Thursday, May 10, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Ollie Emanuel, 25th Infantry Division + Pearl Harbor hero

Pvt. Ollie Emanuel was a machine gunner in Guadalcanal and New Georgia, serving in the 161st Infantry Regiment. 
Oland "Ollie" Emanuel never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 10, 1918 in Texas. His parents Oscar and Florence were born in Mississippi and Arkansas, respectively. His father worked as a farmer. Ollie had an older sister and a younger sister. By 1940 Ollie had completed a grammar school level of education and was working as a farmhand.

He was drafted into the army on February 26, 1942. He became a private in Company D, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. The 161 IR arrived in Guadalcanal in early January 1943. It fought the Japanese for the final weeks of their defense of the island.

Pvt. Emanuel next saw action in New Georgia when his united landed there on July 22, 1943. On July 31, 1943 he was tending to a fellow soldier, who was bleeding to death, when he was felled by a Japanese sniper near Vella La Vella.

His grave is at Channing Cemetery in Channing, Texas.


Also born on May 10, 1918 was World War 2 flying ace George Welch. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and joined the Army Air Corps in 1939. He was trained as a fighter pilot and was stationed at Wheeler Field in Hawaii in February 1941. He was one of the few American P-40 fighter pilots who were able to get planes into the air to challenge the Japanese surprise attack on December 7. Welch shot down or damaged four enemy planes that day. He was award the Distinguished Service Cross for this action.

Lt. Welch being congratulated by President Roosevelt. 
Welch's WW2 service was cut short by malaria. Before that happened he completed 348 combat missions and had 16 confirmed victories. He ended the war with the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross with two bronze leaf oak clusters.

With his war service done, Welch was recruited to be a test pilot. He was a successful test pilot for 10 years until he died in on a test flight in 1954.

Thank you Ollie and George for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Ollie and George.

Last year on this date I profiled tank destroyer sergeant Alvin Waggoner. You can read about Alvin here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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