Like the attorney he is, James O’Donnell takes the Fifth Amendment when it comes to talking about his work in intelligence during the Korean War.
What he will say is that he served 19 months in Korea, working near Seoul in an office. O’Donnell was a private first class. He remembers the intense cold of Korean winters and miserable conditions of warfare. He was glad to come home and happy to turn down the Army’s request to re-enlist.
He had a budding law career in mind.
During his time in the Army, O’Donnell visited Guam as well as Wake and Midway Islands and enjoyed rest and recreation visits in Tokyo.
He was deferred from the draft while he attended law school, but once he had his degree, his friends and neighbors sent him his notice.
When he came home, he was expected to serve in the local Reserve unit in which he was deemed “an Asian expert.”
He laughs at that memory. Instead, he went to work with Shelby Attorney Anderson and Will, and eventually his name was added to the title.
O’Donnell served on the board of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building for 12 years.
He and his father were both grand knights in the Knights of Columbus.
He is a member of the Ohio and Richland County Bar associations and served for years at the Richland County Law Library. He is also a member of Am Vets Post 26.
by Angela Gardner
Life Enrichment Coordinator
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