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 Seeking info on air crew member, ---Is this a wild story or what?! (22 Replies, Read 58798 times)
RVNSeabee
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:??: Hi,
  Our VFW Post is seeking info on an airman who was KIA in WW2. When his B-17 was shot down over Germany on 11 Jan 1944, a hometown paper stated that the man, Sgt. John Palmer Brogden had "left the regular army in 1941 to join that daring band of men who pioneered in conflicts over China. The Akron man was enroute over the Pacific to join the outfit, when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Sent to Rangoon, his squadron was forced down in the Java jungles. Somehow the fliers made their way to the coast and were picked up by an Australian vessel which took them to Australia.  From then on, Brogden flew with the Tigers until that outfit was disbanded. Then he returned to the States and joined the U.S. Air Forces."
  Unfortunately Sgt. Brogden isn't around to explain why his name is not on the Flying Tiger roster---and his family is either dead or scattered in 3 states.  Can anyone corroborate whether or not this man served in some way with the Flying Tigers? His MOS was 611 (aerial gunner) with the 532 Bomber Sqdn./381st Bomb Group (Heavy).  The Group's website states that on the fatal mission, Sgt. Brogden was listed as Radio Operator.
    Possibly he was ground crew with the Tigers? We're trying to get a picture of all our County Vets killed in action, and cannot locate one for this man. If he was with the Tigers, hopefully there will be a picture. Thanks for your help and sorry for being such a long story! Tom Hayden, USN (ret.)
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Seeking info on air crew member
chuckbaisden
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:??: Sgt. John Brogden was never member of the AVG and to my knowledge there is no photo of him available.

Chuck Baisden
3rd Sqdn. AVG

 
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Seeking info on air crew member
zekestriker
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While Sgt. Brogden certainly was not a member of the Flying Tigers of the 1st American Volunteer Group, several elements of his story point to the possibility that he was recruited for the 2nd American Volunteer Group, the bomber group which was to follow.  By the Fall of 1941, CAMCO had under contract an additional 441 volunteers recently recruited from the Army Air Corps to man this group.  The first elements (between 49 to 100 - sources vary) sailed from California on November 21, but the attack on Pearl Harbor led to their being diverted to Australia, where the men were reinducted into the Air Corps. 

Although the part about being forced down in the jungles of Java does not fit (none of the 2nd AVG's planes had departed by December 7) perhaps he was a member of this advanced echelon.  I have exchanged correspondence with a retired Colonel who is currently researching the 2nd AVG for a possible book and I will check with him to see if he's come across that name.  It would be helpful if you could you provide the citation details from the hometown newspaper article you mentioned.

Cheers,
Zeke
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Hi Zeke,  Thanks for the help! Makes good sense and I will certainly look into the 2nd AVG bomber idea. 
  Our veterans' commemoration book only lists the news clipping as "Miscellaneoous Newspaper Clipping" (from Perry Historians' microfilm files).  I will track it down to specifics since I am a member of the Perry Historians also.  Thanks again! Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Hi Chuck,

  Boy, I really appreciate all the help we're getting on this thing.  I knew it was a long shot since I did not see his name on the roster.  Regards, Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Zeke,

  You asked about the obit source that had the Flying Tiger reference: Yesterday I talked to the lady who wrote the veterans' book (The Perry Review, Vol. 28) in 2007 and she tells me that Sgt. Brogden's obit was in the "Newport News" on 9 March 1944.  That was a paper here in Newport, PA ---I believe it was the forerunner of our "News-Sun" rag which we have now.  She got it off the microfilm here in our Perry Historian library.  Thanks, Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
zekestriker
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Tom,

Heard back from the man researching the 2nd AVG and he has not run across the John Brogden's name yet, (although he did agree that based on much of his story, Sgt Brogden may very well have been among the cadre that was asea on December 7).  He has confirmed that 2 officers and 65 groundcrew sailed aboard the Bloemfontein and disembarked in Australia on December 22, but is still waiting to receive a copy of the ship's passenger manifest to uncover their names. 

He was also very interested in getting a copy of that obituary to try and track down any of his surviving relatives. 

Cheers,
Zeke
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Zeke,

  That's good news, and thanks for all the great help. Here are 3 pages from our Perry Historians' annual "The Perry Review--REMEMBERED: PERRY COUNTIANS WHO GAVE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE, WORLD WAR ll."  Our local paper at that time was the "Newport News" which carried Sgt. Brogden's  hometown (Akron, Ohio) obituary.  Anything I can gather for this 2nd AVG gentleman or yourself, please let me know.  Regards, Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Zeke,

  Sorry, I lost the 3 attachments when I clicked on Preview Post!  Somehow.  Here ya go. Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Boy oh boy! Some kinda file size problem going on here.  Let's try again--1 picture per post at a time.  Can somebody enlighten me as to max file sizes etc? These are only around 550kb or less each.
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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:-x Sorry Group! I went down in flames again...finally reread the error message and rescanned the stuff down to max. sizes.  Once you hit the "Post" button, the pickle is dropped!  Here's attach. 1 of 3 (hopefully!)  Tom
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Attachment 2 :nerd:
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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That looks like He___.  If you want it just email me at loughbarra-1@yahoo.com 
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Seeking info on air crew member
BillC
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If he was drafted/enlisted in spring of '42 as stated, I don't see how he could be connected to the AVG, even the proposed 2nd group. There is no mention of any previous service, as was the case with the AVG volunteers. There has been much confusion over the years, as many people cannot distinguish between the @300 members of the AVG that volunteered for China in mid 1941, and the many thousands that formed the following CATF and the 14th AF units beginning in July of '42. Perhaps a well-meaning reporter made an assumption that they were all one in the same.............You can add 3 photos at a time. If you want to add more to the post, you can do it through the 'edit' feature. They each just have to be under the 300kb limit.


Edited by BillC : March 17, 2009, 7:55 am
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Seeking info on air crew member
RVNSeabee
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Thanks for the attachment info, Bill.  As for his enlistment,  Sgt. Brogden left the regular army in 1941 in order to join the (probably 2nd AVG) Tigers.  His obit on the 2nd attachment states that anyway.  His enlistment of "20 April 1942" as stated on the 1st attachment could have been in Australia when the 2nd AVG bomber guys were turned around? Tom
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