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The Legacy of Grant Fuller

On January 9, 2020, the 100th Bomb Group lost another of its visionary veterans, Grant Fuller. Grant flew 30 combat missions as a Co-Pilot, including the December 31, 1944, Hamburg mission during which he witnessed the Piggyback incident. Following World War II, he had a distinguished business career with Price Waterhouse, retiring in 1982, by which time he had reconnected with his fellow airmen of the 100th Bomb Group. Grant and his wife, Mary, were faithful participants in all events, always with their characteristic grace and humor. Always a leader and mentor, Grant served for many years on the Board of Directors providing critical guidance in the evolution of the 100thBomb Group’s original veterans “Association” to today’s “Foundation”. Serving as Membership Chair, Grant forged the path from multiple classes of members to the unified membership we know today: all veterans, their families, friends, historians, filmmakers, 8th AF devotee – all are welcome as members on an equal footing. Grant had great foresight in this regard, and the Foundation proudly continues to welcome all comers.

Mike Faley, 100th Bomb Group Historian and Executive Vice President of the Foundation, shares his heartfelt tribute to Grant Fuller:

Many of you did not get the pleasure and honor of meeting Grant Fuller and his wife Mary. They were an important part of every reunion I attended until 2013 when declining health prevented travel. I cannot thank them enough for their friendship. Every loss of a veteran is sad, but this is also a great loss to our Foundation. Grant Fuller, along with Bud Vieth, were the two constant figures at the forefront of the Association/Foundation. Those two, along with Hong Kong Wilson, Cowboy Roane, Rosie Rosenthal, Charlie Beck, Gene Bankston, Paul West… taught me about the 100th Bomb Group, and reeled me into this incredible organization.

As Executive VP of the Board of Directors during the 1990s and early 2000s, his gentle but firm hand guided new Presidents through the flak of running this Foundation. Moving to a 501(c)3, supporting our group’s websites, the Palm Springs Air Museum display, and much more, happened on Grant’s watch. His foresight, history and knowledge of the group and its Association/Foundation were unsurpassed and helped make the 100th the leading group in the 8th Air Force. “Mike,” he told me, “we lead, others follow.”

To this day, I remember that in everything we try to accomplish on behalf of our vets and Foundation. Grant Fuller was a son, husband, father, grandfather, veteran and a dear friend. He will be sorely missed by those who had the honor of knowing him. Rest easy my friend, we will finish the job you started.

Phil Samponaro….

 

 

Dave Distelrath, Treasurer of the 100th BG Foundation, recalls: When I joined the board in 2006, I worked very closely alongside Grant. After the death of the Treasurer of the Foundation, Grant assumed his responsibilities while searching for a permanent replacement. His advice and counsel took me beyond a fundamental understanding of the Foundation, and the importance of maintaining and continuing to grow the organization. His dedication inspired me to begin my journey as Treasurer. During this time of transition, Grant and I became fast friends. I gained a first-hand appreciation for his love of the 100th and his dedication to the preservation of the Foundation for future generations. Grant was well-respected by fellow Board members and never backed away when a tough decision had to be made. I admired this strength. I feel blessed to have known such wonderful man. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, true American hero and all-around great guy. Your legacy lives on, Grant Fuller, Rest In Peace my friend.