Cecil Foster was born in Midland County, Michigan, on August 30, 1925. He endured economic and emotional hardship during his youth, living in a poor environment, losing his mother before he was six, and being separated from his brothers, sisters, and father. He joined the Army Air Force in 1943 as a private at the height of the World War II buildup and retired in 1975 as a lieutenant colonel. During his 32 years with the Air Force, Foster served in several different capacities - pilot, celestial navigator, radar-navigator-bombardier, intercept director, and squadron commander. A major focus of this work is Foster's Air Force career in the Korean War where he was one of the highest-scoring aces of the air war. His record of nine MiGs destroyed places him 12 on a list of 38 aces. Every one of the aircraft he destroyed was shot down in the area known as "MiG Alley," a smali section of airspace along the Yalu River, which separated North Korea from China.
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