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Angelo J Virgona

Military

Completed 35 missions. Angelo passed away on 11/28/19 at the age of 98. He was very proud of his service and went to the Mighty Eighth Museum in GA several times. It wasn't until after he passed and going through his effects that we learned that he had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the life of a fellow crewman. After the war he earned a Master's Degree in Chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry developing antibiotic drugs and radiopharmaceuticals. He married and raised four children, had 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild at the time of his death. He was a kind and good man, dedicated to his family and an asset to his community. He is interred at the Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort SC - plot D98.

Angelo's first crew was with pilot Jay Ossiander. Angelo was supposed to fly with Jay on aircraft 42-107092 when a cold temporarily grounded him for a mission. That aircraft took flak and was diverted to Switzerland where his crew mates were interned for the rest of the war. Angelo went on to serve with other crews, often as a fill-in, and completed his full tour of duty. His former crew mate Penrose (Ray) Reagan went on star in a motion picture filmed in Switzerland called "The Last Chance". Angelo would say, "If I had made that mission, I might have been a movie star."

Service

People

  • Ancil Anderson

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42107092

  • George Clarke

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42107092

  • Thomas Higdon

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42107092

  • Jay Ossiander

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42-107092, Interned (INT).

  • Penrose Reagan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42107092. While interned in Switzerland, Penrose (Ray) Reagan was selected to star in the movie "The Last Chance" (1945) directed by Leopold Lindtberg. This movie won the Grand...

  • Donald Rouse

    Military | Sergeant | Bombardier, Bombardier; Togglier | 401st Bomb Group
    INT Damaged by flak and landed in Switzerland on 7/31/44 in B-17 Umbriago #42107092

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Units served with

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 615th Bomb Squadron

Associated Place

  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 23:56:08 Bill Buskey Changes to person associations
Sources

Jay Ossiander's Crew Photograph

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 23:40:01 Bill Buskey Changes to biography
Sources

Personal Knowledge

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 19:09:56 Bill Buskey Changes to biography
Sources

Personal knowledge, story told to me by Angelo.

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 19:01:21 Bill Buskey Changes to firstname
Sources

Personal knowledge - my Father in Law

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 18:58:24 Bill Buskey Changes to person associations
Sources

Crew Photograph and personal knowledge

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 18:40:36 Bill Buskey Changes to biography
Sources

Personal knowledge.

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 18:20:59 Bill Buskey Changes to awards
Sources

Sourced from discharge papers and commendation papers.

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2019 18:18:54 Bill Buskey Changes to highest rank, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Sourced from discharge papers.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:03:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / http://www.401bg.org/Main/History/Members/Details.aspx?ID=3491

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