August 29. 2018 11:01PM

Medals presented for late WWII hero

Medals were posthumously awarded Aug. 17 for Navy Seaman Emil Jowdy, who gave his life while helping to save several of his fellow sailors after their ship was sunk in 1942 off the coast of Brazil. From left are retired Army Col. Pete Kujawski, of the Association of the United States Army; Bob Jowdy, nephew of Emil Jowdy; retired Navy Cmdr. Dave Kenney of AUSA; Mike Hatem, nephew of Emil Jowdy; Loretta Demarco, niece of Emil Jowdy; and Ken Demarco, husband of Loretta Demarco. (Courtesy of retired Army Lt. Col. Greg d’Arbonne)

LONDONDERRY — On Aug. 17, the Col. Edward Cross Chapter of the Association of the United States Army had the distinct pleasure and honor to participate in the presentation of the medals for Navy Seaman Emil James Jowdy, who died while saving his fellow Navy sailors in World War II.

Retired Navy Cmdr. Dave Kenney, a chapter executive committee member, presented the medals to Jowdy’s niece and nephews of Londonderry on the quarterdeck at the Naval Operations Support Center (NOSC) in Londonderry.

Jowdy’s ship was sunk off the coast of Brazil by a German U-Boat on Nov. 2, 1942.

At the ceremony, Kenney read the harrowing account, including the survival story of those lost at sea for more than 80 days. While Jowdy died before he could be rescued, several survived because of Jowdy’s bravery and cool head during the ordeal.

The medals Jowdy earned are the Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. A Gold Star Lapel Button was presented for his sister, Jo Hatem, the last surviving sibling, though she was unable to attend the ceremony.

Attending the event were Jowdy’s niece, Loretta Demarco, and her husband Ken, and Jowdy’s nephews, Mike Hatem and Bob Jowdy.

Bob Jowdy had worked with U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s office to secure the medals.