Col. Owen John Baggett United States Air Force
Owen John Baggett (August 29, 1920 – July 27, 2006) was a second lieutenant in the United States 7th Bomb Group based at Pandaveswar, in India, during the Second World War.
Owen John Baggett was born in Graham, Texas in 1920. He graduated from Hardin–Simmons University in 1941, where he was the band’s drum major. He initially went to work on Wall Street after graduation. But by the following year, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps (now USAF) when the United States entered the war.
A studious man, he graduated from pilot training in just five months and was sent to Burma, flying a B-24 Liberator. What he happened the following year is one of those stories we just described.
Owen John Baggett enlisted in the Army Air Corps (which was subsumed by the Army Air Forces in February 1942) and graduated from pilot training on July 26, 1942, at the New Columbus Army Flying School.
On March 31, 1943, while stationed in British India, Owen John Baggett’s squadron was ordered to destroy a bridge at Pyinmana, Burma. Before reaching their target, the B-24 bombers were intercepted by Japanese fighter planes. Baggett’s plane was badly hit, and the crew were ordered to bail out. The Japanese pilots then attacked U.S. airmen as they parachuted to earth. Two of Baggett’s crew members were killed. Baggett, though wounded, played dead, hoping the Japanese would ignore him.
One Zero approached within several feet of Baggett. The pilot then nosed up, almost stalling, and opened his canopy.Baggett shot at the pilot with his .45 caliber pistol. The plane stalled and plunged to the earth, and Baggett became legendary as the only person to down a Japanese airplane with an M1911 pistol. He survived and was captured by the Japanese. He remained a prisoner for the rest of the war. Baggett and 37 other POWs were liberated at the war’s end by eight OSS agents who parachuted into Singapore
Baggett was recognized as the only person during the war to shoot down a Zero with a
Owen J. Baggett
|Col. Owen John Baggett United States Air Force|
|Born||August 29, 1920
|Died||July 27, 2006 (aged 85)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Unit||9th Bomb Squadron|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Prisoner of War Medal|
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