Colgan, Aquinas T., CPT

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Service Branch
Chaplain-Christian
Last Primary MOS
5310-Chaplain
Last MOS Group
Chaplain (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1944, 5310, 31st Infantry Division
Service Years
1942 - 1945

Chaplain-Christian

Captain



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Illinois
Illinois
Year of Birth
1911
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Justin Davis to remember Colgan, Aquinas T., CPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
South Chicago, Illinois
Last Address
Philippines

Casualty Date
May 06, 1945
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Philippines
Conflict
WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Southern Philippines Campaign (1945)/Battle of Mindanao
Location of Interment
Mount Olive Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Unknown

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World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen [Verified]



Leyte Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Mindoro
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of Mindoro was a battle in World War II between forces of the United States and Japan, in Mindoro Island in the central Philippines, from 13–16 December 1944, during the Philippines campaign.

Troops of the United States Army, supported by the United States Navy and U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF), made an amphibious landing on Mindoro and defeated Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) forces there. There was no significant opposition from the Imperial Japanese Navy, nor from the Japanese Army and Navy Air Forces, except for kamikaze (suicide) attacks on American ships.

The Japanese force in Mindoro was not large, and was eliminated in three days. The Army was assisted in the campaign by guerrillas from the local Filipino population.

The U.S. captured Mindoro to establish airfields there, which would be in fighter range of Lingayen Gulf in northern Luzon Island, where the next major amphibious invasion of the Philippines was planned. Ground-based fighter cover was necessary for this operation. Mindoro could also serve as the advanced base for U.S. troops going to fight in Luzon.

Battle
On 15 December, the invasion of Mindoro began. The clear weather allowed the full use of American air and naval power, including six escort carriers, three battleships, six cruisers and many other support warships against light Japanese resistance. Because of inadequate airstrip facilities in Leyte, the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team came ashore in Mangarin Bay with the landing force instead of jumping. Destroyers provided fire support for the troop landings and anti-aircraft protection for the ships in the transport area. Two LSTs struck by kamikazes were abandoned and sank.

In one heroic action, the destroyer USS Moale (DD-693), under the command of Commander Walter M. Foster, went alongside the burning LST-738 (which was loaded with aviation fuel and ordnance) to rescue crewmembers. Several explosions aboard LST-738 caused damage to Moale as she pulled away. Some pieces of shrapnel were two feet square and they put four holes in Moale's hull. Gunner's Mate Ed Marsh reported that a one-gallon jar of vaseline from the LST's cargo splattered on one barrel of his twin 40 mm Bofors AA gun, providing unwelcome lubrication. Moale suffered one casualty and thirteen wounded. In addition, Moale also rescued 88 survivors.

There were 1,000 defending Japanese soldiers stationed on Mindoro. Another 200 survivors from ships sunk off Mindoro en route to Leyte were also present. The defenders were outnumbered and outgunned. Some 300  Japanese manning an air raid warning station at the island's northern end put up a stiff fight against a company of the 503rd, but except for mopping up, the island was secure within 48 hours.

Aftermath
The defending Japanese forces on Mindoro suffered some 200 killed and 375 wounded. The survivors fled into the jungles, where they lurked till the end of the war. The 24th Infantry Division lost 18 men and had 81 wounded.

By the end of the first day, Army engineers were at work preparing airfields. Two were completed in thirteen days. These airfields allowed U.S. aircraft to provide direct support for the Luzon invasion. The Mindoro airfields were also used by long-range bombers, especially USAAF B-24 Liberators, to attack Japanese shipping from Formosa to Luzon. These bombers also operated over the South China Sea, and combined with the Navy to blockade shipping between Japan and south-east Asia.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Nov 29, 2015
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

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