th Fighter Squadron, and the 370th Fighter Squadron, excelled at escort missions and at the very hazardous jobs of "killing" trains and destroying aircraft on the ground. Although often frustrated at the restrictions placed on pursuing enemy aircraft that endeavored to lure them away from protecting their "big friends," the bombers, the pilots of the 359th faithfully fulfilled the escort missions that comprised approximately 75 percent of their flights.

The 359th Fighter Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation as well as numerous battle ribbons, including:

• The Air Offensive Europe ribbon, for preparation for the invasion of Normandy

• The Normandy ribbon, for invasion support and subsequent break out of the beach head areas

• The Northern France ribbon, for support for the drive across France

• The Rhineland ribbon for supporting the airborne invasion of the Netherlands as well as the drive into the Rhine

• The Ardennes-Alsace ribbon for support during the Battle of the Bulge

• And the Central Europe Ribbon for supporting the final actions across Germany

There were 13,455 sorties flown by the pilots of the 359th. In addition to guarding the "heavies" they shot down 241 enemy aircraft, with an additional 33 probables and 69 damaged. Another 122 were destroyed on the ground plus 107 damaged. Almost 500 locomotives and 1,400 railway cars were destroyed or damaged. Other ground attacks supported troop movements and targeted infrastructure. To do all of this 1,000,000 rounds of .50 calibre ammunition was expended along with nearly 900 bombs of varying poundage.

The 359th Fighter Group lost 121 pilots.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Maj. Ray S. Wetmore

Maj. Ray S. Wetmore -- "X-Ray Eyes"
359th Fighter Group, 370th Fighter Squadron

Maj. Ray S. Wetmore, nicknamed "Smack" and known for his keen vision, amassed a total score of 24 destroyed air-ground combat, highest scoring Ace in the 359th Fighter Group and eighth best of all American pilots in the ETO. On VE-Day he was a 21-year-old major.

Flying with the 370th Fighter Squadron, in February and March 1944 Wetmore scored his first 4.25 victories flying the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Upon conversion to the P-51 Mustang the group ranged farther afield and Wetmore became a 20-year-old ace with a double victory on May 19, downing two Me-109s. By the end of May 1944 his tally was 8.25. At the end of 1944 he was a captain with nearly 15 kills, flying a Mustang named "Daddy's Girl."

After returning from leave in the U.S. to serve his second tour of duty, Wetmore continued to score from November 1944 to January 1945. During that time he downed 12 more enemy fighters including 4.5 FW-190s on January 14. His final victory was a rocket-powered Me-163 on March 15.

Postwar, Major Wetmore commanded the 59th Interceptor Squadron at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts. On February 14, 1951, Raymond took off from Los Angeles with an F-86 Sabre on a trip to Otis. On his final approach, his plane suddenly shot up skyward, and then turned towards the ground where it crashed. Ray was killed instantly. He reportedly said that he was having trouble slowing down his plane and ejecting from the plane. He was also reported to have said to the tower that, "I'm going to go up and bring it down in Wakeby Lake, so I don't hit any houses."

"Say goodbye to my wife and kids," were his final words.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 review of Fogg in the Cockpit

Fogg in the Cockpit,
Richard and Janet Fogg

Howard Fogg-Master Railroad Artist,
World War II Fighter Pilot

Howard Fogg is best known as a very successful railroad artist, but before that he served as a fighter pilot in the USAF, based in the UK and mainly providing fighter escorts for American bombers.

We start at the start of October 1943, with Fogg still in the United States. During the month his unit sailed across the Atlantic, and moved to their new base at WW, where they remained for the rest of Fogg's time with them. We end on 15 September 1944, one week before the end of his combat tour.

Each chapter begins with Fogg's diary entries for the month and ends with the official history as written by the Office of the Group Historian, giving us two points of view on events. The group historian's style is rather less formal than one might expect, so the two parts mesh rather well. Fogg begins as a novice pilot, but ended up in charge of a flight and also of training new pilots.

