Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Poured on the Blossom" - 15 June 1944

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

The 359th Fighter Group, June 1944

A miscalculation in the briefing time on 15 June led to an unholy rush. The duty intelligence officer that morning misread his table of distances in the hurried tempo of plotting, reading ‘110’ as 1 hour 10 minutes, instead of 110 minutes. Consequently, briefing at 0650 was hurried and Colonel Tacon, leading, “poured the blossom” all the way in a squadron race to rendezvous, which was reached on time, off the Ile de RĂ© in the Bay of Biscay. The bombers were early and were eventually picked up on the homeward track off St. Nazaire at 0925. The mission was eventful only for the magnificent weather, which gave a sightseer’s view of new country, since the route back was out across Brittany.

B-17s of the 91st BG. Note triangle on tails, which was the symbol of 1st Air Division, for whom the 359th Fighter Group would have provided escort. Photo, NIC in Fogg in the Cockpit, courtesy of Elsie Palicka, wife of Ed Palicka, 370th Fighter Squadron Photographer: Archived by Char Baldridge, Historian, 359th Fighter Group Association.


This excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit was selected from transcriptions of the 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 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, October 20, 2011

Fog in the cockpit.

“One of the greatest hazards in flying is fog in the cockpit.”

As told to Richard Fogg by his father Howard Fogg, this phrase was uttered by a meteorology instructor to a class of student pilots in 1942. A gale of laughter, led by Howard, followed this pronouncement.

Air Cadet Howard Fogg at Parks Air College in East St. Louis, June 1942.
Lettering on Fuselage reads:
Photo courtesy of Peter Fogg

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jigsaw puzzles, plates, mugs, and greeting cards also featured Howard Fogg's artwork

Thanks to his artistic ability and engaging personality, Howard Fogg developed numerous friendships throughout his career, from the humblest rail fan to railroad presidents, from fellow painters to artists in music and film.

Magazine articles featured Howard and his work. Limited edition prints were issued periodically. Jigsaw puzzles, porcelain plates and mugs, playing cards, calendars, and greeting cards featured his art. His illustrations graced the covers and contents of multiple railroad books. In later years, books were written about him and his artwork, including The Railroad Artistry of Howard Fogg, written by two of Howard’s most valued friends, Ronald C. Hill and Al Chione.

While there is no formal accounting, it is estimated that Howard completed more than 1,200 paintings over the course of his 50-year career. A number of these images continue to be printed in calendars and as greeting cards, but the majority of the original paintings reside in offices, businesses, museums, and the homes of those who loved his ability to capture the emotion of railroading.


Richard Fogg, with a little help from his father, assembles a 1948 jigsaw puzzle which featured one of Howard's early paintings for ALCO.

And here's the puzzle they're assembling, which we still own...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Got my plane! (13 Nov 1943)

An excerpt from Fogg in the Cockpit, The Wartime Diary of Howard Fogg:

Saturday, November 13, 1943: Wretham

Got my plane!

Captain Pezda of the 370th (Fighter Squadron) 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!