February 16, 2017 – In January, the Joe Foss Squadron completed the first series of sessions for area Boy Scouts to earn their Aviation Merit Badge. The Squadron partnered with the Civil Air Patrol, EAA Chapter #289 and Avera Hospitals Careflight to make this a great educational experience for the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts attended a three-session period over three weeks. Each session was 90 minutes long, and after completing all the sessions, the Boy Scouts received documentation to be awarded the Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge! The first session was a great success, and over 40+ Boy Scouts have already signed up for future sessions! The next session is being planned for March.
On Saturday, February 11th, the Joe Foss Squadron took a field trip to the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum located in Granite Falls, MN. The Squadron was honored to receive a behind the scenes tour of the museum and the restoration shops. Fagen Fighters is currently working on a SB2C Helldiver project and a P-40E project. The Fagen Fighters Museum has an amazing collection of WWII aircraft (almost all airworthy), WWII equipment and vehicles and displays. The airport has been turned into a WWII airfield with a control tower, quonset hut and a German Normandy gun emplacement, just to highlight a few items. If you ever find yourself in the area, this is a must see museum! Thank you to Fagen Fighters for their work to restore and fly WWII aircraft, and for being a great friend of the Joe Foss Squadron!
On January 14th, the Joe Foss Squadron hosted the first presentation of our HomeTown Heroes. The HomeTown Heroes series was created so Squadron members could meet with and learn from wartime experiences of WWII veterans, helping to keep their personal history alive. On Saturday, January 14th, the HomeTown Heroes Series kicked off with SSGT Ken Salisbury, a C-47 radio operator who participated in every major airborne operation of WWII. Salisbury told stories about being shot accidentally down during the airborne operation over Sicily by the US Navy, and then dropping American paratroopers into Normandy on June 6th and British paratroopers into Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. From North Africa to Operation Varsity in Germany, Salisbury had a great view of the war from his C-47. Additionally, his wife Arta who joined him, talked about life on the home front!