The WW2 War Hero Who Originated From Amarillo
It’s no secret that Amarillo played an important role during WW2, providing air bases, planes, and weapons to the United States during that time. But weapons were not our only contributions. One of the greatest contributions that Amarillo could give was brave men willing to contribute to the war effort. And turns out, that Amarillo actually contributed a notable figure, Brigadier General Odell M. Conoley who became a influential figures for the United States' millitery during WW2.
Conoley was born in Amarillo in 1913, growing up and spending most of his younger years in the city. In his years as a young adult, Conoley attended Texas A&M and became an active member of clubs and sports during this time. Around this time he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps unit and in 1935 was commissioned reserve second lieutenant of infantry, starting off his official military career. After training to become an officer, Conoley was stationed at the 6th Marines Corps Base in San Diego before being on expeditionary duty, often going to and from China from 1937 to 1940.
His military career came into full swing in 1940 after the attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into the war. Between 1941 and 1942 Conoley had been promoted to captain and then to major before being put sent with the 1rst Marine Division to the South Pacific in 1942. It was during this time that Conoley had proven himself in combat. Conoley organized and launched a successful counterattack on the enemy, taking back territory while at a disadvantage of manpower.
These actions earned Conoley a Navy cross, the 2nd highest honor one can earn in the military. Conoley did not stop here, however, being responsible for leading many more successful offensives in the future, greatly contributing to the United State’s ultimate success in the pacific theatre.
Later in his military career, Conoley worked his way up the military ladder instructing units, serving as chief of staff for the Marines and eventually being promoted to Brigadier General. After serving a long and successful military career Conoley finally retired in 1964 and settled in San Diego.
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