WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – A Connecticut man who fought against the Japanese during WWII and was a prisoner of war was honored on Monday at Bradley International Airport, 75-years after the war ended.
The United States Navy and the Connecticut National Air Guard honored Dan Crowley with an honorary Combat Infantry Badge and a Prisoner of War medal.
Crowley was 18 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in October 1940 and sent to the Philippines in March 1941, less than six months after enlisting. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, airfields in the Philippines were also attacked, including Nichols Field where Crowley was stationed.
Crowley and others are said to have defended the station but ultimately fell to the Japanese. He was captured on Corregidor Island and was taken prisoner. He was then taken from the prison camp to help build an airstrip.
Crowley was then taken to Japan in March 1944 to be a slave laborer in a copper mine. He was liberated on Sept. 4, 1945, and returned to Connecticut.
On Monday, he was also promoted to the rank of sergeant. Officials said he attained the rank in 1945 but was never notified about the promotion. You can watch Crowley’s full ceremony below: