Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
  • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
  • Unit of Service: VMF-121 (Marine Fighter Squadron); VMF(N)-533 (Marine Night Fighter Squadron)
  • Location of Service: Pacific Theater; Korea; Japan; Norway; United States; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands)
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

View full service history

"I had used up every bit of my ammunition. And I turned away, and at this point the Zeros found me." (Video interview, 17:11).

Though he spent two years at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy training as a Merchant Marine, his enthusiasm for flying eventually brought Samuel Folsom to flight training and a commission with the Marine Corps. Dispatched overseas with very little flight time under his belt, and without any experience flying at altitude, his first combat missions were white-knuckle affairs. As part of famed Marine Fighter Squadron VMF-121, he experienced a number of close calls and memorable actions that took place during his missions to shoot down the enemy’s "Betty" planes. The Guadalcanal campaign was the beginning of a notable military career for Folsom, including (among many roles) stints as the Executive Officer for night fighter squadrons during World War II and Korea, as a test pilot for the Navy, as the Fleet Air Readiness Officer in the Office of Naval Operations in Washington, and as the Assistant Naval Attaché to Norway.

About this Item

Title

  • Samuel B. Folsom Collection

Names

  • Colin Lyon
  • Folsom, Samuel B.
  • Lyon, John

State of Birth

  • MA

Home State

  • NY

Headings

  • -  Folsom, Samuel B.
  • -  World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Marine Corps.
  • -  Korean War, 1950-1953 -- Personal Narratives

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1939-1945

    • Branch of Service: Marine Corps
    • Unit of Service: VMF-121 (Marine Fighter Squadron); VMF(N)-533 (Marine Night Fighter Squadron)
    • Location of Service: Pacific Theater; Korea; Japan; Norway; United States; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands)
    • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    • Dates of Service: 1940-1958
    • Prisoner of War: No
    • Entrance into Service: Commissioned
    • Military Status: Veteran
  • Korean War, 1950-1953

    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 04/02/2010)
  • Manuscript: Memoirs [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 02/13/1943)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of video recording (collected 04/02/2010)
  • Video: DVD [1 item] -- Reference copy (collected 04/02/2010)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/79380

Cite as

  • Samuel B. Folsom Collection (AFC/2001/001/79380), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Colin Lyon, Samuel B Folsom, and John Lyon. Samuel B. Folsom Collection. 1940. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79380/.

APA citation style:

Colin Lyon, Folsom, S. B. & Lyon, J. (1940) Samuel B. Folsom Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79380/.

MLA citation style:

Colin Lyon, Samuel B Folsom, and John Lyon. Samuel B. Folsom Collection. 1940. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.79380/>.