Navy Cross Recipient Visits EAA AirVenture Museum
Navy Cross recipient Foster Looney with EAA Founder Paul Poberezny.
November 3, 2010 — Last week, members of EAA Chapter 241 in DeKalb, Illinois, flew Foster E. Looney, 89, to Oshkosh to see the EAA AirVenture Museum, where he enjoyed a private tour of the Founders Wing from EAA Founder Paul Poberezny. Looney, who received a Navy Cross for actions during World War II, simply indicated that he was lucky to have received the medal. “You put that time behind you, but then realize somebody might be interested,” Looney said. “You never thought anything about it.”
On June 20, 1944, Looney set out in his Curtiss SB2C Helldiver (otherwise known as the A-25 Shrike) for a Japanese fleet during the First Battle of the Philippine Sea. At dusk, when Looney finally reached the fleet, he bombed an aircraft carrier, hitting it mid-ship. After finding an American carrier in darkness and landing, Looney checked his fuel and discovered that only about one gallon remained.
The next day, they discovered that only two planes from Looney’s squadron of 14 dive bombers survived the attack; luckily, they didn’t lose any men. “We never had even the slightest inkling that a Navy Cross would come out of it,” Looney said.
Look for an article about Looney in an upcoming issue of Warbirds.