Fogg's experiences aren't quite what one might expect from reading many accounts of the fighting in this period. Many missions end without any German aircraft coming into sight, even when the Luftwaffe was still a strong force. Fogg mentions plenty of other combats, but not any of his own although he does talk about ground attacks. Mechanical problems also play a surprisingly large part in his life. We also get to see the pilot's eye view of a change in aircraft, from the P-47 that Fogg's unit entered combat with to the P-51 Mustang.

One also gets an insight into the glamour of life as a fighter boy when Fogg visited London and found himself in the company of Lawrence Olivier, Vivian Leigh and a number of other celebrities, after writing to Sid Field, another star of the day. His interest in trains also emerges from time to time, with notes on different engines striking an unusual note in a wartime memoir!

Rather amusingly Fogg soon gains the British obsession with the weather, reporting endless grey days and rain, even during the summer of 1944. There are a few good sunny days in there, but few and far apart. Thankfully his general impressions of Britain are still positive.

Fogg's last words were a list of the twenty six original members of his unit and their fates when he completed his tour. Seven were already back in the USA having completed their tour. One was an instructor, one at wing HQ. Four were POWs, three missing in action, four killed in action and two accidental deaths. Only four of the twenty six were still in combat having not yet completed their tour.

Fogg's diaries provide a fascinating window into the world of an American fighter pilot in Britain in 1944, and is of interest even if you aren't interested in Fogg the artist (those who are will be pleased with the inclusion of a section of colour plates of his paintings).


1 - October 1943: England at Last!
2 - November 1943: The Calm Before the Storm
3 - December 1943: Operational!
4 - January 1944: Oh, This English Weather!
5 - February 1944: The Bombing Intensifies
6 - March 1944: First Ground Attacks
7 - April 1944: The P-51s Arrive
8 - May 1944: The War Hits Home
9 - June 1944: Operation Overlord
10 - July 1944: Deep Into Germany
11 - August 1944: Winding Down
12 - September 1944: Changing of the Guard
13 - October 1944 through August 1945
Summary of Action: Captain Howard Fogg
Summary of Action: 359th Fighter Group
The Postwar Career of Howard Fogg
Political Sketches by Howard Fogg
Rough Sketches by Howard Fogg
Art by Howard Fogg (colour plates)

Author: Richard and Janet Fogg
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 376
Publisher: Casemate
Year: 2011

Review posted on July 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 1944: The 359th Fighter Group

An excerpt from the original report:

Office of the Group Historian
APO 637   US Army
4 August 1944

The 359th Fighter Group, July 1944

After the crescendo of June and the Invasion, July of 1944 was for the older pilots almost anticlimactic. The 25 missions of the month produced no large-scale air combat, strafing receded in importance, and the focus of interest shifted to the identity of the men completing their 300 hour combat tours. There were 17 of these on 31 July, of whom 11 were already in or on their way home to the Zone of the Interior.

But the complexion of the 359th Fighter Group had changed and the “originals” now were heavily outnumbered by replacement pilots for whom July provided pulsing excitement. There were eight long escort assignments to Munich, several in execrable weather, another to Leipzig, two to Merseburg and three to Kiel-Bremen. There was a strafing expedition to Leipheim, and another on French railroad targets. For the new men, this was a rugged introduction to combat flying.

In July, 31 more new pilots reported, and at month’s end, strength was at a peak: 146 pilots, of whom 17 had finished their tours and were off ops, 2 were administrative pilots, 13 were in training, 9 sick, 5 on DS in England, 12 on pass, with 71 available for a mission.

The 25 missions include a freak job on 14 July, a four ship evening weather reconnaissance east of Paris with which Captain Janney of the 368th completed his tour. Disregarding this mission, the 24 jobs of the month resulted in 1,075 Mustangs airborne from East Wretham, with 193 early returns and 992 completed sorties averaging 5 hours 4 minutes each for about 5,400 hours of combat time.

