In two missions over Guadalcanal, Capt. Joe Foss, the executive officer of VMF-121, shoots down five Japanese aircraft, becoming the Marine Corps’ first “ace in a day.” Foss’s total of aerial victories eventually reaches 26, making him the first American pilot in World War II to match Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker’s World War I record. Foss is awarded the Medal of Honor. After the war, he moves to the Air National Guard and becomes national president of the Air Force Association.
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