• Honoring Owen T. O’Callaghan

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  • Tommy, as he was known to his family and friends, was born on June 4, 1927, at the start of the “Great Depression.”  At age 16, he was a year younger than most of his classmates when they graduated high school in 1944.  Many of his schoolmates had already joined one of the military branches and he felt left out. In late August, having tuned 17, he persuaded his father to give him permission to join the Marine Corps. His family drove him to the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia to be sworn in by a family friend who was a Marine Gunner in the 1st World War and had been recalled to active duty as a recruitment officer.  That afternoon, they saw him off on a train to the Marine training base at Parris Island, South Carolina. His family never realized this would be the last time they would ever see him again.

    From Parris Island he went to advanced training on the west coast. With training over, he shipped out in March 1945 and arrived on the Island of Guam joining other new Marines being held in reserve to reinforce, if needed, those men fighting on Iwo Jima. They were not needed until the fighting on Okinawa was reaching its peak and more men were needed. He arrived on Okinawa on May 14th and was assigned to Headquarters Co of the 7th Regiment, First Division. As did many of the new men, he became a litter bearer. He turned 18 on June 4th and the following day, he was mortally wounded by shell fragments and died of his wounds the next day.

    In 1949 his remains were returned to the United States for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.    

    — The O’Callaghan and Getschman Families

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