Corporal Frank L. "Larry" Bogart
United States Marine Corps (1941-1943)
It was a three day struggle for Corporal
Larry Bogart to get that short letter written to his mother, but he managed to
do it because it was expected.
It was hard to do because his sight was
just returning after twelve days of total blindness that resulted from a major
brain operation he underwent after he had been wounded in action aboard the
aircraft carrier USS Hornet when it was sunk last fall.
In perfect health now, Corporal Bogart,
who is the sone of Edna and Frank L. Bogart, 1450 Breining Street,
Brookline, is home on a forty-day furlough after being unconscious for five
days, during which he received an emergency operation aboard a cruiser and
two other major brain operations in a British hospital on an island in the
South Pacific, followed by the blindness.
Now that he is home, Corporal Bogart
cannot give any eyewitness accounts of the sinking of the Hornet because
while he was serving as a gunner in an anti-aircraft unit, he was struck
in the head by a piece of a fragmentation bomb during the first attack on
the shop by Japanese dive bombers.
The USS Hornet CV-8
As his sight slowly returned, Corporal
Bogart attempted to write to his mother to let her know he was recovering.
For three days he struggled, oftentimes losing sight of the paper and often
discovering he was writing on the desk and not the paper.
A graduate of South Hills High School,
Corporal Bogart was employed as a brakeman on the Pennsylvania Railroad
before he joined the Marine Corps in February, 1941.
While on his leave, Corporal Bogart
has spent most of his time speaking before clubs about his experiences and,
more important, seeing his fiance, Peggy Fry, 704 Brookline Boulevard, who
quit her job when the corporal got his furlough so she could be with him as
long as he remains in Pittsburgh.
Corporal Larry Bogart was aboard
the hornet serving as Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's personal orderly during
the Doolittle Raid on April 18, 1942. According to the book Target Tokyo,
Larry was one of those who attached personal messages to the bombs that
would be dropped on Tokyo. "Marine Corporal Larry Bogart scrawled
'This one's from Peggy' on one bomb, and 'This one's from Mom and Pop
Bogart' on another."
A B-25 bomber takes off from the deck
of the USS Hornet bound for Tokyo.
The book also references the
first time that Corporal Bogart set eyes on then Lt. Colonel Doolittle
before sailing west for the raid. "Standing outside his skipper's
door, he heard someone state, 'Lieutenant Colonel Doolittle,
"I didn't think much about it,"
Bogart later admitted. "But after a while I heard our executive officer,
Commander George Henderson, say, 'Hello, Jimmy.' Then it clicked. I knew
who he was. Jimmy Doolittle! The guy who had all the flight records -
speed, endurance, altitude, distance. He was going with
The book goes on to state that
"Bogart knew enough of Doolittle's reputation that he immediately
upped his government insurance policy from a thousand to five thousand
The USS Hornet CV-8 returns from the
Doolittle Raid on April 30, 1942.
During the Solomons Islands Campaign,
in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands that took place on October 26,
1942, in a fifteen-minute period that morning, the USS Hornet was hit
by three bombs from bombs from dive bombers. One damaged Japanese bomber
deliberately crashed into the carrier's island, and two torpedo planes
scored hits. As the ship came to a halt, another damaged enemy plane
crashed into the port side near the bow. It was one of those first three
planes that wounded Corporal Bogart as he manned his post.
An attempt was made to tow the
sticken Hornet to safety, but another Japanese attack scored a hit on
the starboard side. The ship was ordered to be sunk by Admiral
Born on January 10, 1922, Larry
Bogart retired from the Marine Corps in August 3, 1943. He passed away
September 28, 1960 and is buried at Jefferson Memorial Park.
* Copied from the Pittsburgh
Post Gazette - March 18, 1943; Edited *
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