SERGEANT VINCENT M. HORAN; U.S. ARMY AIR CORPS

April 2, 1921 (Stamford, CT) – December 7, 1941; 20 years old; unmarried
Listed at 93 Glenbrook Road, Stamford (1940 census)
Enlisted on July 27, 1939
Service number 6148539
78TH PURSUIT SQUADRON, WHEELER FIELD

From Stamford High School, Class of 1942 yearbook dedication

Vincent Horan was killed by a Japanese bomb fragment at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 16 miles north of Pearl Harbor, on the first wave of the attack on December 7, 1941. He was a member of the 78th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps where he was an aviation mechanic.

Vincent Horan Park is located at Washington Blvd & Bridge Street in Stamford, CT. It runs along the Rippowam river on both sides

From stamfordadvocate.com, December 6, 2016

“The feeling around Stamford the day after the attack was probably very similar to that around the rest of the country — shock,” said Tony Pavia, a former Stamford High School history teacher and principal. “The difference was probably that Stamford then was not what it is now. It felt very much like a small town.”

Horan was so well-loved that a park now bears his name and the former Rippowam High School was almost named Horan High School.

“When Vincent Horan was killed, the police chief and the editor of The Advocate found out first and went over to tell his mother,” Pavia said. “They didn’t want someone showing up at the door to tell her. It was really a trauma.”

From “An American Town Goes To War” by Tony Pavia; interview with Sgt Horan’s sister

“He was the only one in his squadron who was killed. The War Department later told us that during the attack he was running down the hangar line, and he was hit in the chest by shrapnel from one of the bombs that the Japanese dropped. He lay there for hours before anyone could reach him. He died from loss of blood.”

From The Hartford Courant December 9, 1941

Stamford, Dec. 8 – (AP) – Among Connecticut’s first known casualties of the war with Japan apparently was Sergeant Vincent M. Horan of Stamford. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Horan, were reported to have received notice tonight that their son, a graduate of Stamford High School, who enlisted with the Army in June 1939, was killed in action Sunday at Hickam Field, Honolulu. Sergeant Horan leaves five brothers and sisters, besides his parents.

Taken by a Japanese aircrew, now in the U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation, this photo shows planes and hangars burning at Wheeler Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 50473

Buried at Saint John Cemetery, 25 Camp Avenue, Darien, Connecticut, Section 16, Plot 46.

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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