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Medal of Honor Winner Joe Foss Honored in Arizona


Sioux Falls, S.D. (KELO AM) - The South Dakota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is pleased to report that Joe Foss has been honored in Arizona.  Members of the CAP’s Yuma Composite Squadron 508 of the Arizona Wing attended a ceremony in which the honor was bestowed.

Foss was honored by having an aircraft hangar named for him at a dedication ceremony at the new AviationIndustrial Center in the Defense Contractor Complex at Yuma International Airport in Yuma, Arizona.The Aviation Industrial Center, within the Defense Contractor Complex is a single structure housing a huge,24,000 square foot hangar plus space for offices and engineering shops. The aviation center will fill a vital role in the research and development of advanced technologies for the aerospace industry.

Joseph Jacob "Joe" Foss (1915-2003) was the leading fighter ace of the Marine Corps during World War II and a 1943 recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Guadalcanal campaign. In postwar years, he achieved fame as a General in the Air National Guard, was the 20th Governor of South Dakota, two time President of the National Rifle Association, the first commissioner of the American Football League, and had a career as a television broadcaster as well.

Ironically, Foss gave Arizona aviation officials a bit of a black eye several years ago. At Phoenix’s International Airport Joe, then 86, was detained by airport security when screening detected his Medal of Honor. Security officers, not recognizing what is was, wanted to confiscate and destroy the medal and related memorabilia he was carrying. Publicity of the incident embarrassed Arizona officials. In later years Foss and his wife lived in Scottsdale, AZ. Joe Foss died on January 1, 2003 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.