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Biographies C-D

Duffy, Owen F.

Mr. And Mrs. Owen Duffy of Elm Valley have received the following from their son, who is still in France with Uncle Sam’s Army.  The communication tells its own story, which in one that brings pride to the hearts of the young man’s friends here, and honor to the young man himself.

“Headquarters 82nd Div., American E. F. France”--

13 January 1919

General Order No. 1  Extract.

Private Owen F. Duffy,  Co. K,  325th  Infantry

On October 16, 1918, near St. Juvin, France, Private Duffy, together with a comrade, voluntarily, went out into “No Man’s Land,” and under heavy enemy fire, brought in eight wounded comrades, who were helpless and exposed to this fire.  In order to perform this heroic act it was necessary to make several trips into “No Man’s Land.”

“The commanding General takes particular pride in announcing to the command these fine examples of courage and self-sacrifice.  Such deeds are evidence of that spirit of heroism which is innate in the highest type of the American soldier, and responds unfailingly to the call of duty wherever or whenever it may come.

Gordon Johnston,

Chief of Staff.

Distinguished Service Cross for Private Duffy

Private Owen F. Duffy whose discharge from the United States Army, and return home to Elm Valley a few weeks ago is one of the few soldiers who received the Distinguished Service Cross, and he has been so modest about it that very few of his townsmen were acquainted with the fact.

His certificate announcing the fact, is a parchment about fifteen inches square and signed by General Pershing himself.  It is a handsome document, and reads as follows:

“Expeditionary Forces.  Private Owen F. Duffy, Company K, 325th Infantry, distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in connection with the military operations against and armed enemy of the United Sates at J. Juvin, France, on 16 October, 1918, and in recognition of his gallant conduct I have awarded him in name of the President, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Awarded on 5 May, 1919

John J. Pershing

Commander-in-chief

Around the outer edge of this valuable document are printed the names of the battles in which private Duffy was engaged, as follows:

Chateau Thierry, The Marne, Cieges, Juniny, Finnes, St. Mihiel, Beaumoat, Nontsec, Vigeneulles, Thiaucourt, Seichepery, Antigny, Bellau, Bouresches, Vaux, The Argonne, Mountfaucon, Grandpre, Buncncy, and Sedan.

Private Duffy is too modest to tell what he actually did, for publication, to merit this distinction, but if you catch him all on the quiet, when he is in a talkative mood, perhaps he will put you wise to some of it.  This is an honor honestly earned, and he is justly proud of it.  The best of all is that he escaped serious wounds, though he was “nicked” by shrapnel in three different places.         

It should be noted here that the Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest award given out for bravery.  He also received the Purple Heart for his wounds.

A book was published about all of the soldiers that won the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross in World War I; its title is “Heroes All” and was written by Harry R. Stringer.  On page 133 you can read about Private Owen F. Duffy and his act of heroism. 

Owen Duffy Services In Angelica Friday

Was Winner of the Distinguished Service Cross

Angelica, Nov. 19, 1947:  Owen Francis Duffy, veteran of World War I died at the Veterans Administration hospital in Bath yesterday morning following a long illness.

Mr. Duffy was born in Wellsville August 19, 1892.

Survivors include: his wife, Mrs. Catherine Duffy, Angelica; six children, Miss Rita Duffy, Hornell; Jack, Owen Jr.; James, Mary and Ann, all of Angelica; four brothers, James, Patrick, Bernard and John all of Wellsville, and one sister, Miss Catherine Duffy, Wellsville.

A member of Hill Warner Post American Legion in Angelica, Mr. Duffy served one year and eight months during World War I.  He was wounded and received the Purple Heart and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest decoration for gallantry in action.  He also was presented with a presidential citation.

Funeral services will be held in the Sacred Heart Church in Angelica Friday morning at 10 o’clock.  The Rev. Daniel McCarthy will officiate and burial will be made in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Wellsville.

Pvt. Chase Fulkerson of Camp Sheridan Ohio, who has been passing a few days furlough with his brother, Clark Fulkerson of Andover, returned to camp yesterday.

Pvt. Fulkerson is a veteran of the world war only being home from France a few weeks.  He is the most messed up man we have seen returning from the war and yet one of the most cheerful.  He was wounded at the second battle of the Marne, lay in the hospital for six days unattended because they thought him dead.  He was gassed and had pneumonia and the effects, but is still alive and able to enjoy a visit with his brother and has attended the several welcome home receptions to the soldiers given in Andover this week.

It has been almost impossible to get him to talk about himself.  He is modest and retiring and tries to make light of the big part he has taken in the world war.  The news reporter, however quietly drew from him a few facts that are mighty interesting.  He was decorated for bravery by the French Government and wears the Distinguished Honor badge on his shoulder.

This distinguished honor badge was presented him for particular bravery in action.  He, with two others volunteered to go over to the German lines and destroy the camouflage concealing a particular nasty bunch of machine guns.  They went in the dark, carefully crawling right up to the guns of the enemy, poured kerosene oil on the camouflage and set it on fire.  The light from the fire of course exposed them to view of the enemy, and they were treated to a very warm time before finally reaching their own lines, slightly wounded.  The French immediately decorated them for their gallantry.

Pvt. Fulkerson bears the evidence of his strenuous service on his body.  He has 123 scars on his body from the effects of shrapnel and machine gun bullets.  He has lost his left eye, has his jaw broken and was left for dead for several days, yet, he says he didn’t do much worth telling.

There is nothing too good for our country to bestow upon our heroes who fought in France.


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