Lt. Joseph V. La Moglia
19 April 1921 - 3 July 1945
updated 26 June 2013
Pictures of Joe on Saipan
Details about Weather Strike Missions,can be found in
Missing Air Crew Report
the 500th Bomb Group Memorial site
Joe and I never met. I was 2 1/2 years old when he died in 1945. Nearly all of the family members who knew him are now gone.
He was born in Oakland and attended Frick Jr. High School and Fremont High School. His name appears two times in the Oakland Tribune. In the March 5th, 1936 edition he is listed as one of the cast in the production "Ask the Professor".
The May 17th, 1938 edition includes Joe in an article about winners of the Fall semester elections. " Joe La Moglia, high 11, yell leader"
( Thanks to my daughter Christine for this information )
Joe graduated from Fremont High School in June 1939 and went on to attend the University of California, Berkeley and UC Davis. He graduated in February 1943 with a B.S. in Agricultural Science.
1940 Census has him living at 5441 Ruth Ave, Oakland, California, age 18, H4 level of education, as well as having attended school in March of that year.
Joe's enlistment record at NARA shows him enlisting on 11 August 1942, with a deferral date of February 1943. It also shows that he had three years of college by August 1942.
His first serial number was that of an EM, 19119221.
Documents indicate that his entry into the Army actually took place on 29 April 1943. Within a few days he was appointed as a Second Lieutenant and headed to Boston.
Joe was at Harvard University during 1943 from 3 May until 28 August. During this time, he was enrolled in two classes for members of the US Army. The first was in Alternating Currents and the second covered Electronics and Cathode Ray Tubes.
A few days after having received his certificates of completion of these two courses, Joe went to MIT. He was in one class, Application of Ultra-High Frequency Techniques, from 1 September through 30 November 1943.
Based upon dental records, Joe was next stationed at Boca Raton Field in Florida. The approximate dates of his classes were from the middle of December, 1943, until sometime in June 1944.
The next stop for Joe was Lincoln Army Air Field. However, there are no records of his arrival or departure dates nor the reasons for him being assigned to this base.
By the time he reached Pratt Army Air Field on 29 July 1944, his Army MOS was 7888, Radar Counter Measure (RCM) Officer. His assignment was with the 870th Bombardment Squadron.
The following events are taken from the 497th Bomb Group Narrative history:
Pratt AAF --> Herington AAF on or about 31 August
Orders 236: Aircraft A28 (E.G. Hahn)
TRIBUNE, DECEMBER 11, 1944
Two aircraft, "Thumper" (A Square 21) and "Our Baby" (A Square10) took part in Weather Strike Missions (WSM) over Tokyo. Joe is listed as Radio Specialist on board Thumper.
On 5 December 1944, the 73rd Wing issued an order to begin running WSMs. The 497th Group was the first to start, with the first mission on 7 December 1944 and Joe's (WSM Mission #13) on 10 December 1944. These missions were conducted by solo B-29 aircraft.
On Saipan, the following promotions and medals were awarded to Joe. No other information is available except that he was promoted to 497th Group RCM Officer.
Jan 1945 promoted to 1st Lt.
May 1945: awarded Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters
3 August 1945:
died while participating in XXI Bomber Command
The original Missing Air Crew Report (MACR #14923),
dated 5 July 1945, listed all the crew members as Missing in Action (MIA) as of
3 July 1945.
On 29 August 1947, Form 52-1 was issued and amended Form 0353 to state that the date of death was now officially 3 July 1945. With this document, Joe's status was formally changed to Killed in Action (KIA).
A few months later, on 29 October 1947, the MACR was
amended to show a change in status from MIA to KIA.
Joe was onboard A-22 as an observer, most likely checking radar frequencies being used by the Japanese.
(Please note that Aircraft Serial Number and Date of Crash are incorrect in the title of this page)
Following the location of the aircraft, Joe was temporarily buried at USAF Cemetery Yokohama #1,Yokohama, Japan. Later, the remains were transfered to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.