John William Meagher was born on December 5, 1917 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was still living there when he was drafted at age 24 into the United States Army for service in World War II on March 21, 1942.
Meagher was an infantryman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. The 77th, known as the “Statue of Liberty Division” for their shoulder patch, was activated just four days after Meagher’s draft date and trained extensively in the United States before heading for war in the Pacific in March, 1944. They fought in the campaigns on Guam and Leyte before joining the forces for the attack on Okinawa.