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RAAF De Havilland Mosquito A52-609 at Coomalie, NT (State Library of SA [PRG 1435/4/1], 1945)
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Service:United States Air Force
Rank:Brigadier General
Date of Birth:17 April 1915
Place of Birth:Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA
Date of Death:1 January 2003 (Aged 87 years)
Decorations:Medal of Honor
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 2 Gold Stars


21 January 2003Buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.


Medal of Honor:
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.

Burial Details

Grave:Section 7A, Grave 162

External Links



Congressional Medal of Honor Society [CMOHS] 2018 Foss, Joseph Jacob. Retrieved 6 March 2018 from <http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2740/foss-joseph-jacob.php>.

U.S. Army n.f.d. Find a grave. Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 6 March 2018 from <http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Explore/Find-a-Grave>.

Record updated on 6 March 2018.


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