Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Foster E. Looney, who earned a Navy Cross for striking a carrier during World War II.
In celebration of the Navy’s birthday, today’s Veteran of the Day is a Navy dive bomber.
In 1942, Foster Looney enlisted in the Navy for the V5 aviation program. Looney recalled being sent to Texas Christian University for initial training in a Piper Cub-type aircraft. The university was in his home town, so he was able to stay at home during his training and eat home cooked meals. After graduating Basic Training in Georgia, he was sent to advanced training to learn in a Stearman aircraft and a Ryan monoplane aircraft. After completing his general flight training, Looney was allowed to select his preferred duty. His choices were dive bomber, fighter pilot, and torpedo pilot. Although Looney chose to be a fighter pilot, the Navy was desperate for dive bombers, and switched his path.
After specialized training to become a dive bomber, Looney was assigned to an auxiliary air group. His job was to support other air groups that had sustained losses. Eventually, he was assigned permanently to Bombing Squadron 2 of Air Group 2.
Looney’s first target was in the Mariana Islands. It was a difficult, jungle environment, with trees that made it hard to see. Incredibly, Looney baited the enemy to reveal its position. When they started firing at him is how he saw the target. He also bombed the air fields of Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima, and received the Navy Cross for hitting a carrier.
Foster Looney left the Navy in 1945, having completed 32 missions. He died in 2014. More of his story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.02502/
We honor his service.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Fact checker: Kat Blanchard