O'Gara, James V.

O'Gara, James V.

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James V. O'Gara lived in Rye and served with U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Date of Birth: 8/31/48
Branch of Service: U.S. Army

Veteran Code: VIET-138

BIOGRAPHY Search for Newspaper Articles on this Veteran
James Vincent O’Gara, Jr

James Vincent O’Gara, Jr. was born on 8/31/48 in Rye, NY. His parents were James and Eleanor (Barber) O’Gara. Jim has five siblings: his twin, Mary Ann, Carole, Eleanor, Pauline and Jane. The family lived on Rye Beach Avenue and subsequently moved to Lynden Street. Jim attended Resurrection Elementary School, Salesian High School and graduated from Iona College. He currently lives with his family in Florida.

Tours of Duty:
-Vietnam - infantry - 4th/23rd Infantry Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division
-Vietnam - Medevac ship
-Heidelberg, Germany - US Army Headquarters, Intelligence

Date of Discharge - May 4, 1972. Served three and a half (3½) years.

In response to a request from the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, the division sent 100 helicopter door-gunners to South Vietnam in early 1963. By August 1965, further division involvement in the coming Vietnam War included the deployment of Company C, 65th Engineer Battalion, to South Vietnam to assist in the construction of port facilities at Cam Ranh Bay. By mid-1965, 2,200 men of the Tropic Lightning Division were involved in Vietnam. The division was again ordered to contribute combat forces in December of that year. Its resupply regiment, the 467th, was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George S Dotson through the end of the war.

In response to a MACV request, the division deployed the 3rd Brigade, a Reinforced Task Force, with 5,150 infantrymen and 9,000 tons of equipment from Hawaii in 25 days to the Northwest sector of South Vietnam to firmly establish a fortified enclave from which the division could operate. Operation Blue Light was the largest and longest airlift of personnel and cargo into a combat zone in military history before Operation Desert Shield. The brigade deployed its first soldiers from Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, to the central highlands at Pleiku. These men arrived in Vietnam 24 December 1965. By mid-January, the deployment operation was complete — giving combat planners in Vietnam a favorable balance of power. The 25th Infantry Division had its headquarters at Củ Chi Base Camp, near the Iron Triangle from January 1966 until February 1970. The division was heavily engaged from April 1966 until 1972 throughout the area of operations in Southeast Asia. During this period, Tropic Lightning soldiers fought in some of the toughest battles of the war including Operation Junction City.

During the Tet offensives of 1968 and 1969, Tropic Lightning soldiers were instrumental in defending the besieged city of Saigon. From May through June 1970, division soldiers participated in Allied thrusts deep into enemy sanctuaries located in Cambodia. In these Incursion operations, the division units confiscated thousands of tons of supplies and hundreds of weapons. This operation crippled the Cambodian-based efforts against American units. Following its return from Cambodia to South Vietnam, the division resumed its place in the Vietnamization Program. The war was winding down. By late December 1970, elements of the 25th Infantry Division were able to begin redeployment to Schofield Barracks. Second Brigade was the last element of the division to depart Vietnam. It arrived at Ft Lewis, Washington in the early days of May 1971. Some elements in the 2nd Brigade were originally assigned to the 4th Infantry Division when they arrived in Vietnam. During the war in Vietnam, 22 Medals of Honor were awarded to Tropic Lightning soldiers.

Eleanor O'Gara Gould

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