Colona, Louis James, F1c

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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Fireman 1st Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1945, F1c-0000, USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Fireman 1st Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Colona, Louis James, F1c.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Malvern, PA
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
May 11, 1945
Hostile, Died
Artillery, Rocket, Mortar
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial WW II Memorial National Registry
  2015, World War II Fallen [Verified]
  2015, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2016, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2016, WW II Memorial National Registry

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)
  1944-1945, F1c-0000, USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Aug 02, 1943, Service Entry Date and Serial Number
  Jun 29, 1944, Received on the USS Bunkerhill
  Oct 01, 1944, Change Rate from S1c to F1c
  May 11, 2016, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
FN/1c Louis James COLONA
USNR Service # 8182022
KIA Lost At Sea WWII

Louis was born in 1921 to Joe and Margaret Colona who lived at 324 Lincoln Highway in Malvern, Pennsylvania. His parents, both from Italy, began their family in America. His father was a stonemason. Louis was one of six children: Amerika, Nellie, Harry, William, Louis, and Augustine.

Louis attended the Berwyn High School graduating in 1939. He was a well known athlete at the school, and active in school activities. He was on the football team his 2nd, and 3rd years, basketball his 3rd, track 2nd, Supper Committee 4th, Dance Committee chairman, 4th, Student Council 2nd, Student Monitor 3rd and 4th years. Louis was a member of the Hungarian-American Club in Phoenixville, and worked at Westinghouse Electric Company in Philadelphia.

Louis joined the Navy entering the service on August 21, 1943. He received basic training in Bainbridge, Maryland; and ship fitters and metal smith school at Great Lakes Training Station, Illinois as a Fireman (fire and tending to ships boilers which created  steam for propulsion).

Louis was assigned to serve on board the Essex Class aircraft Carrier USS Bunker Hill  CV-17. Louis’s ship participated in carrier operations against Rabul, the Gilbert Islands, and supported our landings on Tarawa in November, 1943. The Bunker Hill also was involved in strikes against the Bismark Archipelago, Marshall Islands, Truk (main enemy  Naval Base), Marianas, and Hollandia. His ship was in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, (also known as the Great Marinas Turkey Shoot) in June, in which the Japanese lost 480 aircraft and 3 aircraft carriers. Louis’s ship participated in strikes at Okinawa, Luzon, and Formosa (Taiwan), Iwo Jima, Honshu and Nasei Shoto (Japanese home islands).

In the closing months of World War II, Americans found themselves facing a new and terrifying weapon: kamikazes—the first men to use airplanes as suicide weapons.

While supporting the landings on Okinawa, on the morning of May 11, 1945, the Bunker Hill was hit by two Japanese suicide aircraft – Kamikazes. Suffering considerable  damage, 346 crewmembers were killed, 246 wounded and 43 missing.

Fireman 1st Class Louis James Colona was Killed In Action on May 11, 1945. He is remembered on the tablets of the Missing In Action or Buried at sea at the  Honolulu National Memorial in Hawaii.  He was awarded the World War II Victory Medall, Purple Heart (posthumously), Presidential Unit Citation with star for second award, and the Asiatic Theater Campaign medal.
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