The Luftwaffe still was hoarding its strength and enemy sightings dwindled. The total of 207 shown includes 100-plus seen in two gaggles by a single pilot on 20 July near Merseburg, the enemy obviously being late for a planned interception, and another sighting of 50 seen at 20-mile range over Munich on 21 July, when only Lieutenant Colonel Murphy’s section could get in close enough for effective action.

Similarly, the 25 E/A sighted on 19 July in the Munich area were seen only by one section, which had dropped back on the task force trailing the lead assault elements, and the most profitable sighting of the month (three biplane trainers!) was made by a flight on 24 July, the flight driving all three of the antiques into the ground.

One sighting was, however, historic: the first operational use by the enemy of jet-propelled fighters, five Me163 Swallows being seen near, and driven off from, the bombers on the Merseburg show of 28 July, as Colonel Tacon’s widely-circulated teletyped special report duly narrates. The same day four German daredevils, apparently Wild Boar night-fighters, got into a B-17 combat wing and the bomber’s defensive cross-fire prevented our flights from following.

Me 163 photo courtesy of
Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Briefing Room

The original Briefing Room (or War Room) at East Wretham Airfield. 
Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, 
from records at HQ USAF Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Detail of chalkboard from photo of the original Briefing Room, 
believed to be from the December, 30, 1943 mission. 
Photo archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association, 
from records at HQ USAF Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Damn this lousy English weather

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit: The wartime diary of Captain Howard Fogg.

"Wednesday, July 12, 1944: Wretham
Up at 0815. Briefing at 0930. Took off at 1110. Duplicate of yesterday’s show in every detail but flight time. I led Olson, White, and Keesey. My #2 and #4 planes got lost in very rough air of overcast. Picked up Kosc for #2. Homeyer flew #4 later. Encountered heavy flak near Ruhr so everyone split up as usual. Major Shaw led. I became Blue Flight.

We only had eight planes out of 16 for escort duty. Never saw the ground; went from here to Munich and back on instruments.

Couldn’t release my left tank and it pissed me off highly. Then it fell off on my landing approach.

Sure was tired. Up for 6 hours and 10 minutes. A long ride. Plane ran fine, loads of gas.

Damn this lousy English weather."

March 29, 1944 photo of belly tanks.
Photo archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"The Mad Rebel"

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, June 28, 2012

June 1944: The 359th Fighter Group

June of 1944 was the month that Eisenhower stormed and breached the Atlantic Wall of Festung Europa in the greatest short-range operation of war in the history of man to that time.

In the great scheme of assault, the VIII Fighter Command, forged and tempered as the peerless high altitude fighter team of all the world’s struggling forces, was slung into the rough and tumble of ground attack. Only their airplanes had the needed range before the cannon and the tactical air forces could be disembarked, and only they could choke off support from the Werhmacht at the chosen storming place, the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy.

So simply, is the story of June for the 359th Fighter Group told. With the 14 other groups of the Eighth Fighter Command, they isolated Normandy, hacked and splayed the German plan of reinforcement and counter-attack, and held off the Werhmacht while ships and men tore open a bloody hole in Western Europe.

It was expensive, 14 pilots were lost on tactical missions, 11 of those in the first 7 days of crisis, and this was one-sixth of the 359th Group’s normal pilot strength. Yet the total casualties for the month of 17 men, 16 operationally, was below the toll of May, and was well under the depletions suffered by other groups.

These are statistics, and they did not cushion the emotional shock of the grim second week of June, when 21 missions in 7 days cost 11 pilots, when foul weather, flak, fatigue, and warring enemy aircraft raised the normal odds against ground strafing to a great and nerve racking hazard.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Better Make Up Your Mind

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14, 1944

Excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit, the wartime diary of Captain Howard Fogg:

Wednesday, June 14, 1944: Wretham

Good day, heavy cumulus.

