Matthew J. Foley

FOLEY MATTHEW JAMES FOLEY Of Fort Washington, a decorated WWII bombardier and long-time USAF intelligence officer in the Foreign Materiel Program at the Pentagon, died on Monday, January 14, 2013, at the age of 92. The son of Irish immigrants, Foley was born in Brooklyn and attended Bishop Loughlin High School, where he lettered in basketball. The first of his family to attend college, Foley enrolled in St. John's College, but his education was interrupted by Pearl Harbor. Foley flew 25 missions as the bombardier on a B-24 from October 1943 to March 1944. His plane was subject to crippling enemy fire, disabling its pilot and resulting in an emergency landing. Captain Foley earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters in the 44th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force. After the war, Foley graduated from the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in 1949. Law school at New York University was derailed by the Korean War, when he returned to active duty as an intelligence officer. Married to Virginia Kehoe in 1952, Foley rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel during assignments which included postings in England, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Germany. At the Pentagon from 1964 through 1995, as an Air Force officer and then as a civilian, Foley was instrumental in the Foreign Materiel Program in which he traveled extensively to acquire foreign military technology. Foley participated in the development of the Red Eagles program helping American and allied pilots learn new air tactics to combat Soviet fighters. Upon his retirement, the CIA presented him with the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. After retirement, Foley enjoyed golfing at Tantallon with friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and his sons, Matthew Jr., Mark, and John, as well as his grandchildren, Katherine, Matthew III, Brian, Clare, and Hannah. His family will be receiving friends at George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 6160 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill, MD on Thursday, January 17 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, January 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's of Piscataway Catholic Church, 13401 Piscataway Rd., Clinton, MD. The interment will be held at a future date at Arlington National Cemetery. Online guestbook available at:

Funeral Home

George P. Kalas Funeral Home, P.A.
6160 Oxon Hill Road Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 567-9424

Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 16, 2013