It was by now February of 1941 and lake Wawasee was frozen solid. This gave Russ a potential runway several miles long. Russ kept the airplane at Wawasee during February and March, making high-speed taxi runs and attempted takeoffs. The Curtiss Wright engine was troublesome, running roughly and not wanting to deliver full power.
The main landing gear wheels hit holes in the ice and bent the landing gear legs on more than one occasion. Skis were finally fabricated to solve that problem. In the entire time spent on the frozen lake the airplane made but one brief flight, in ground effect.
There seems to have been two major problems with getting the Fury airborne. One was an inability to get the engine to develop full power reliably. The other problem was easily solved but not at the facilities available at the lake. There was insufficient elevator control to allow Russ to raise the tail enough (down elevator) for takeoffs, or to lower the tail (up elevator) for landings. The airplane was returned to Huntington for further work but on December 7, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the United States was immediately embroiled in WWII.
Russ left immediately for Florida and was involved with the war effort for the duration. Like all the airplanes Russ left behind, the Fury suffered the ravages of time. After the war Russ bought a house in Rocky River, Ohio and towed the airplane there. It sat in the driveway of his home at 19571 Purnell for some time before being shuffled to several other locations and eventual oblivion.
The end awaits,
the Fury rotting behind a commercial garage, I think on Brooklyn
Road, near Cleveland Hopkins Airport. What a sad ending, as any
airplane enthusiast will tell you. This series of photos is the
last I have been able to find taken of the airplane.
There is much more to this story than I have written here but I think the average reader would not care to get bogged down in details that are of interest to only a diehard enthusiast such as the author. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to my research into the Fury. Several have passed on since I began this project, and the rest of us are getting older. A partial listing, in no particular order except as they come to mind are:
Dr. Joseph Levy
Paul Shock, who very kindly lent me the resources of the Huntington County Historical Museum for this project,
And many more people who shared memories and photographs with me. Many of you have become treasured friends.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about a Huntington, Indiana native and one of the most colorful and controversial figures in aviation history. If and when I finish the biography of Russ, the entire Fury story will be included.
the Cleveland National Air Races, circa 1946/49. Left to right:
H. J. Krause, V. W. Krause, R. A. Hosler, R. J. Monroe.
Sunday dinner at
Hosler's Rocky River, Ohio home. Left to right: R. J. Monroe,
Cleo Miller (Russ's sister), Ebby Miller (Russ's
brother-in-law), Emma Smith (the author's maternal great
grandmother), Vivian Krause (the author's mother), Russ Hosler,
child in the right foreground is M. E. Krause (the author's
sister), and far right in the background is the author, P. A.