On today’s Stories of Sacrifice we will be discussing a very heroic POW/MIA who was awarded our Country's second highest combat valor award, the Distinguished Service Cross.
Major James J. O’Donovan was the Executive Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment. Major O’Donovan led by example on the front lines during the ill-fated defense of the Philippines.
Always packing three pistols, he proved to be an inspiring leader to his men and a very aggressive, courageous fighter. He sustained multiple injuries and was hospitalized at least twice.
Before the war he served as a Captain in the Army Reserves and was employed full time as instructor of Military Science and Tactics at the La Salle Institute in his hometown of Troy NY.
He'd been married 9 years to the love of his life, Evelyn Murray, together they had 5 children. He enjoyed boxing, and writing, but most of his interests were in some way related to his calling in the military.
Major James J. O’Donovan died at POW Camp Cabanatuan and was buried in the camp cemetery. After the war his remains were not identified and he was buried as an Unknown at the Manila American Cemetery.
In December 2019 an Unknown grave associated with his remains was disinterred and sent to the DPAA Lab in Hawaii for identification. This is his Story of Sacrifice and his children’s mission to have him identified.
For more information about Major O'Donovan you can visit his grandson's website - https://sites.google.com/view/major-james-j-odonovan/home?authuser=0
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