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Cryo Chamber

Chances Sold On Foss Gun

Joe Foss may help his fellow South Dakota veterans one more time.

The Mitchell American Legion Post is raffling off a handgun that belonged to Foss, order a legendary World War II war hero and the governor of South Dakota from 1955 to 1959.

Chances are being sold for $10 and a maximum of 650 will be sold. The drawing will be held Feb. 28, 2011, or sooner if all the tickets are sold.

The Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver was purchased years ago from Foss and a certificate of authenticity and a photograph of Foss, along with a receipt he signed, are being used as proof.

Lyle Sunderland, the first vice commander of the Mitchell Legion Post, bought the handgun for $2,000 at a gun show from the man who bought it from the “Ace of Aces,” as Foss, a flying ace, was known.

If all the tickets sell, that would cover the cost of the gun and raise $4,500 for the Legion. That would pay for a new air conditioner and heater, which cost $4,187. Add in the cost of the tickets and other expenses, and the decision was made to cap ticket sales at 650, Sunderland said.

He said it seemed like an appropriate way to raise money while honoring a true South Dakota legend.

“We wanted to bring Joe’s gun home to South Dakota,” Sunderland said.

Foss was credited with shooting down 26 Japanese Zeros during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony. In 1943, he appeared on the cover of Life magazine.-[source]

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