Medals presented for late WWII hero
August 29. 2018 11:01PM
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.