One mission. Nuts!! Took off at 0615. Blue Flight led by me, with McNeil, Andy, Hammy, and Murphy. Top squadron. Flew an area escort to Brussels, Namur airfields. We encountered heavy flak at Namur but no trouble and no enemy aircraft. Flew at 26,000 to 27,000 feet in nice squadron formation. Really clear over the Channel. Back at 1000.

Foul headache. Tired. Lunch at 1115 then went to bed and slept until 1700.

I was told at supper of my transfer to the 368th and Taylor’s transfer back to 369th. I’m glad yet sorry. Good to rejoin the old outfit, but the 370th flies better and has better engineering, etc. Sorry to leave Colonel Murphy, a wonderful pilot and leader.

Taxied my ship over to the 368th, moved flying equipment after supper. Major Brown, ’40, Panama for three years, 1,200 flight hours, is the new 368th operations officer. He seems like a good guy. So I’m “home” again and it’s okay.

Moose Nose. Captain Howard Fogg’s P-51D-5 Mustang CV-D 44-13762. 
Courtesy of Ira J. “John” Bisher: 
Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

World War II Database Review of Fogg in the Cockpit

A new review of Fogg in the Cockpit featured on World War II Database
Fogg in the Cockpit
Author: Richard Fogg and Janet Fogg
ISBN: 978-1-61200-004-6
Reviewer: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 11 May 2012

Full Title: Fogg in the Cockpit: Howard Fogg-Master Railroad Artist, World War II Fighter Pilot

When Howard Fogg graduated from an Ivy League college in 1938 and then an art school in 1939, he, with professional interest in art and a hobby in locomotives, probably did not think of himself as a warrior even though war had already broken out in Asia and the European tensions escalated. Drafted into the military in 1941, he ended up becoming a fighter pilot flying P-47 Thunderbolt and later P-51 Mustang fighters. Fogg in the Cockpit, posthumously published in 2011, was a collection of Fogg's war time diary entries that gave the readers a glimpse into the life of an American pilot in the European theater of war, penned by this Renaissance Man of sorts whose mind was geared toward the arts as much as tuned to identifying friend or foe in a dogfight.

What I thought was valuable, if a bit inconsequential, was the very fact that Fogg did not always focus on the war. He did mention how impressed he was when he first flew a P-51 Mustang fighter and how tough it was to notice when one of his comrades failed to return to the airfield after a mission, but it was the little things that gave me an insight, trivial things that sometimes others often did not bother to note. The diarist dutifully noted when the weather was poor, which kept his squadron on the ground, wasting time presenting each other with mock medals or simply chatting the boredom away. While he talked about the nerve wracking experiences of flying through anti-aircraft bursts, he spent an equal amount of time talking about the movies he had seen, restaurants he had visited, and the different models of trains he had traveled aboard and painted. Some of the facts were, admittedly, mundane and mattered little in the grand scheme of things, but nevertheless, this book provided a personal perspective on a war that was often written so facelessly.

Throughout the book, editors Richard Fogg and Janet Fogg, the diarist's children, inserted various elements to enhance the readers' experience. I had particularly enjoyed the generous additions of period photographs, many of which seemed to be coming from the archives of the Fogg family and various veterans' associations, thus infrequently seen by outsiders like myself. At the end of certain entries, the editors had inserted major events of the European War on those particular days; while the intention of providing the larger picture was clear, I felt that these facts failed to plug Howard Fogg into the overall landscape of the war, thus these additions formed a distraction from the diary entries, especially that most of the them the world events did not seem to factor into the mindset of the diarist. Finally, for those who appreciate locomotive art and perhaps knew Fogg as a professional artist, a small collection of paintings printed in color in the final pages of the book might be of interest.

Memoirs and diaries, by definition, could not be considered works of history, but books such as Fogg in the Cockpit contained valuable insight on the reactions and thoughts of individuals who lived through and experienced the war, providing us the little pieces of hints that, collectively, told of how and why history was shaped.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let Us Never Forget

During its 17 months of operation there were 13,455 sorties flown by the pilots of the 359th Fighter Group. Following are just a few of those pilots.

The 368th Fighter Squadron:
Lt. John C. Allen, Killed in Action
Lt. Carl M. Anderson, Prisoner of War
Lt. David B. Archibald, Prisoner of War
Lt. Merle G. Aunspaugh, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Arlen R. Baldridge, Killed in Action
Lt. Louis E. Barnett, Missing in Action
Lt. Merle B. Barth, Missing in Action
Lt. Clifford L. Bartlett, Killed in Action
Lt. Robert V. Beaupre, Killed in Action
Lt. Geroge H. Blackburn, Killed in Action
Capt. Wayne N. Bolefahr, Killed in Action
Lt. Raymond L. Botsford, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Ray A. Boyd Jr., Prisoner of War
Lt. Cecil R. Brown, Killed in Action
Maj. Wayne R. Brown, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Emer H. Cater, Killed in Action
Lt. Willis J. Cherry, Prisoner of War
Lt. Albert A. Cowie, Prisoner of War
Lt. Richard H. Daniels, Killed in Action
Lt. David P. Dunmire, Missing in Action
Lt. Clifton Enoch Jr., Missing in Action
Capt. Charles E. Ettlesen, Killed in Action
Lt. James J. Ferris III, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Roy C. Garrett, Prisoner of War
Lt. James H. Haas, Prisoner of War
Lt. Benjamin M. Hagen III, Prisoner of War
Lt. John W. Herb, Killed in Action
Lt. Lester W. Hovden, Killed in Action
Lt. Clyde M. Hudelson Jr., Killed in Action
Lt. Edward J. Hyland, Killed in Action
F/O John H. Klug Jr., Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. John F. Lauesen, Killed in Action
Lt. Graham Lupton, Prisoner of War
Lt. Douglas A. MacLean, Killed in Action
Lt. Antony D. Maiorano, Prisoner of War
Lt. John S. Marcinkiewicz, Prisoner of War
Lt. James W. McCormack, Killed in Action
Capt. Thomas J. McGeever, Killed in Action
Capt. Charles E. Mosse, Prisoner of War
Lt. Donald L. Murphy, Missing in Action
Lt. Paul E. Olson, Prisoner of War
Lt. James R. Pino, Prisoner of War
Lt. William R. Simmons, Killed in Action
Lt. James B. Smith, Prisoner of War
Lt. Henry L. Thompson, Missing While Training
Lt. Col. Albert R. Tyrrell, Prisoner of War

The 369th Fighter Squadron:
Lt. Lawrence A. Bearden, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Robert J. Booth, Prisoner of War
Lt. Richard H. Broach, Prisoner of War
Lt. Charles R. Bruening, Missing in Action
Lt. Lowell W. Brundage, Killed in Action
Lt. Harold R. Burt, Killed in Action
Lt. Clifford E. Carter, Missing in Action, assumed KIA
Lt. Cecil W. Crawford, Missing in Action
Lt. Grover C. Deen, Prisoner of War
Lt. George M. Givan, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Maurice N. Haines, Prisoner of War
Lt. LeRoy D. Hess Jr., Prisoner of War
Lt. Kenneth L. Hobson, Prisoner of War
Lt. Frank W. Holliday, Missing in Action, assumed KIA
Maj. James A. Howard, Killed in Action
Lt. John E. Hughes, Missing in Action, assumed KIA
Lt. James F. Hutton, Missing in Action
Lt. Russell H. Jenner, Killed in Action
Lt. Howard A. Linderer, Prisoner of War
Lt. Russell E. Masters, Missing in Action
Capt. Harry L. Matthew, Prisoner of War
Lt. Paul. E. McCluskey, Killed in Action
Lt. Donald S. Melrose, Missing in Action
Lt. Lawrence F. Meyer, Missing in Action
Lt. Myron C. Morrill Jr., Missing in Action
Lt. James R. Parsons Jr., Killed in Flying Accident
Maj. Edwin F. Pezda, Prisoner of War
Capt Robert L. Pherson, Killed in Action
Lt. Homer L. Rodeheaver, Killed in Action
Lt. Stanley E. Sackett, Killed in Action
Lt. Robert B. Sander, Killed in Action
Capt. Karl K. Shearer, Killed in Action
Lt. Edwin L. Sjoblad, Missing in Action
Lt. Charles E. Stubblefield, Missing in Action
Lt. Ferris C. Suttle, Killed in Action
Lt. Edward J. Thorne, Prisoner of War

