Blair’s name appears many times in the book. The author used his diary to document his book.
Ensign Foster J “Crud” Blair survived the war, and we even know how he got his nickname.
Foster John Blair
Date of birth: April 13, 1920
Date of death: July 27, 1969
Burial location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Place of Birth: Pennsylvania, Sciota
Home of record: Stroudsburg Pennsylvania
Foster Blair was credited with shooting down 2.33 enemy aircraft in aerial combat during World War II.
AWARDS AND CITATIONS
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Awarded for actions during the World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant, Junior Grade [then Ensign] Foster J. Blair, United States Naval Reserve, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity with the enemy while his squadron has been based at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Ensign Blair his distinguished himself heroically in aerial combat with complete disregard for personal safety while shooting down two enemy bombers in action occurring over Guadalcanal on 28 September 1942. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: September 28, 1942
Battalion: Fighting Squadron 3 (VF-3)
Foster Blair was born on April 13, 1920, in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet Program on February 26, 1941, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Miami, Florida, on October 14, 1941. His first assignment was as an F4F Wildcat pilot with VF-5 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) from November 1941 to December 1942, and during this time he was officially credited with the destruction of 2 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, plus 1 damaged; although he claimed the destruction of 4. After serving with VF-3 from January to April 1943, LtJg Blair served as an F6F Hellcat pilot with VC-21 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nassau (CVE-16) from April to June 1943. His next assignment was as an F6F pilot with VF-6 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence (CVL-22) from June to November 1943, and during this time he claimed another enemy aircraft destroyed in the air, although he was only officially given credit for 0.333 of the victory. This gave him a total claimed of 5 during World War II, but he was only officially given credit for 2.333 air victories with 1 damaged. LT Blair served with VC-39 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) in November 1943; having landed on another aircraft carrier when his ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine on November 23, 1943. He next served as a flight instructor at NAS Sanford, Florida, from January 1944 to June 1945, followed by service as an Air Coordinator with the Pacific Fleet from June to November 1945. LCDR Blair served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from July 1946 to July 1953, and during this time he served as Executive Officer of VF-79A at NAS Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, as Executive Officer of Fleet Air Service Squadron 832 (FASRON-832) at NAS New York, as Officer in Charge of RTU-1 at NAS Willow Grove, and then as Assistant Officer in Charge of BTU-1N at NAAS Whiting Field, Florida. He returned to active duty in the Navy in July 1953, and attended helicopter pilot training at NAAS Ellyson Field, Florida, from July to September 1953. He served a brief tour on the General Court Martial Board from September to November 1953, and then served as a helicopter pilot and as Operations Officer of HU-2 at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, from November 1953 to March 1956. During this time he deployed aboard the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) from May to August 1955. CDR Blair served at NAS MFS, Millington, Tennessee, from March 1956 to January 1959, and then at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, from January 1959 to June 1962. His next assignment was at Naval Station Rota, Spain, from June 1962 to May 1964, followed by service with the Inspector of Naval Materials on Long Island, New York, from May 1964 to November 1965. His final assignment was at Headquarters 3rd Naval District in New York City from November 1965 until his retirement from the Navy on June 30, 1966. Foster Blair died on June 27, 1969, and was buried at the Laurelwood Cemetery in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity with the enemy while his squadron has been based at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Ensign Blair his distinguished himself heroically in aerial combat with complete disregard for personal safety while shooting down two enemy bombers in action occurring over Guadalcanal on 28 September 1942.
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