James L. Folse enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. Assigned to the 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 89th Bombardment Squadron as a pilot flying the A-20 Havoc in New Guinea.
His first aircraft was nicknamed "Big Nig", A-20G "Big Nig" 43-9436 with the nicknamed and had Damon Runyon Runyon inspired character on the left side of the nose painted by SSgt Tony Benson. This aircraft was lost on May 3, 1944 piloted by 2nd Lt. Tom Reading returning from a mission against Wewak when it force landed in a fresh water swamp. Promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Afterwards, assigned a second aircraft that he nicknamed "Big Nig II", A-20G "Big Nig II". On June 16, 1944 Folse took off on a mission Kokas and returning force landed at Hollandia Airfield and afterwards this aircraft was written off.
Promoted to the rank of Captain. Finally assigned a third aircraft that he nicknamed "Big Nig III" A-20G "Big Nig III" 43-21315. This aircraft was later written off, details unknown.
In total, Folse flew 67 combat missions for a total of 127 sorties in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).
Louis Folse (son of James L. Folse)
Thanks to Louis Folse (son) for additional information