179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Thunderbird Division , Second WorldWar

Brig.Gen. George M. Donovan

179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Division, Second Worldwar

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George M. Donovan became a general after the Second Worldwar Funeral services for retired Brig. Gen. George M. Donovan will be at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2002, at First Baptist Church. Dr. Alton Fannin will officiate. Interment will be at Hillcrest Memorial Park with full military honors.
The family would like to invite all friends and relatives to a luncheon in memory of General Donovan at 1 p.m., prior to the funeral, at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

George M. Donovan was born March 23, 1922, in Provence, Okla., to George Edwin and Sally Amerson Donovan. He departed this life on Nov. 4, 2002, at his home.
A lifelong Ardmore resident, he was married to Jacqueline Ford on April 1, 1941. She preceded him in death on March 24, 1972. He was married to the former Phyllis Huston on March 8, 1973, in Denton, Texas.

General Donovan enlisted as a private in Company H 179th Infantry 45th Division on April 13, 1940. He participated in the landing in Sicily, Naples, Salerno beachhead, and Anzio beachhead in Italy. During this campaign he received a battlefield commission and promotion to platoon sergeant. He was awarded the grade of second lieutenant following his capture of nine Germans who were just 300 yards from his position. While serving as a battalion reconnaissance officer near Maximeau, France, he was severely wounded. He continued on his mission without medical aid until his capture by the German Army. He remained a prisoner of war for 183 days until he was able to escape. He was able to work his way to Tourn, Poland, where he was hidden by a Polish family for 60 days until he could rejoin the U.S. forces. He was awarded the Bronze Star for outstanding leadership and bravery. He returned to the United States in April of 1945 where he received treatment and rehabilitation.

In October 1945, he was released from active duty and assigned to Officer Reserve Corp as Executive officer, Company H 179th Regiment, 45th Infantry, and was promoted to first lieutenant. In 1949, he was reassigned as commanding officer of this unit and continued to serve in that capacity until August of 1950. He was released from active duty in 1952 and returned to the Oklahoma National Guard, assigned as detachment commander, in Ardmore, Okla. He was promoted to major in 1954.

He was assigned as executive officer of Brigade Headquarters Section, 45th Division and promoted to lieutenant colonel. In 1966, he was promoted to full colonel and, in 1971, was promoted to brigadier general. He retired as task force commander for the Oklahoma Military Department in 1973. He served a total of 33 years, 7 months, and 16 days in the military, and a total of 2 years, 7 months and 16 days in combat during World War II and the Korean War.
General Donovan was a graduate of various military schools including The War College, Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Infantry School. He was inducted into the Military Memorial Museum Hall of Fame on Oct. 30, 1995.

Decorations and awards by earned by Gen. Donovan were: Combat Infantry Badge, First Award, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Good Conduct Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Medal, Army of Occupation of Japan Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Second Award, Army Commendation Ribbon, United States Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Legion of Merit, Select Reserve Force Medal and Prisoner of War Medal.
Following his retirement from the military, he organized the Hu-Don Manufacturing Company where he was co-owner and chairman of the board until his retirement in 1985. He was also a charter member and president of the Carter County Veterans Council. He also served as chairman and founder of the Military Memorial Museum in 1989. He was a charter member of the Southern Oklahoma Retired Officers Association.

He was a member of Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Purple Heart Chapter, Prisoner of War and 45th Division Association and National Order of Battlefield Commissions. He was a member of First Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, of the home; two daughters, Donna Landrith, Oklahoma City, and Dianna Lynn Riley, Ardmore; a stepdaughter, Tracy Oxford Drennan, Davis; two stepsons, Mike Oxford, and Brent Oxford, a sister, Virginia Volino Brooks, and a niece, Jo Ann Harper, all of Ardmore; nine grandchildren, Angela Donovan, Tommy Jon Riley, Will Tyler Riley, Amy Faith Riley McHatton, Allyson Elizabeth Landrith Carson, Matthew Donovan Landrith, Meridith Drennan, Scott Drennan and Brent Oxford Jr.; six great-grandchildren, Travis and Matthew Marin, Mattie Lynn and Molly Grace Riley, Dalton Ace McHatton and Blaine Landrith Carson. He was preceded in death by two sons, Capt. George Ronald Donovan in 1978, and Huston Bradley Donovan in 1978; and a grandson, Sean D. Donovan in 1988.

Bearers will be William E. Mitchell, David Capps, Jim Patton, Harry Barnes, Jerry Flanagan and Roy Worley. Honorary bearers will be fellow veterans and Military Museum members.

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