The Library and Archives at the San Diego Air & Space Museum has acquired an important collection of early Naval Aviator and World War II carrier commander, Vice Admiral Gerald F. Bogan. The Admiral Bogan collection was donated to the Museum by his step son Harold A. Fisher of San Diego, California as part of his estate.
Gerald F. Bogan, Vice Admiral, U.S.N., was a distinguished veteran of 38 years of naval service. In 1950, at the time of his retirement, Admiral Bogan was Commander, First Fleet. Before his final assignment, he had served as Commander, First Task Fleet, Pacific, as Commander, Air Force, Atlantic, as Commander, Fleet Air, Alameda, and as Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Saratoga.
Admiral Bogan was born 27 July 1894, Mackinac Island, Michigan. He was a 1916 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and, among his many decorations, was awarded the Navy Cross for heroic action during World War II. He was elected to the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor in 1992, National Museum of Naval Aviation.
Admiral Bogan was one of the earliest naval aviators, earning his wings at Pensacola in 1924. In 1925, he was assigned to VF Squadron One in San Diego, California, serving on board the carrier Langley, first as executive officer, then, in 1926, as commanding officer. Later, Admiral Bogan served as the first commanding officer of the Miami, Florida Naval Air station.
He commanded air squadrons on the carriers Langley, Lexington and Saratoga, commanding the Saratoga at the outbreak of World War II. As a task force commander in the Pacific, he was awarded two Legions of Merit, as well as the Navy Cross for “extraordinary heroism and distinguished service” during an engagement in Philippine waters on 25 November 1944, in which all carriers in his force had been damaged by heavy enemy aerial attacks. In 1945, he commanded Carrier Division 4 and Task Group 39.2. Admiral Bogan passed away in La Jolla, California on 3 June 1973.
The collection donated to the museum is made up of material related to Bogan’s military and personal papers starting with his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1916, through his retirement from the Navy. Included are official and personal correspondence, military orders, rare historical books, and a large number of original photographs.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is a proud member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 26 arts, science, and cultural institutions in San Diego's Balboa Park. Learn more at www.bpcp.org.