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Emmett O'Donnell , Jr.

Date of birth: 1906
Date of death: December 26, 1971
Burial location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Place of Birth: New York, Brooklyn
Home of record: Brooklyn New York

Emmett "Rosie" O'Donnell graduated from West Point with the Class of 1928. During WWII he flew in the Pacific on numerous missions immediately after Pearl Harbor. Attaining the rank of Brigadier General, on November 24, 1944 he led 111 B-29s against industrial targets in Tokyo, the first such heavy bomber attack on the Japanese Capitol of the war. During the Korean War he commanded the FEAF Bomber Command, and subsequently retired from the service July 31, 1963, as a U.S. Air Force 4-Star General.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Air Force) to Major General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding General, Bomber Command, Far East Air Forces (Provisional), in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Korea from 13 July to 16 September 1950, during three important combat missions over enemy targets. On 13 July 1950, General O'Donnell led and directed the strike of fifty-two aircraft which dropped four hundred and forty-nine tons of explosives on railroad yards and shop installations at Wonsan, resulting in the complete destruction of railroad repair facilities in that area. On 16 August 1950, he led and directed ninety-eight aircraft in a maximum effort strike during which eight hundred and forty-six tons of explosives were dropped on reported enemy materiel and troop concentrations in the Waegwan area, breaking up enemy preparations for an attack in that sector. On 16 September 1950, General O'Donnell led and directed an eighty aircraft strike which dropped six hundred tons of bombs on targets in the Pyongyang area, causing extensive damage to oil refineries, warehouses, and a steam power plant. During these strikes, his aircraft was subject to attack by enemy aircraft and ground anti-aircraft fire, and he was in danger of death or capture by the enemy. His exemplary action in constantly risking his life while personally leading his flight, although in a position where such duty was not required of him, was a source of inspiration for other members of his command, reflecting great credit on himself and the military service.

General Orders: General Headquarters Far East Command: General Orders No. 53 (October 30, 1950)

Action Date: July 13 - September 16, 1950

Service: Air Force

Company: Commanding General

Regiment: Bomber Command

Division: Far East Air Forces (Provisional)

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General of the 73d Bomb Wing, in the Pacific Theater of Action during the period from March 1944 to August 1945. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General O'Donnell reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 113 (December 4, 1945)

Action Date: March 1944 - August 1945

Service: Army Air Forces

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Air Force, was awarded the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (Army Design) for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General O'Donnell and his dedicated contributions in the service of his country reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

General Orders: Department of the Air Force, General Orders No. G-100 (1963)

Service: Air Force

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action on 24 November 1944 in leading the first maximum effort mission of B-29's from the Marianas to strike the heart of the Japanese Empire: Tokyo. His courageous leadership and calculated preparation made possible this historical flight over 3,000 miles of ocean, to bomb primary targets in spire of adverse weather conditions, Flak and fighter opposition, and to lead home 109 aircraft of 111 participating. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: General Headquarters Far East Command: General Orders No. 53 (October 30, 1950)

Action Date: November 24, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as a member of the Advisory Council to the Commanding General, United States Army Air Forces, from April 1943 through March 1944. During this period, General O'Donnell displayed the keenest analytical judgment in his analization of papers emanating from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Combined Chiefs of Staff. In addition, General O'Donnell accompanied the Commanding General to the Allied Conferences at Tehran and Cairo where his technical advice and sound knowledge were of the greatest value.

Action Date: April 1943 - March 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major (Air Corps) Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight of nine B-17 bombers from Honolulu to the Philippine Islands, from 5 September to 12 September 1941. Major O'Donnell displayed skillful airmanship and accurate knowledge of the highly technical details involved in the successful execution of this flight which involved traversing by air uncharted waters from Wake Island to Port Moresby and Darwin and thence to Fort Stotsenburg. The speed with which each phase of this flight was accomplished indicated a high quality of navigation. This outstanding achievement reflects the highest credit on the military forces of the United States.

Action Date: September 5 - 12, 1941

Service: Army Air Forces

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major (Air Corps) Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism, leadership, and display of flying skill. At dawn of 9 December 1941, Major O'Donnell led his squadron of B-17's from Ben Marcelino to Clark Field for the purpose of taking on bombs for a mission against enemy landing operation at Vigan. Because of an air raid alarm all planes were immediately ordered off the ground. Major O'Donnell proceeded individually to Vigan where he attacked a heavy cruiser and destroyer escort. Because of mechanical trouble with bomb racks, Major O'Donnell found it necessary to remain over the target for approximately 45 minutes making a total of five distinct bombing runs in order to drop his bombs. During the entire time he was subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire. During the last run enemy pursuit attempted to intercept. Major O'Donnell's calmness under fire and his determination to carry out his mission, set an example of leadership and heroism that afforded his officers and men the inspiration and confidence to carry on in spite of almost insurmountable difficulties and again heavy odds.

General Orders: Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Command, General Orders No. 2 (February 15, 1942)

Action Date: December 9, 1941

Service: Army Air Forces

Regiment: 19th Bombardment Group

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Major (Air Corps) Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 15 January 1942. His devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to his fellow flyers. His actions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

Action Date: January 15, 1942

Service: Army Air Forces

Regiment: 19th Bombardment Group

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Brigadier General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. (ASN: 0-17299/A), United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight from 18 to 19 September 1945. His devotion to duty and courage under all conditions serve as an inspiration to his fellow flyers. His actions reflect the highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.

Action Date: September 18 - 19, 1945

Service: Army Air Forces