review of Fogg in the Cockpit, entitled "Up Close and Personal," Erl!
"Howard Fogg wrote a diary during his time in the Army Air Corps in 1943-1944. It began in the US during training and progressed until near the time of the completion of his combat flying in the fall of 1944. Although predictably boring in one regard, it’s fascinating in so many ways. Insight into the ordinary of a guy first flying P-47’s and then P-51’s naturally includes the extraordinary. Fogg was not an ace (I don’t remember him getting any kills) but he was a trusted flight leader, good at keeping his element or section in formation, good at bombing and good at strafing. He lost many friends but protected himself for the most part by being matter of fact about the losses. How hard that must have been. The air war unfolds in these pages slowly, punctuated by bad weather, visits to London and painting.
"Fogg’s an outstanding painter and we’re fortunate that some of his wartime works are included in the book so well put together by his son Richard and Richard’s wife Janet. More than that, at the end of the book, they include a couple dozen paintings from his long career painting locomotives and trains. Most are quite stunning.
"The book narrative is well illustrated with excellent photographs of his squadron mates. It’s a pleasure to see who he has mentioned in his diary. Also, interspersed with the diary entries and photos are Headquarters 359th Group monthly historical summaries. While they are interesting, they’re not “that” interesting. Probably because I have a fairly good knowledge of the 8th air force’s activities during Fogg’s period flying with them, I found these chapters tedious. For many, I’m certain, they’ll provide worthwhile context to what Fogg and his buddies were doing.
"All in all, thank you Captain Fogg."