James Richard Oden

Purple Heart European Africa Middle East WWll Victory


My father, James Richard Oden (Known as Snook and Mickey by his friends and family) was inducted 28 January 1942 at Camp Lee, Virginia.  He was a member of the 180th Infantry, Company E, Thunderbirds.  He was trained as an infantryman of a heavy weapons company.  He received a Certificate of completion from The Infantry Replacement Training Center, Camp Croft, South Carolina for the period of January 28, 1942 to May 16, 1942 as Private James R. Oden, 33130950, Co. "A", 30th Inf Tng Bn.  He participated in the occupation of Sicily.  He was wounded in action on 11 July 1943 at Biscari, Sicily.  He received the Purple Heart on 16 August 1943.  He also had a combat infantry and sharpshooter medal and he was awarded the European-African Middle Eastern Theater Medal.  He arrived back in the United States on 30 August 1943.
     Pfc. James R. Oden spoke before the Senate at the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress on 21 October 1943.  The Vice President of the United States gave the introduction.  The Secretary of War made remarks.  Gen. George C. Marshall spoke on the military situation.  Maj. Gen. George V. Strong discussed the strength of the Axis and Brig. Gen. F.A. Armstrong, Jr. spoke of the strategic bombing of Germany.  Others who spoke were Col. Emmet O'Donnell, Brig. Gen. Lawrence S. Kuter, Maj. Gen. W.B. Styer, Lt. Col. E.B. Gallant, 1st Lt. Russell Felerski and Sgt. F. Christmann.  Mickey spoke on the landing in Sicily.
     Pfc. Oden was discharged on 30 June 1944 in Washington, D.C.. 
     James Richard Oden died 14 May 1981.
     I do have quite a few photos of my Dad in uniform.  I also have some photos taken by the army during some of his speaking engagements.  If you would like copies of any of these, I would be pleased to share them.  I am very proud of my Dad and Daddy was very proud of having served his country during WWII.  I know Daddy would be honored to know that his name has been remembered on this web site. 
     On behalf of both my Dad and myself, thank-you for honoring his service to his country.