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The Last active Duty WWII Veteran Charles Schleininger corsair ... Capt Earl Fox was commissioned in
the Navy in 1942, fought in the war, ...
returned to civilian life ... He studied
medicine ... In 1974 he retired ... He was
at his yacht club one day when he received
an emergency call. A man on board a
pleasure boat was suffering a heart
attack & there wasn't a Coast Guard
physician nearby. ... he was on a ...
helicopter ... He was lowered ... to the
boat & successfully treated the man. ...
the CO of the Coast Guard station told
Fox that he could get a commission
under a program that waved age limits
for physicians. ... He asked to attend
flight school & eventually learned to fly
both fixed & rotary wing aircraft, becoming
a flight surgeon ...

... At the age of 23 he was a PT boat
commander, making hit & run attacks ...
In 1943 he was awarded the Silver Star
for rescuing a Canadian from Alaska's
Kiska Island. The man had been sending
coded radio messages about Japanese
ship movements but was detected by
Japanese soldiers ... Fox picked up the
Canadian in his torpedo boat & during the
escape the boat crashed on to some
rocks, bending the propellers. Fox, the
man & the crew jumped into 2 life boats.
As they rowed away ... the Japanese shot
the abandon torpedo boat full of holes.
After a day & a half on the high seas the
group was rescued by 2 Coast Guard
officers in a fishing boat.

... While on patrol off the coast of New
Guinea the boat was spotted by a ...
Japanese aircraft. The plane made a
strafing run ... wounding a sailor.
Haywood rushed to the sailor's side as
the ... fighter turned for a second pass.
Haywood covered the sailor's body with
his own ...

... When he retired on November 19, 1999
he had a total of 30 years active duty ...
Records indicate that Capt Cox was the
last of the 16 million WWII veterans on
active duty.

"One generation forms the background
for the next to build on ... As my
generation fades into the mists of
collective memory called tradition, you will
continue the process for the next
generation of your sons & daughters. In
this way, those who have given the last
full measure of devotion will live forever."

Wings of Gold - Winter 1999

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