Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Old Overacheiving Joe

Joe Foss was the leading fighter ace in WWII, shooting down at least 26 air crafts, earning him the Medal of Honor. Then after all that attention he decided to live a quiet life and become a General in the National Guard, the Governor of South Dakota, the first commissioner of the American Football League, and a television broadcaster.

Joe came from a poor background. He grew up in a farmhouse that didn't have electricity. After waiting for 4 entire years, at 16, he and his father finally saved $3.00 for a ride in an aircraft. Everything was great until Joe turned 17. There was a storm and his father stepped on a downed electrical wire ironically near his non-electric farm and passed away.

What Joe probably looked like working on the farm
Joe dropped out of school to help his mom with the farm; however, this did not deter him from his dream of flying. He worked on the farm for a couple of years, and worked part time in order to make money for tuition, books, and flight lessons. Once his brother took over the farm, he went to college and convinced the University of South Dakota to set up a Civil Aeronautics Authority flying course. He gained 100 hours of flying time, and excelled in boxing, track, and football. Oh yah, he also had a part time job bussing tables in order to pay for tuition.

Be all you can be...

At 26, he wanted to be a fighter pilot, but they said he was too old and was sent to be apart of the photography department. However, as you can tell, Joe was not one to give up on what he wants. He pestered and nagged his way to the fighter squadron. In his first assignment he shot down a Japanese Mitsubishi Zero. He soon became the leader of his own squadron of 8 Wildcats called "Foss's Flying Circus". In 3 months his circus shot down 72 Japanese Air crafts, of which 26 are credited to him. He received the Medal of Honor.

Receiving the Medal of Honor from Franklin D. Roosevelt

After he was released from duty, he opened his own school for flying and became so successful that he had to expand to a 35-aircraft operation. A few years later, at 39, he became the youngest state Governor. Four years later, he became the first commissioner of the American Football league. He assisted in expanding and promoting its broadcast to ABC. He then became a host on ABC, the president of the American Rifle Association, President of the National Society of Crippled Children and Adults, and co-authored a few books. At 87, Joe passes away.

If Joe lived any longer, he would have taken over the world.


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