Monday, November 7, 2016

George O'Donnell WWII Radio Operator

With Veterans Day this week I thought I would talk about my Dad's service in WWII. It was strange how I came about going through his military stuff. Last Friday I received my Ancestry DNA kit. I know, Finally, right! Well I activated the kit and did what I had to do and sent it off on Saturday. Well yesterday I received an email from Ancestry telling me what I should do while I wait for my results. I ended up going to the DNA page and up in the right corner it showed I had 5 new messages. I opened it up and some were ones I knew about and had taken care of but a couple of them were old and I had never seen them before. One was from 2014 and the other from 2015. When I opened them they both were about my Dad. They had seen the military page I had set up on the tree my son started. That account is no longer active so when they sent a message I never received them. Most likely my son received them and never sent them on to me or said anything about it. So anyway I sent them back a message telling them how sorry I was for not answering before but I had just found them. I know I just hate when I try to contact someone on Ancestry and I never hear back from them! They both gave me the name of the person, in one case it is his grandfather and the other it is her husband's grandfather. They wanted to know if my father had ever talked about them or if I had any photos.

1st Reporting Platoon, Co. B 574 Sig. AW. BN, Hattisburg A.A. Field, Hattisburg, Miss, Dec 1943

Well I had this group photo with the names written on the back. Someone really took a lot of time with this. Each row is listed with the place in the row next to the name. This must have been their training unit because when he was overseas he was in Co. B 595 Sig Air Warn Bn. And this was the unit mentioned in my messages. When I looked at the names on the back of the photo I did find one of the grandfathers and then found him in the photo. Then, because the message was sent to my son's tree, I had to find this person on my tree to contact him because I was thinking that maybe the answers I sent to their messages might not have gotten to them. But I told him about finding his grandfather if he would email me  I would try to email him the photo. I do hope I hear from him, he said that his grandfather had died in 1965 and he was never able to talk to him about his service. I was not able to find the other grandfather. His name was not on the list. It sounded like they may have served together in the 595 Sig Bn. but must not have been in the same training class.

75th Birthday, George O'Donnell, 28 Jul 1997, Aston, PA, photo privately held by author
.My Dad was proud of his service. My brother in law worked for a company that made hats and that. He had this hat made for my Dad and he wore it the most out of his hat collection.