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This Day in Norwood History-December 12, 1944-Lieutenant John P. Mogan Pilots Bomber That Kayoes Japanese Submarine

John P. Mogan (photo courtesy 1943 Army Air Corp training yearbook, “The Plane Wrangler”)

HEADQUARTERS, FIGHT1N’ 13th AAF, Southwest Pacific — Things have been happening thick and last in this theatre for Lieut. John P. Mogan of 85 Casey street, Norwood.

The Norwood airman, who recently passed his 50th mission mark as a pilot with a squadron of B-25 Mitchells, flew in the spearhead formation when bombers opened their campaign against the Netherlands East Indies: was instrumental in destroying a Japanese submarine on another mission, and for his exploits has been awarded a silver oak leaf cluster to his Air Medal and three bronze clusters.

Flying home from a barge hunt across the lower Halmahcras, South of the Philippines, his plane destroyed a Japanese submarine with two direct bomb hits.

Lieut. Mogan pointed the nose of the ship downward in a steep dive when the sub was sighted by Staff Sergeant Harry C. Bowen, Sylvania. Georgia. Two quarter-ton bombs dropped on the sub brought only water, but the remaining two explosions hit the sub squarely sending it high into the air everything but the traditional “skippers pants” First came the boxes and barrels of the deck cargo, then came gushing oil, and then bubbling air.

The attack further decreases Japan’s ability to supply her besieged and cut off forces south of the Philippines in the Netherlands East Indies. Medium bomber squadrons of the 13th AAF, fresh from their victories at Rabaul and the Bismarck Archipelago, now patrol the enemy sea lanes in the East Indies, and have made it impossible for freighters and Transports to bring in food, supplies and reinforcements to the besieged Japanese garrisons.

Other members of Lieutenant Mogan’s crew were:

Lieutenant T. C. Weir, co-pilot 709 East Tremont street. Charlotte. North Carolina.
Technical Sergeant- George H Bornitz. radio-gunner. Route 1, Melrose. Wisconsin.
Sergeant Marshall B. Wojlowicz engineer-gunner. 191 Enic street Salamanca. New York.

SMASH AT INDIES

The Norwood pilot flew in the spearhead formation when 13th AAF medium bombers opened their campaign against Japanese air power in the Netherlands East Indies, participating in the first strike aimed at the Japanese Namlea air base.

Namlea, on Boeroe Island 200 miles west of New Guinea. was plastered with 28 tons of bombs. Fifty percent of the explosives fell directly on the runway with the remainder cratering nearby dispersal areas.

Reconnaissance photos revealed the strip to be unserviceable following the raid. The bombers met no Zero interception, but heavy flak barrages were thrown up by ground batteries.

“GOLDEN MISSION CLUB”

The “Fightin’ 13th” AAF’s “Golden Mission club” initiated Lieut Mogan when he flew his 50th mission on a bombing strike to the Celebes.

However. Lieut. Mogan had little opportunity to celebrate the completion of his 50 missions. In the flurry of blasting all fields from which the Japanese could oppose the invasion of the Halmaheras and Philippines he soon had two more missions. For his 52 missions he has been awarded the Air Medal one silver oak leaf cluster and three bronze clusters.

Most of Lieut. Mogan’s tougher missions were flown against Nip installations in the Solomons, starting from Guadalcanal in mid 1943 With the ultimate destruction of the huge base at Rabaul, his squadron was transferred to new advanced bases in New Guinea.

Lieut. Mogan’s mother, Mrs. Nora Mogan, lives at the Norwood address. A graduate of Norwood high school, class of 1940, he joined the AAF in December. 1941. He received his commission in February. 1943. and has been overseas since July, 1943.

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