Norwood Gunner Algirdas C. Kazulis On Torpedo Plane Home With ‘Lucky 13’

Algirdas C. Kazulis, Aviation Machinist’s Mate Second Class, U.S.N.R., of 82 Sumner street, Norwood, has returned from a tour of combat duty in the Pacific, where he flew with the Navy’s Torpedo Squadron 13, known as “Lucky 13.’’

Kazulis was the gunner of an Avenger torpedo plane, which can attack with bombs, rockets, or .50 caliber machine gun fire as well as torpedoes.

“Lucky 13“ shot down 87 1/2 Japanese aircraft, sank or damaged 148,500 tons of enemy warships and 275.000 tons of merchant shipping, and participated in 11 major strikes, including the second battle of the Philippines.

Thirteen months after her commissioning, on a Friday the 13th, the Air Group’s carrier was subjected to her baptism of fire. Two Jap twin-engine bombers penetrated the carrier’s air screen and dropped their torpedoes just before the ship’s anti-aircraft batteries shot down the planes.

One of the deadly “fish” crossed a few yards in front of the vessel’s bow. and the other slipped by just below the fantail, missing the carrier’s most vital spot by a few feet.

Air Group 13 is commanded by Commander Richard L. Kibbe, U.S.N., of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is 33 years old and one of the youngest air group skippers in the Pacific.

“Lucky 13” has operated against such targets as the Bonins, Marianas, Palau, Yap, Nansei Shoto, Formosa and the Philippines.