Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fox, the son of an Irish immigrant, joined the RCAF in 1939 at the beginning of the war (his brother Ted joined the Royal Canadian Artillery). He graduated near the top of his class in 1941 and was offered a job as a flight instructor in Dunnville, Ontario. He remained in this position until 1943 when he began combat training in Bagotville, Quebec . He flew Spitfires over Europe, destroying or damaging 153 enemy vehicles (mostly trains), and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (with bar).
In 1944, he began his tour of duty with the Canadian 412 Squadron. On D-Day he flew three patrols off the coast of France. On July 17, 1944, he flew from the Allied air base at Beny-sur-Mer in Normandy and strafed an unknown black car; he later learned that one of the passengers was German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was seriously injured in the attack. The Americans also claimed to have hit Rommel's car, but German reports specifically mentioned a Spitfire rather than an American P-47. As Rommel was soon afterwards implicated in the assassination plot against Adolf Hitler, he was allowed to commit suicide and his death was announced as a result of injuries from the air attack. In 2004 Fox was officially credited with injuring Rommel, although he has expressed some regret about the attack, as Rommel was supposedly planning to secretly negotiate an earlier end to the war with the Allies.
Fox ended his tour of duty in January, 1945, and served in the 420 Reserve after the war. He retired in 1956 and began to work at a shoe factory, from which he retired in 1998. On April 30, 2004, was named honorary colonel of 412 Squadron in Ottawa.
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