Charles "Chuck" N. Foster

by Leah Phillips
(Portland OR)

My grandpa, Chuck Foster, enlisted in May 1942. I know he did Basic Flight at Garden City KS and Advanced Flight at Pampa TX. He also trained at Gowen Airfield in Boise. His crew may have been put together in Salt Lake City. Upon completing training, I don't know if he flew overseas or took a troop transport.

Grandpa and his crew were in the 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 514th Squadron, stationed at San Pancrazio Italy. Available mission records place him there from March 29-June 27 of 1944. I'm still working on gathering info regarding his time in service before San Pan.

While didn't talk much about his war experiences, it seems he was with the 376th earlier than March of 1944, as my mom remembers him telling her he was in the Middle East and/or Africa and told her about his participation in Operation Tidal Wave. I assume he was a copilot on that mission as he isn't listed as one of the pilots.

While in Italy, he piloted a number of planes on single missions including Black Saturday, The Duchess, Miss Oklahoma, Yum Yum, Sexy Sal, The Four Fruits, #61 and #75. Per the available records, his main plane while in Italy seemed to be 44-41148 #77. She went down outside of Munich on Oct 4 1944, having previously been transferred to the 456th Bomb Group. He called her the Betty Baby, after my grandma.

I've done a bit of research on his crew and they all survived the war, with the exception of his copilot, Kyle Pinney. He died when his plane was shot down in 1945. I have their death dates and burial places if anyone is interested.

He died in 2005 and the only thing he wanted people at his funeral to know was that one of his sorties his plane was badly shot up and lost its landing gear. They managed to limp back to base and he landed the plane on its belly...the entire crew survived. He received the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leave Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross during his time in service.

He was an extremely successful radio news man and television anchor here in Portland but at the end of his life he didn't care about that. The seminal moment in his life was the time he got his guys home. His military service helped shape him into the amazing man he was and his family is incredibly proud of and grateful for his service to our nation.

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At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

Also, the board approved a $5,000 donation to add to Ed Clendenin's $20,000 donation in the memory of his father. Together, these funds begin an endowment for the preservation of the 376 archives.

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


NOTE change in month !!!

DATES: Oct 26-29, 2023

CITY:Tucson, AZ

HOTEL: Double Tree Suites Airport hotel

7051 South Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85756


Click here to read about the reunion details.

previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid

The Broken Wings of Zlatibor

The Liberandos

Three Crawford Brothers

Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

376th Bomb Group Mission History

The Last Liberator

Full Circle

Shadows of Wings

Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War

I Survived Ploesti

A Measure of Life

Shot Down In Yugoslavia

Stories of My Life


Born in Battle

Bombardier's Diary

Lost Airmen

Langdon Liberando