WI State Aviation Facility Named After WWII Hero, GA
Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle has signed legislation naming the state aviation facilities at Madison's Dane County Regional Airport "The Fritz E. Wolf Aviation Center".
The legislation naming the facility was jointly introduced by Senator Mark Miller and Representative Gary Hebl on behalf of the Wolf family to honor the Wisconsin aviation pioneer. The bill signing took place at the State Capitol in May, and was attended by members of the Wolf family.
"Fritz Wolf is regarded as one of the Wisconsinites who played a prominent role in the development of Wisconsin aviation," said Miller. "He is often referred to as an equal of Steve Wittman, Donald "Deke" Slayton, Paul Poberezny, Richard Bong and General Billy Mitchell."
Wolf became a naval aviator in 1939, and went on active duty as an Ensign in 1940. Seeking a little more excitement and action, he then resigned his commission in July 1941, and joined the American Volunteer Group (AVG) -- the famous "Flying Tigers" -- and saw combat against the Japanese over China during the earliest days of WWII.
After the Flying Tigers were disbanded in 1942, Wolf re-enlisted in the Navy -- this time, as a fighter pilot instructor. After training his own team, Wolf's regiment shipped out aboard the USS Hornet to Guam on January 8, 1945. He later commanded VBF-3 aboard the carrier Yorktown, and he shot down his five Japanese plane -- making him an ace -- during the first carrier-based attack on mainland Japan.
For his service in the war, Wolf was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
After his service in the Navy, Wolf became the first employee of the Wisconsin Aeronautics Commission in 1946. He served the commission until 1967, when he was appointed as the first Director of the Division and Bureau of Aeronautics by the first Secretary of Transportation, Guss Bakke.
As the State Director of Aeronautics, Wolf was instrumental in organizing the first agricultural air tours in the nation -- pioneering strobe lighting for tall towers, and establishing the first minimum airport operation standards in the nation. During his tenure Wolf also implemented the first aviation weather report in the country -- later be referred to as the "Weather Roundup" over the state radio network.
After serving the state for 35 years in the Aeronautics Division, Fritz Wolf retired in 1981. He worked under five Secretaries of Transportation and ten Governors during his service to the state, and in 1989 Fritz Wolf was inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame. Mr. Wolf died in 1997 at the age of 81.
"We owe a lot to Fritz Wolf’s vision and contributions to aeronautics," said Miller. "Many of the aeronautics programs he established during his tenure with the bureau became models for other states in establishing their own aeronautical programs."
"I am pleased that we were able to officially recognize the many
contributions Fritz Wolf made to both Wisconsin and the field of aeronautics,"
from Aero-News Net, published May 6, 2006
Gravesite of Ben Crum Foshee
(Click on photo for larger size)
AVG ARCHIVES NEARING COMPLETION!
The Official Archives of the Flying Tigers
For the past few years we have focused our efforts to building the records and data base of the American Volunteer Group - the Flying Tigers. We have been collecting, copying, filing and storing copies of AVG and AVG related materials from all over the world. The mission is simple; to collect, preserve and make available to the public, the most complete record of the most successful and legendary combat group in aviation history.
The AVG Archives include the worlds largest record of Combat Reports, Squadron Records, Personnel Information, Daily Orders, Correspondence (personal letters to radiograms), Photos, Personal Diaries kept at that time and more. Click for an example:
Besides material copied from AVG veterans and their families, the AVG Archives include materials from: The Library of Congress, National Archives, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hoover Institute, U.S. Air Force Historical Research Center, National Museum of Naval Aviation, The British Library and the American Fighter Aces Association.
Currently, the AVG Archives are being organized, indexed and cataloged with portions, such as the photo collection being computerized. As a result, access to the AVG Archives are limited to serious researchers and AVG members & family at this time. Specific requests are, however, filled on a time-available status.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the AVG Archives a Museum? No. The AVG Archives are intended to be informational only, where researchers and interested parties can access the most complete record of the Flying Tigers in one location. Original materials sent here are copied and returned to their owner.
How large are the Archives? The 1940-'42 document section is over 1,400 pages. The photographic collection is nearly the same with an estimated 85% of photos positively identified. The newspaper and magazine articles file span over 60 years and is still growing. The book section is just under 40. There are copies of 28 diaries in the files, published and unpublished.
Where are the Archives located and how are they maintained? The AVG Archives are located at an office/residence in San Antonio, Texas along with the official website of the Flying Tigers Association. Duplicate (back up) copies, computer disks, CDs and tapes are stored in a secure, climate-controlled storage facility.
Is there a charge for requested materials? There is never a charge to AVG veterans or their immediate family for copies of materials. No fee schedule has been developed for others at this time. However, charges for copies, prints, CDs, VHS tapes and DVD may be assessed on a cost basis.
How can I make a request for materials or access the AVG Archives? Send your request to: Mark Burken, AVG/FTA Historian, 2071 Candlelight Drive, Canyon Lake, TX, 78133