Owen J. Baggett
|Col. Owen J. 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|
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.
On March 31, 1943, the squadron was instructed to destroy a bridge at Pyinmana but before reaching their target, the B-24 bombers were attacked by Japanese fighter planes. Baggett's plane was badly hit, and the crew were ordered to bail out. As the B-24 exploded, the Japanese pilots then attacked U.S. airmen as they parachuted to earth, one plane approaching Baggett within feet, and then, nose-up and in an almost-stall, the pilot opened his canopy. Two of Baggett's crew members were killed and Baggett was wounded, who played dead in his harness, hoping the Japanese would leave him alone. Baggott claims to have shot the Japanese pilot with his pistol, becoming legendary as the only person to down a Japanese airplane with a M1911 pistol. He was later captured by the Japanese, and held for over two years. After 30 months captivity, he and 37 other POWs were liberated by 8 OSS agents who parachuted into Singapore. 
While assigned to Mitchel Air Force Base, he was noted for his assignment working with children, including sponsoring a boy and a girl to be commander for a day. Baggett retired from the Air Force as a colonel and later worked as a defense contractor manager for Litton.
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