General Joe Foss: 1915-2003


January 1, 2003, 07:17 PM
General Joe Foss - - passed away today at the age of 87.

Though many of us may remember General Foss as a former President of the National Rifle Association ('88-'90) he was also a WW2 ACE (26 kills) and a great American of the type found to seldom in these times.

If you enjoyed reading about "General Joe Foss: 1915-2003" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
4v50 Gary
January 1, 2003, 07:20 PM
Nuts! When he was President of the NRA, I wrote him and thanked him for his services to the country. I also got an autographed photo from him. It goes well with the Naval Institute Press print of Foss shooting down a Zero over Guadacanal. One inaccuracy about the print though. According to Foss, hit a Zero right and the plane explodes with the pilot popping out like a pea from a pod. :) The pilot isn't popping out in the print.

January 1, 2003, 07:27 PM
I just saw news of his passing while watching the evening national news (can't remember which channel).

I made a comment to the other half that when they were listing Foss's life-long accomplishments, they left off his presidency of the NRA. Obviously not PC for the evening news to say an American Hero was an NRA member/president. :scrutiny:

That along with the fact that failed to mention that he was denied boarding on an airplane, post 9/11, because he was carrying-on his Congressional Medal of Honor. It has a five-pointed star with sharp edges. I suppose if you can't trust anyone with anything sharp, why trust a Congressional Medal of Honor holder that earned that right while defending his country. :rolleyes:

Mike Irwin
January 1, 2003, 07:36 PM

I met him a number of times when I was working for American Rifleman magazine.

A nicer guy you couldn't even hope to ever meet.

According to the news blurb I just read, he had been in a coma since the fall. That's the first I've heard of that.

January 1, 2003, 07:40 PM
Picked it up on NBC and noted the omission of the General's NRA Presidency.

But they made sure to note that the General and Tom Brokow were friends. We can't have it known that Tom was friendly with an NRA President, it wouldn't look good to Tom's liberal friends.

Baba Louie
January 1, 2003, 07:47 PM
A great man has passed.

One of my childhood hero's.

Wildcats, Governor, AFL Pres., NRA Pres. Sportsman par excellance.



January 1, 2003, 07:54 PM
Jeff Cooper calls Gen. Foss a "Mighty Warrior". But even the mighty will fall in the end. What a loss for our country. :(

January 1, 2003, 07:56 PM

Rest in Peace General Joe Foss

Jeff White
January 1, 2003, 07:59 PM
Another hero passes....I can honestly say that my generation has produced few of his caliber.

I am saddened by his passing....


Ed Brunner
January 1, 2003, 08:23 PM
One of the real heroes.
Celebrate his life. Don't mourn his passing.

January 1, 2003, 08:33 PM
Amen, Ed. Give thanks for all he was able to give to his country. And, for those of you who share a faith in the life to come - just think of the reunions he's having up there right now, with everyone from Washington to modern heroes! There'll be overtime in the heavenly brewery tonight... :D

Horny Toad
January 1, 2003, 08:34 PM
I've heard it said that over 1,000 WWII vets die each day. How sad his time had to come. Let's hope that someday the U.S. can produce another incredible generation of patriots.

Horny Toad

January 1, 2003, 09:23 PM
Without a doubt he is sipping one tonite with Pappy. Still it hurts to lose a man like him.

Dan Morris
January 1, 2003, 09:50 PM
TAPS...sad ......flew the long trail up to the sky! A great man and warrior.Vaya Con Dios

Ala Dan
January 1, 2003, 09:58 PM
Sorry to learn of the great General's untimely passing. He
was a true warrior; and an American Hero!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 1, 2003, 10:01 PM
What you ALL said!

January 1, 2003, 10:06 PM
A great American, and we're all diminished by his passing! :(

Sad that most Americans had never heard of him before the MOH incident at airport security....

January 1, 2003, 10:24 PM
He was indeed a true hero and patriot. Rest in peace

January 1, 2003, 10:35 PM
Rest in peace, General Foss.


January 1, 2003, 10:42 PM
The airport in Sioux Falls SD is named after him. It has a large bronze statue of him in the lobby. It depicts him in his WWII flying gear. I spent a week in Sioux Falls last year...when I walked past the statue, I paused and thought of him and his service. A true patriot. He will be missed.

January 1, 2003, 10:44 PM
High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds -- and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee Jr., RCAF

January 1, 2003, 10:52 PM

Greg L
January 1, 2003, 11:08 PM
Another great one has passed.:(


January 1, 2003, 11:13 PM
In the mornings..............and at the going down of the sun. We will remember them.

January 1, 2003, 11:36 PM

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the

Medal of Honor to


Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Place and date: Over Guadalcanal, 9 October to 19 November 1942, 15 and 23 January 1943. Entered service at: South Dakota. Born: 17 April 1 915, Sioux Falls, S. Dak.


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, Capt. 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 15 January 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, Capt. 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.

Citation Courtesy of

God bless General Foss, and his family. Rest in well earned peace.

Bob A
January 2, 2003, 03:06 AM
When my 12 year old son made the distinction between being a Marine and being "an army man" it was because I was in uniform and he called me an "army man" and I corrected him, telling him that people in the Army were soldiers, and that I was a Marine.

My son asked me what a Marine was. I have a book on USMC history and there is mention of General Foss and his accomplishments. I gave it to him to read and ever since then, the only thing he has ever wanted to do was be a Marine.

I still find it incredible that I once wore the same uniform as men such as Lewis Puller, Dan Daly, Smedley Butler, AA Cunningham, and Joe Foss. It doesn't even seem right to mention my name with such people. It saddens me that so many Americans don't know or care what they owe to men like these.

January 2, 2003, 11:47 AM
This morning cnn reported Joe Foss Died this morning in a AZ hospital.
Joe Foss was WW 2 ace.
If you want more information about him do a internet search.It is well worth reading.

January 2, 2003, 11:54 AM
We shall not see his like again. He was a an American Classic!

January 2, 2003, 12:07 PM
This thread ( is already active on Gen. Foss in the General Discussion forum. Closing this thread to eliminate duplication.

Don Gwinn
January 2, 2003, 12:15 PM
He will be sorely missed.

January 2, 2003, 12:36 PM
Rest in peace,General Foss. :( :(

Thankyou for your service to this country.

January 2, 2003, 04:56 PM
Joe Foss was a great American hero.

I'm going tell my father, who is 84 years old, about Joe Foss. I don't think he knows about Foss passing away yet, or he would have told me. My father was also a WWII naval aviator (Hellcat) in the PT. I learned who Joe Foss was from him.

Check out this website:

January 2, 2003, 05:10 PM
R.I.P and God bless you Joe.

January 2, 2003, 05:23 PM
God rest his brave soul. If we are ever challenged again, as we were in WWII, I hope we can find men of his caliber to take up the cudgel.

January 2, 2003, 06:43 PM
RIP General Foss. I wish we had more like you, and Patton and Halsey and Sherman, what with dark clouds on the horizon. But I bet our boys/gals will do the job.

If you enjoyed reading about "General Joe Foss: 1915-2003" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!