• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan confers posthumous medal on American military adviser

Taiwan confers posthumous medal on American military adviser

Judy O'Dowd, widow of the late American military advisor Paul O'Dowd, on Wednesday accepted a medal in Washington on his behalf from the Republic of China's (ROC) Ministry of Defense for his valuable service to the ROC military in the 1960s.

The posthumous Medal of Army Brilliance, A-Class was presented to O'Dowd's widow by Maj. Gen. Yang Ta-wei, chief of Taiwan's military mission to the United States.

O'Dowd passed away on July 27 at the age of 90 at his home in California and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

Prior to the funeral, Taiwan's military mission in Washington held a ceremony in honor of O'Dowd, who was assigned to the ROC in 1966 as a member of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group, serving as chief adviser to the ROC Army Training Command.

He was a collector of Chinese medals and had many of them, but this one would be highly prized, his widow said upon accepting the posthumous medal.

She said her family had made Taiwan their home in the 1960s and worked to return there after her husband retired from the military.

After he retired, he went back to university to get a second master's degree so that he could teach in Taiwan, Judy O'Dowd said.

She said that she and her husband studied to "prepare to live and teach in Taiwan." Between 1972 and 1978, they both taught English at Fu Hsing Kang College, now part of the National Defense University, and the Defense Language Institute.

After the severance of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the ROC in 1979, the O'Dowds set up their own English language learning institute in Taiwan and stayed until 1989, when Paul O'Dowd found that his health was deteriorating.

Born in 1924, Paul O'Dowd joined the U.S. Marines after high school. During World War II, he fought in the Pacific theater, and when the Korean War broke out, he was deployed to the Korean Peninsula.

In February 1951 he was captured and was held as a prisoner of war for 938 days. (By Tony Liao and Lillian Lin)

Updated : 2021-09-17 03:39 GMT+08:00