20 October 2008

RIP: Charley Fox DFC

Charles W Fox DFC
1920 - 18 Oct 2008

ZUI this article from the London (ON) Free Press:
The tragic death Saturday of Canadian war hero Charley Fox -- who escaped death many times during a remarkable military career -- has left family and friends reeling and wondering who will take on the huge role Fox filled as an educator of youth and spokesperson for veterans.

Fox, 88, a Second World War Spitfire pilot, was killed in a car crash in Oxford County, shortly after attending a Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association meeting near Tillsonburg.


"He'd want us to continue to remember our veterans. Somebody else (must) pick the torch up and continue those things he started because it was so important to him," said Fox's daughter, Sue Beckett of Thamesford.


Fox is also survived by [a son, Jim,] another daughter, Adrienne Black, who lives in New Jersey, nine grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife Helen died in 1993.



He was credited with injuring German commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, during a July 1944 strafing run over France.

Fought in the battle immortalized by Sir Richard Attenborough's film A Bridge Too Far.

Attacked enemy locomotives and enemy vehicles 153 times during the war, leading to the Distinguished Flying Cross honour and the nickname of Train Buster.

ZUI also this article from the Woodstock (ON) Sentinel-Review:
Fox is credited with helping end the career of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox) when he fired on his speeding black staff car in France shortly after the invasion of Normandy.

Flight Lt. Fox was piloting one of two Canadian Spitfires from the 412 Squadron when the pair unknowingly encountered Rommel and his driver on July 17, 1944.

Rommel suffered serious head injuries after being thrown against the windshield post.

Soon after, a seriously wounded Rommel was accused of being involved in a bomb plot against Hitler, would commit suicide.

It is believed that Rommel was secretly trying to negotiate an earlier end to the war.

German officials would report his death as the result of injuries from the crash.

In 2004, a war expert confirmed after consulting first-hand accounts and logs, that it was most likely Fox who fired on Rommel, considered the Nazi's greatest field commander.

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