The below is as related by Bill Ivimey

 

Wally O'Day was originally from River Forest. IL,(a Chicago subburb). In 1945 his father was transferred to upstate New York as President of the Eddy Valve Company and the family moved to Troy, New York, where Walter and his twin sisters were enrolled in Catholic Central High School. Walter entered the junior class and we quickly became the best of friends. After we graduated in 1946 we enlisted in the Marine Corps at Albany. The attached picture is of Walter and me at Parris Island in 1946. While we were serving the Corps Walter's family moved back to River Forest, IL, in 1947 (his father's corporate mission to get the Eddy Valve Co. up and running being accomplished) and that became Walter's home of record and explains why Walter George O'Day's home is entered as River Forest, IL, on your website's MIA LIST. I remember well the fustrating events of 1950-1951. Walter was declared MIA but his family knew nothing of the details. I visited them a number of times at River Forest and commiserated with them and felt awful because there was nothing I could do. Walter's father (being rather well-off) hired a private firm to investigate and negoiate with the Government to see what could be done to reclaim his son or get some definite word as to his whereabouts or fate. I remember sitting down with Mr O'Day on a sad day in about March 1951 when he told me that he learned that Walter had been declared KIA and that he died under honorable and extraordinary circimstances on the ridge above Hansang-ni after bringing ammuniton up to the point. Mr.O'Day had talked with several of the marines who had been in the battle. (One of them later told me that Mr. O'Day was very upset and so grieved about Walter that, out of sympathy, he could not tell him about all the horror, bloodshed and losses that took place.) I personally visited, corresponded with and phoned several Marines and Navy Corpsmen in San Antonio, Utah and Denver who were there and knew Walter, and even got a blow-by-blow account by the last Marine who saw and talked with Walter before he headed directly into the Chinese attackers and was never seen or heard from again. This Marine was later badly wounded himself but lived to tell the tale. The family was finally presented with Walters posthumously awarded Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

 

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