Private Ova A. Kelley, USA (December 8, 1944)

buy modafinil australia reddit Ova Arthur Kelley was born on March 27, 1914 in Norwood, Missouri. He was a farm hand who had completed only three years of high school when he was drafted into the United States Army on October 15, 1943 at age 29.

buy furosemide 20 mg online After completing training, Kelley was placed in Company A, 1st Battalion, 382nd Infantry Regiment as part of the 96th Infantry Division. The division’s first action would be the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines.

The 96th Infantry Division landed on Leyte on October 20, 1944 as part of the XXIV Corps. Not quite two months later, Kelley’s company was assaulting the Japanese-held airfield at Buri on December 8, 1944. When their advance was blocked by enemy strong points, Kelley attacked alone and inspired his comrades on to victory in an act deemed worthy of the Medal of Honor.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (G-L):

Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon (background)
Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon (background)
Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor


Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 382d Infantry, 96th Infantry Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 8 December 1944. Entered service at: Norwood, Mo. G.O. No.: 89 19 October 1945

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Before dawn, near the edge of the enemy-held Buri airstrip, the company was immobilized by heavy, accurate rifle and machinegun fire from hostile troops entrenched in bomb craters and a ditch less than 100 yards distant. The company commander ordered a mortar concentration which destroyed 1 machinegun but failed to dislodge the main body of the enemy. At this critical moment Pvt. Kelley, on his own initiative, left his shallow foxhole with an armload of hand grenades and began a 1-man assault on the foe. Throwing his missiles with great accuracy, he moved forward, killed or wounded 5 men, and forced the remainder to flee in a disorganized route. He picked up a M-1 rifle and emptied its clip at the running Japanese, killing 3. Discarding this weapon, he took a carbine and killed 3 more of the enemy. Inspired by his example, his comrades followed him in a charge which destroyed the entire enemy force of 34 enlisted men and 2 officers and captured 2 heavy and 1 light machineguns. Pvt. Kelley continued to press the attack on to an airstrip, where sniper fire wounded him so grievously that he died 2 days later. His outstanding courage, aggressiveness, and initiative in the face of grave danger was an inspiration to his entire company and led to the success of the attack.

As his citation indicates, Kelley died of his wounds on December 10, 1944. His remains were repatriated to the United States and he today rests in peace in the Oak Grove Cemetery in his hometown of Norwood, Missouri.

The legacy and lineage of the 96th Infantry Division is today carried by the 96th Sustainment Brigade of the United States Army Reserve.


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