Jerry Kigin Oral History
Jerome Joseph Kigin was born on February 7, 1921. Kigin graduated from Loyola High School in Mankato in 1938 and attended Mankato Teachers College until 1940. In 1941, Kigin enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the Marines as a pilot. Kigin did his flight school at Iowa City, Corpus Christi, Jacksonville, Cherry Point and Minneapolis. He received his wings in 1943. After fight training, Kigin returned home to marry Marjorie Marie Bellig on September 16, 1943. Kigin was assigned to the Pacific Theatre of Operations, flying out of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Saipan. After the war ended he was promoted to Captain and was discharged, returning to Mankato. In 1948, Kigin moved to St. Cloud to work at the Guaranty State Bank. In 1955, Kigin was named president of the Guaranty State Bank at the age of 34. He held that position until 1979 when the bank became Norwest Bank. He retired in 1981. Kigin died on August 7, 1997 at the age of 76. He was survived by seven children and wife Marjorie.
Entering the Navy in 1941, Kigin described his experiences in Navy flight school. He recalled his training flying Stearmans, PBY and B-29 aircraft. He trained for flying night combat missions as well as the different types of bombing runs he was trained for, including rockets, torpedoes and skip bombing. Assigned to the Pacific theatre of operations, Kigin described missions against Japanese shipping, Japanese held islands, and the Japanese mainland. Kigin flew over and described what he saw in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after atomic bombs were dropped in August 1945. Kigin also touched on what he did when not flying and his comradery with crews he served on. He recounted his experiences with emerging technologies such as radar and auto pilots.
St. Cloud State University, "Jerry Kigin Oral History" (1989). World War II Veterans. 2.