The 370th Fighter Squadron:
Capt. Benjamin H. Albertson, Prisoner of War
Capt. Carey H. Brown, Killed in Flying Accident
Capt. James E. Buckley, Killed in Action
Lt. Dick D. Connelly, Killed in Action
Lt. Alexander M. Cosmos, Killed in Flying Accident
Lt. Elmer N. Dunlap, Prisoner of War
Lt. Howard E. Grimes, Killed in Action
Lt. Lynn W. Hair, Killed in Action
Lt. Harold D. Hollis, Killed in Action
Lt. Cyril W. Jones Jr., Killed in Action
Lt. John E. Kerns, Missing in Action
Lt. Ralph E. Kibler Jr., Killed in Action
Capt. Washington D. Lyon, Missing in Action
Lt. Edward J. Maslow, Prisoner of War
Lt. Jack E. McCoskey, Prisoner of War
Lt. Garland J. McGregor, Killed in Action
Lt. Wallace C. Murray, Missing in Action
Lt. Albert T. Niccolai, Missing in Action, assumed KIA
F/O James J. O’Shea, Missing in Action
Lt. Malcom C. Paulette, Killed in Action
Lt. Alan C. Porter. Killed in Action
F/O Luther C. Reese, Missing in Action
Lt. Gordon M. Shortness, Missing in Action
Lt. Joseph E. Shupe, Missing in Action
Lt. Robert W. Siltamaki, Prisoner of War
Lt. Stanley F. Stegnerski, Missing in Action
Lt. Howard E. Steussey, Prisoner of War
Lt. Paul E. Sundheim, Prisoner of War
Lt. Earl W. Thomas Jr., Killed in Action
Lt. William N. Tucker Jr., Killed in Action
Lt. Benjamin J. Vos Jr., Missing in Action
Lt. Frank E. Westall Jr., Killed in Action
F/O Walter W. Wiley, Prisoner of War
Lt. Bennie F. White, Missing in Action
Lt. Theophalus A Williams, Killed in Action
Lt. Lawrence A. Ziska, Killed in Flying Accident

Lt. Col. James V. Wilson, Prisoner of War

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Trailers: Fogg in the Cockpit and Soliloquy

Fogg in the Cockpit
by Richard and Janet Fogg
Book Trailer:

by Janet Fogg
Book Trailer:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The lady and the Pennsy ("What size slip do you wear?")

We thought you might be interested to learn more about Howard's wife, Margot Dethier Fogg, and in December 1982, Trains Magazine published this article in which Margot describes how, in 1942, she became the first female Pennsylvania Railroad ticket seller in New York City.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Boulder Rotary Club Newsletter Excerpt

April 27, 2012
Boulder Rotary's web site is

=============== ===============


Many of our long time club members have the fondest memories of the late Howard Fogg, who for many years was a regular presence at our meetings. Foggy was a premier graphic artist, specializing in more than lifelike portraits of steam locomotives and the trains they pulled behind. Yes, portraits: his paintings were more than simply pictures. You can see several of them firsthand on permanent display at the Leanin' Tree Museum in Gunbarrel - it's worth a special trip.

Foggy didn't make a fuss about what he had done before coming to Boulder and setting up his studio. So many will not know until now that during World War II Captain Howard Fogg was assigned to the 359th Fighter Group and flew 76 combat missions in P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs between October 1943 to September 1944.

