Bart Foster, B-17 Navigator

Bartley M. Foster (Bart), B-17 Navigator, US Eighth Air Force, 457th Bomb Group, (See the Collier Co. Florida Oral History Interview online. See also the 64 page (183 min. cassettes) MHS Oral History Interview by Doug Bekke. Minnesota’s Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Part II. According to the MHS synopsis; "

Bartley M. Foster was born in Iowa and was raised in Saint Paul and Mahtomedi, Minnesota. Working to finance his education at Saint Thomas University and Macalester College, his studies were interrupted by service as a navigator on a bomber crew in World War II. Married during the war, he returned home to his wife to build a civilian life and to complete his education at the University of Minnesota. Before graduation, he started a lengthy career at Northwestern National Life Insurance Company where he was head of the Mortgage, Loan, and Real Estate Department.

 
Bart was stationed near Peterborough, UK.
Grew up in Iowa. Grandfather, father, and his Uncle Ben Foster all flew. His grandfather, also named Bart Foster (short for Bartlee), flew Jenny's after WWI during the Barnstorming era with "Speed" Holman* (after whom Holman Field in downtown St. Paul was named). His Grandfather and "Speed" used to box before the barnstorming show and at one time Bart had their boxing gloves before they were lost in a move.
Enlisted US Army Air Forces 1942 Age 20
College Training Detachment at Columbia, Mo.
Aviation cadet. Pilot training up to and including the AT-6
Switched to Navigator School and took an abbreviated course at Selma Field, LA
His crew flew to Goose Bay, across Greenland, Iceland, to the 457th BG base in the UK
Flew several missions near the end of the war. Navigated back over Greenland on the way home. Bart's experiences been written about in a book about the Greatest Generation.
 
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A Footnote about "Speed" Holman (From Wikipedia):
Holman Field was named for Charles W. "Speed" Holman (born in 1898), who was a stunt pilot, barnstormer, wing walker, parachutist, airmail pilot, aviation record holder and airline pilot. Born in Bloomington, he was the first pilot hired by Northwest Airways in 1926. In 1928, Holman set a world's record of 1,433 consecutive loops in an airplane in five hours over the St. Paul Airport. He died in an accident during an air show in Omaha in 1931 at the age of 32
 
 
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