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Raider War Hero Receives Key to the City

Raider War Hero Receives Key to the City

Capt. James A. Mulligan '44 was a Navy pilot who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. On Wednesday, May 18, he was presented with a key to the City of Lawrence and other resolutions, awards, and gifts.

Photo above: Capt. James A. Mulligan '44, City Council Vice President Estela Reyes, City Council President Marc Laplante, Lawrence Mayor Brian DePena, mayoral advisor Octavien Spanner, and Louise Mulligan

Capt. Mulligan was held captive as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years (1966-1973) after being shot down while on a mission to attack enemy supply lines in his A-4C Skyhawk.

Capt. James A. Mulligan '44 climbs into his jet on the USS Enterprise off Vietnam in 1965

Capt. James A. Mulligan '44 climbs into his jet on the USS Enterprise off Vietnam in 1965

He authored a book entitled, The Hanoi Commitment, detailing his time as a prisoner of war.

While he was held as a POW, his wife Louise helped form a national movement to gather more information on all the POWs and work towards their safety and release.

Click here to review details on Capt. Mulligan compiled by the POW Network. 

This resource was passed on to us by Stephen R. Guilmet '78, who served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps from 1980 to 1984. "I remember his Homecoming, despite the fact that I was a young boy at the time," states Stephen. "I'll be retrieving my copy of The Hanoi Commitment from my bookcase soon to re-read his story."

Capt. James A. Mulligan '44 with Lawrence Mayor John Buckley (on left) at his return to Lawrence in 1973

Capt. Mulligan with Lawrence Mayor John Buckley (on left) at his return to Lawrence from Vietnam in 1973.

The Mulligans now live in Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, and last week, a contingent of Lawrence officials flew to Virginia Beach to present them with a key to the city with resolutions, awards and gifts, including items from Central Catholic Hugh School.

Statement from Central Catholic President Christopher Sullivan '81

"Capt. Jim Mulligan is a true and proud son of Central Catholic High School, Class of 1944, and the City of Lawrence. Your alma mater extends its deepest gratitude for your service and commitment to our country and our faith!  Your is an example of courage, sacrifice and enduring values rarely seen today, and which we hold up to our students and alumni worldwide of leading a truly meaningful life.  Those of us in Raider Nation want you to know how proud we are of you.  As you have done so many times in the past, you once again bring honor to your alma mater and your hometown."

“It brings tears to my eyes,” said Capt. Mulligan, after reading an award sent to him by his alma mater Central Catholic High School in Lawrence.

Capt. James A. Mulligan '44

Read more in The Eagle-Tribune:

Vietnam POW, wife to be recognized by Lawrence officials

Lawrence native Captain James Mulligan, Vietnam POW, gets a key to the city

Thank you, Capt. Mulligan for your service and sacrifices for our country! You have embodied the Raider ideals of faith and duty.

Flag over Auburn Street Field

Call of Faith & Duty

Central Catholic pays tribute to all those from the Central Catholic community who have served or are serving in the military.

Click here to view our Honor Roll listing in Call of Faith & Duty: A Tribute to Veterans.

While we have collected the names of many, we have missed some and have outdated information for others.

Please submit additional names and updated information by clicking here.

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.