John A. Foley Jr. was born in NY City on Feb. 15, 1915. He also had three younger sisters, all of whom adored him and worried terribly about him when he went to Europe and a younger brother. 

He joined the New York City Police Department ,number 18921 as a Probationary Patrolman on June 5, 1940 and was drafted in January 1941. He was one of the first two men to be drafted in NYC.

The photo of that happening appeared in the NY newspaper

He shipped off to Alabama for MP training initially with the 27th ID, and went with them as far as Hawaii because that unit was headed for the South Pacific.

But while they were in Hawaii, the Army brass decided they needed more 1st Lts. and 2nd Lts. because they were loosing so many of them in Europe.

He went to Officers Candidate School in Michigan and that is where he married with his wife. She took a train from NY shortly before he shipped out to Wales.

He landed in Normandy in July 1944, about five weeks after the initial invasion, then his unit made it's way to Paris, liberated that city, then headed for Germany.

Lt. Foley was with Pvt. Eddy Slovick for a time and spoke a bit to him right before he was executed. Pvt. Slovick was the only unfortunate GI who was executed by order of General Eisenhower for desertion during World War 2. 

Lt. Foley was attached to HQ Co. after Hürtgen,  at the CP with "Dutch" Cota in Wiltz when the Bulge broke out. On Dec 19, 1944, in the morning, he and Gen. Cota left to set up a new CP. They left in two jeeps. He was not in the jeep with Cota and Major Fellman . They had to weave their way through Germans most of the way and ended up first in Bastogne. Then they travelled south and set up the new CP in Sibret. By that time, the 28th had been pretty much overrun and was scattered all over the place. Most of the guys left behind in Wiltz were taken prisoner. There was a lot of fighting also in Sibret as it changed hands a few times. The CP then moved to two other towns, Vaux Les Rosières and Neufchateau south of Sibret. He also was nearby when the three German soldiers dressed up as American soldiers were captured and sentenced to death.

His best friend, Lt. Zigmont (Ziggy) Koziak, was in charge of the execution and handed out the bullets to the men who carried out the execution.  It had been sort of a toss up about whether it would be him or Ziggy who had that duty. 

Lt. Foley and his MPs were at a certain moment sent out to meet Patton's tanks as they rolled north, and cleared the way for them to Bastogne. 

Going thru the small number of Lt. Foleys WWII items a business card was found of a man named Jean LaPorte, from Messincourt. On the back he has written a confirmation that he gave or sold Lt. Foley a Mauser pistol on Dec. 22, 1944.

That would mean Lt. Foley was in or near Messincourt on that date during the Bulge. It also confirms his story that he was send out south of  Neufchâteau to make a recon patrol in order to meet Patton’s troops and clear the way.


 Jack Foley recalls his father telling him the story of getting the German Mauser. 

 Later, an American officer admired it and offered to buy it from his father. Lt. Foley told him he could have it for a bottle of Scotch. The officer did not have bottle a of Scotch at that moment but promised to send one to my father. Well, my dad trusted him to do it and some months later, when the war had ended, a package arrived for him at his CP and it was the scotch. Somehow, the officer had found him thru army channels and made good on his promise of the scotch. LaPorte included the serial number of the Mauser on the back of the business card. Suffice it to say that for a few weeks during the Bulge Lt. Foley and the other members from the 28th MP platoon were in one horrific situation after another. After the Battle of the Bulge the 28th went to Colmar to participate at the battle of the pocket passing first through Charleville et Ste Marie aux mines and Kaisersberg . After the Battle of the Colmar Pocket the platoon followed his way through France, Belgium and ended up in Kaiserslautern Germany on April 23rd 1945 where she was stationed during the occupation of Germany.

When the 28th Infantry Division and the MP Platoon came back to the States after the war Lt. John A. Foley turned back as a patrolman on the NYPD. 

He then spent five years in the army as an MP, and under the law those years were counted toward his time in the NYPD. So, after the war he was in the NYPD another 15 years then retired on June 5th  1960 taking effect on 12.01 Hrs A.M. as stated by the Special orders N° 187 from  July 23rd 1960 of the New York Police Department. Although he was a 1st Lt. in the army, he rose only to Sgt. in the police department promoted the first of September 1950.

It is possible to attribute that to him loosing five years during the war, when others who were not drafted were rising up in the department. He was a patrolman and Sgt until he retired. He spent the last three years in the department investigating police applicants and making recommendations on hiring to the brass. 

 His brother, Eugene Foley, served in the Navy right at the end of the war and also became a policeman. He became a Capt. and became an assistant to the Police Commissioner.  

1st Lt. John A. Foley serial N° O-1235506 was awarded the bronze star by

General Orders N° 77 by decision of the 28th  ID HQ of June 5th 1945.

He died in 2001. A great man and officer has gone.

Editor: Alex Vossen

Copyright© 2007