Posted 9 months ago
These are prints of the original drawings by Noel L. Dunn.
In April of 2002, while attending the NRA convention, Joe Foss was sitting at a display booth so, I stopped to talk with him. As I was getting ready to leave, he said, wait a minute, took these 3 prints out, autographed the one of the plane he flew in WWII. That Fall, in Michigan, he suffered an apparent aneurysm, never regained consciousness, and died on January 1, 2003.
Joe Foss led a Marine air unit known as Joe's Flying Circus that shot down 72 Japanese planes. He downed 26 planes himself and severely damaged another 14.
He received the Medal of Honor in 1943 from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Citation: "For outstanding heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as executive officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, at Guadalcanal. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Captain Foss personally shot down 23 Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of escort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing, and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On january 15 1943, he added 3 more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on 25 January, Captain Foss led his 8 F-4F Marine planes and 4 Army P-38's into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers, intercepted and struck with such force that 4 Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal."
He served two elected terms in the South Dakota legislature and, beginning in 1955, as governor of South Dakota.
In 1959, he became the commissioner of the new American Football League.
He served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1988 to 1990.
Thanks for looking,
Original aircraft drawings of Noel L. Dunn can be seen at: