LARKIN, CATHERINE MARIA, First Lieutenant, # N-720658, U.S. Army Nursing Corps
Catherine M. Larkin ws born on 21 January 1916 in Massachusetts to Edward T. Larkin (1870-1946) and Honorah “Nora” J. (Kelleher) Larkin (1880-1954) (married 30 April 1913). Siblings included Edward T. Larkin Jr. (1914-1974), Margaret Rosemary (Larkin) Bonaventura (1918-1993) (married Louis Bonaventura – 1945, MA), John Clement Larkin (1921-2009), and Robert Gerald Larkin (1922-2017). At the age of 23 years, she graduated from the Salem Hospital Nursing School. Her father owned a grocery store in 1930.
Already a working registered nurse, she volunteered for the Army Nursing Corps and was assigned to Harding AAF Field, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There she was selected as Chief Nurse and promoted to First Lieutenant. In December 1944 she was sent overseas and served first in Persia (Iran) then India. In early 1945, she was chosen as a member of a medical task force and sent to an advanced hospital in Calcutta, India. On 4 March 1945, a C-47, # 41-18554, assigned to Air Transport Command, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, 11th Combat Cargo Squadron, departed the airfield at Dinjan, India, on a passenger ferry mission to Ledo, India. On attempting to land, it made a low turn and crashed. All aboard were killed. She was a passenger on board. Her remains were recovered from the American military airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India, and buried in the Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts.
Her brother, Robert G. Larkin, born 17 September 1922, served in the U.S. Navy during WW II. He trained at Notre Dame and Harvard then served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade on the U.S.S. Alexander J. Luke. He died on 7 July 2017 and is buried in Saint Marys Cemetery, Salem, Massachusetts. Her brother, John C. Larkin, born 6 June 1921, served as a Staff Sergeant, U.S.Army, in New Guinea, Philippines, and Japan overseas. He served as a Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy Reserves. He died 22 December 2009 in Lancaster, Massachusetts, and is buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts (Sec. Q, Lot 278).