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  He Simply Called It Luck
Dr. Jerry Rogan has been consulting about Medicare and medical care delivery for a variety of companies beginning 2003, having served over 100 clients, some for a short term need and some over several years.


This story was written by my father, 1st Lt. Albert F. Rogan (1917-2009), 90th Bomb Group, 5th U.S. Army Air Force about his WWII experience as an airman.*

About two weeks ago he and the rest of the crew together with the rest of the squadron said goodbye to their base at Nadzab in the Markham River Valley in Dutch New Guinea. It is a time of war, 1944 and they are now about three hundred miles further west and closer to the Japanese staging areas throughout the East Indies. He was simply meandering along this deserted beach on the island of Biak, kicking at the sand and trying not to think about all that had gone before. But as he ruminated he said out loud, to no one in particular, "The pace of the war and the danger will surely accelerate from now on ."

He stopped and looked southward. In New Guinea he had discovered that the clouds pile up like bales of fleece and by the middle of the morning they smother the tops of the mountains called the Owen Stanley Range. "I never really thought about this phenomenon, he said, and maybe that is why we always take off at just about daybreak."

He sat down to look at the clouds as they slowly, slowly kept piling up, one underneath the other — the bundles majestically ascending to ever increasing heights. As he watched this manifestation of natural behavior he became covered with a patina of somber reflection. Thoughts that he had deliberate Hid away from his conscious mind over many weeks of air-to-air combat duty engulfed him. He thought about the men and the crews that he barely knew and who no longer existed amongst the living.

"How is it that all ten of us are still alive?" again talking to the breeze, quickly turning his head as if to find out who was eavesdropping. But he was certain that he was voicing his opinions to a living and breathing person.

The sun had been three hours above the horizon and as it ascended it was changing the blue hues of the ocean waters that were gently splashing on the shore of the beach. Except for the breeze and the sound of the ocean along with the occasional cry of a passing sea bird searching for an errant fish.

He was at peace with his world.

His tranquility pervaded all his senses, but he knew that when tomorrow came the full weight of his responsibilities would return and the killing by bombs as they exploded on the earth dropped from thousands of feet above
Would bring him once more to the never ending ritual of the many more tomorrows to come. He hoped.

He arose from the sand, brushed himself off and continued his slow paced meandering. And he thought, "I don't know about God, if he is still around, And if he is how does he figure who lives or who dies in this aimless and screwed up world. I figure that it simply is about something called LUCK."

* Notes:

Albert F. Rogan died in 2009 at age 92. I am the owner of his assets. I have the authority to allow his work to be published.

The exploits of his outfit are detailed in the book, It Wasn't So Jolly: The Story of the Jolly Rogers and the James Horner Crew 1942-1945 by Thomas A Baker.

~ © Jerry Rogan 2021















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