Foggy's son Richard and daughter-in-law Janet have published a book about those WWII years. It's titled "Fogg in the Cockpit." The book is based on a diary Foggy kept, supplemented by other contemporaneous materials from official sources. It's illustrated with some two dozen color plates of Howard's paintings.

You can obtain the book through your regular bookseller, or on line through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But first take a look at the webblog page Richard and Janet have developed to tell the story of the book. And, by the way, there are links on the web page that will take you to several on-line booksellers, just to make it easier. Here's the link to Fogg in the Cockpit:

=============== ===============

The CybeRIB is compiled by Ted Manning from information and reports provided by many...

=============== ===============

The club Web site, contains information for club members and visitors.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

P-51s Began to Arrive

Excerpts from the 359th Fighter Group's Reports from the Office of the Group Historian:

27 April 44 - "P-51s began to arrive and on the 28th they arrived in swarms so that there were 41 on the station that night. They were flown in by ferry pilots, the Group losing its wingshackled P-47D22s to the Ninth Air Force."

30 April 44 - "The P-51 complement of 76 now was complete, and there were more than 140 aircraft on the station as April ended..."

4 May 44 - "P-51s were flown over Europe by the Group for the first time on 4 May, when the 369th Squadron put up 13 in a hybrid formation of 28 which flew into Holland on FO 326."

One of the first P-51Bs to arrive at East Wretham. Photo courtesy of Anthony C. Chardella. Text and photo archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

East Wretham Class A Standard Airfield

An area of Breckland heath six miles NE of Thetford, SW of East Wretham village, came into use as a satellite for Honington in 1940. As with most hurriedly acquired sites for RAF satellite aerodromes, East Wretham started out with requisitioned properties and a few hastily-erected huts and even tents. Eventually, two grass runways were developed, NE-SW measuring 1,880 yards and NNE-SSE at 1,400 yards. Over the next two years, 24 Macadam hardstandings with long access tracks were put down, and a technical site erected on the west side, with two Bellman and six Blister hangars at various points round the perimeter. The dispersed camp sites were NW and NE of the airfield and consisted of eight domestic, a communal and sick quarters. Wretham Hall was requisitioned and used as an officers mess.

Officially transferred to the US Eighth Air Force in September 1943, the 359th Fighter Group and its three squadrons arrived in October and went into action in December flying P-47 Thunderbolts. The group converted to Mustangs the following spring and remained in occupation until late autumn of 1945. East Wretham was officially returned to the RAF on November 1, 1945.

368th Fighter Squadron dispersal area, East Wretham Airfield. Courtesy of Alfred M. Swiren: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Air Power History: Review of Fogg in the Cockpit by Lt. Col. Steve Ellis, USAFR (Ret.), Docent of the Museum of Flight in Seattle

“In October 1943, budding artist and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt pilot, Howard Fogg, went to war. Assigned to the 368th Fighter Squadron of the 359th Fighter Group, Fogg deployed to England in support of Eighth Air Force’s bombing campaign against German-occupied Europe…

“…The group underwent its strongest test immediately before and after the Allied invasion of France in June 1944. During this period, the 359th primarily focused on low-level attacks against lines of communication and airfields. The Mustang’s vulnerability to ground fire was increasingly obvious. Higher headquarters concluded that P-51 equipped units in the future would focus on higher-altitude counterair operations…

“…Fogg’s uncensored insights into the day-to-day routine of a typical fighter pilot offer an informative perspective. To provide some historical context for the layperson, the Foggs briefly interject significant events elsewhere in the world. The historical summaries and morale reports provide a point of view on a grander scale.

“…While Fogg’s accounts will be of interest to students of World War II fighter operations, railroad enthusiasts should be especially pleased. After the war, Fogg emerged as one of the nation’s premier railroad artists...”

~ Lt. Col. Steve Ellis, USAFR (Ret.), Docent, Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington. Air Power History, the Journal of the Air Force Historical Foundation, Spring 2012.