©2010 Norwich University Archives
About Clarence J. O’Donnell
Originally from Winchester, MA, Clarence J. O’Donnell graduated from Norwich University in 1929. During his time at Norwich, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also played football (captain), basketball (captain) and baseball. O’Donnell served on the athletic council and the banquet committee. He was also a member of Headquarters Company, Vermont National Guard. He entered the Marine Corps in 1929 and sailed with the 4th Marine Division in January 1944 as battalion commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines. He participated in the Marshall Islands campaign. O’Donnell took part in the Saipan and Tinian operations (Purple Heart) and in the Battle of Iwo Jima (Legion of Merit). During August-September of 1945, Col. O’Donnell served on General McArthur’s planning section staff in Manila and Tokyo. Later he was commanding officer, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, during the occupation of Japan. O’Donnell and his wife, Marcia, had one daughter, Margaret Ellen O’Donnell Heagy. Clarence O’Donnell is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The control file included with the collection contains additional biographical information on O’Donnel, particularly his post-war service.
About the Collection
The collection contains papers, 1928-1969, including Clarence O’Donnell’s commissions, 1928-1955, and discharge certificate, 1955. There is information on O’Donnell’s service medals, 1932-1945, and citations for distinguished service, 1944-1945. Also included are drafts of Volumes three and five of the History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, 1965, as well as funeral services information and photographs, 1969. There are photographs of Clarence O’Donnell as lieutenant and as colonel and a scrapbook containing photographs and printed material pertaining to his service in the South Pacific.
The following subjects are represented in this collection. If you are researching these topics, try using these terms in the library catalog:
- O’Donnell, Clarence J., — 1905-1969 — Archives.
- United States. — Marine Corps — History — World War, 1939-1945.
- World War, 1939-1945 — Campaigns — Pacific Area.
- World War, 1939-1945 — Photographs.
You can also browse for finding aids to the papers of other Norwich University alumni or other members of Clarence O’Donnell’s class using the Alumni and Class of 1929 categories.
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