Thursday, February 23, 2012

It Won't Be Long Now!

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 to pursue editorial cartooning, although he also painted, which is where his talent ultimately led him.

Here's an example of one of Howard's 1940 political cartoons.

“It Won’t Be Long Now!”
March 4, 1940 cartoon by Howard Fogg
Image courtesy of Richard and Janet Fogg

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The U.S.A.T. Argentina

On October 7, 1943, 359th Fighter Group HQ personnel and the 368th Fighter Squadron, Howard Fogg's squadron, boarded the U.S.A.T. Argentina in New York Harbor.

The 369th Fighter Squadron boarded the Thurston and the 370th Fighter Squadron boarded the Sloterdyjk, once a Dutch motor vessel.

Image of the Argentina from a 1952 postcard

The U.S.A.T. Argentina (originally the Pennsylvania) was built in 1929 for the Panama-Pacific Line, sailing from New York to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. Following a remodel in 1938 she was re-christened the Argentina by the American Republics Line. After her refurbishment, the Argentina carried 475 passengers and 380 crew. She was Hull 329, with Official Number 229044, 613 feet long, 80 feet wide, and measured 20,614 gross tons, 33,000 tons when loaded.

Though she was set to sail on January 3, 1942 for South America, on December 27, 1941, the Argentina completed her last pre-war voyage when she arrived in New York. Approximately 200 passengers had booked passage and were in the Line’s offices completing baggage declarations when the Navy and Maritime Commission notified the steamship company to cancel the sailing – officials refused to discuss their actions.

On January 23, 1942, the Argentina departed from New York as the flagship of six troop carriers. She was then enlarged to hold 4,000 troops, and began Atlantic convoy duty.

She was double-loaded when the 359th boarded her on October 7, 1943, carrying nearly 7,000 men. Men were everywhere, on all the decks, and in the scuppers.

On October 17, 1943 the Argentina anchored in Liverpool Roadstead shortly after dark. On Monday the 18th, she sailed into the Mersey River and docked at the Mersey floating dock about 4:15 P.M. Debarkation of the men of the 359th began at 5:15 A.M. on Tuesday, October 19th.

By November, 1945, the Argentina had transported 175,592 service men to or from the ETO in fifty-six voyages. On January 26, 1946 she carried a different passenger list when 452 brides, 30 of them pregnant, 173 children, and a war groom sailed from Southampton, England for New York. Stormy seas forced them to arrive a day late, but on February 4,1946, the tired GI brides from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Malta were met by their husbands, a band, Mayor O’Dwyer, and 200 newsmen as this first “official war bride ship” pulled into harbor.

On May 6, 1946 the Argentina returned to civilian operations and in November was reconverted to liner service at Bethlehem Steel’s Shipyard. De-activated in 1958, the Argentina was ultimately sold to Peck Iron and Metals for scrap in 1964, then re-sold to Luna Bros. and scrapped in Kearny, New Jersey.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sleuths, Bombers and Mystics: In the World of Genre Fiction

February 16, 2012 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Join writers Carol Berg, Janet Fogg, and Mark Stevens for a panel on writing and publishing genre fiction, which will culminate with a short reading of their works. These writers have been on the Denver Best Seller List and the Military Book Club bestseller list, and won awards such as the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, Colorado Book Awards, the Prism Award, the Geffen Award, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. All come to ACC with great accolades from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. $5 suggested donation for the Writers Studio Scholarship fund. Location: Arapahoe Community College Main Campus, Rm M4750, Denver, CO.

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began in the 1990s when she was CFO for the coolest architectural firm in Boulder. Fifteen writing awards later, Janet resigned from the firm to write full-time, and ten months after that she signed a contract for Soliloquy, her award-winning WWII historical romance.

In 2011 Casemate Publishing released Fogg in the Cockpit, a Military Book Club bestseller co-authored by Janet and her husband Richard Fogg. Based on the wartime diary of Richard’s father, Fogg in the Cockpit offers a first hand look at Howard Fogg’s fascinating and often unexpected story as a fighter pilot during WWII.

Janet was the 2010 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Published Author Liaison, is a long-time member of RMFW, Pikes Peak Writers, and two fantastic critique groups. In her free time she has fun with cars with Richard. Her website is at

Former software engineer Carol Berg majored in mathematics at Rice University and computer science at the University of Colorado. But it is her thirteen epic fantasy novels that have won national and international awards, including multiple Colorado Book Awards, the Prism Award, the Geffen Award, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. They’ve been translated into multiple languages, appeared on bestseller lists, and been read, so readers tell her, on five continents, on a submarine under the Mediterranean, in the war zone of Iraq, and on the slopes of Denali. Her novels of the Collegia Magica have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, using words like compelling, intelligent, complex, enthralling, and superbly realized. The latest is The Daemon Prism. Her website is at

The son of two librarians, Mark Stevens was raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts, graduated from Principia College in Illinois. He worked as a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston and Los Angeles; worked for The Rocky Mountain News, covering City Hall for three years. He produced television news for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in the United States and Latin America. He covered the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, NASA’s space shuttle disaster, a volcano eruption in Colombia, political upheavals in Nicaragua, and mudslides in Puerto Rico. After tending bar for a year on a self-financed sabbatical (and to write fiction), he joined The Denver Post to cover education. Those five years of reporting led to a position as Director of Communications with Denver Public Schools for more 11 years and then with the Greeley school district and the state department of education. He now works in public relations. After two decades of writing fiction, Mark was published in 2007. His first Allison Coil Mystery, Antler Dust, hit the Denver Post best seller list when it was published and again in 2009. The sequel, Buried by the Roan, was published in August, 2011 and is receiving excellent reviews. Both books are set in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Western Colorado and feature hunting guide and amateur sleuth Allison Coil. The third book is on the way and tentatively scheduled for release in 2013. His website is at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pilot's Wings

Drafted into the Army on May 15, 1941, Howard was assigned to the 4th Armored Division at Watertown in upper New York State. But the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed his life. The Army Air Corps needed pilots, so with his keen vision and sense of duty Howard requested a transfer. He received basic flight training at Parks Air College in St. Louis, primary training at Vance Airbase in Enid, Oklahoma, and finished his schooling at Foster Field in Victoria, Texas.

Commissioned as a second lieutenant with pilot’s wings on November 11, 1942, Howard’s first flight assignment was at Westover Field in Springfield, Massachusetts. There, he flew P-47 Thunderbolts under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Avelin P. Tacon Jr., who commanded the 359th Fighter Group, comprised of the 368th, 369th, and 370th Fighter Squadrons.

Assigned to Grenier Field in New Hampshire in 1943, the 368th and 369th Fighter Squadrons continued their training in P-47s, although a shortage of planes limited each pilot’s flight time. In May, Howard was transferred to Republic Field on Long Island, where his squadron received new Thunderbolts, and training intensified. Howard then returned to Westover Field in August. On October 1, 1943, he received his combat orders and traveled to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey to await his transfer overseas.