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Information on Marine Donald O'Hara, my uncle  XML
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kevoh
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Joined: 05/07/2020 11:09:13
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Donald was in a small unit attached to French Canadian Regt on D Day. They sailed to and landed early in Normandy. His unit was quickly withdrawn after the initial landings and were subsequently sent out to Far East to assist in planned landings on Japanese mainland.
Whilst in transit they were asked by Dutch to help them sort out some troublesome natives in what had once been a Dutch colony, pre war. He was a trained diver and demolition marine and was involved in clearing harbour wrecks, in Europe, after WW2.
He is still alive, living in Dingle, Co, Kerry in Ireland and will, God willing, celebrate his 95th birthday this coming September.
Any information gratefully received.
Pete
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Hi Kevoh...as your Uncle is still alive and soon to celebrate his 95th birthday you may additionally wish to email the RM Historical Society on [email protected]

It would be nice to get a definitive answer before his birthday. Your description sounds similar to that of a small unit on DDay called Pikeforce which was part of 30 Commando Assault Unit, but I cannot be sure. Mid 1945 a detachment from 30AU also went to the Far East.

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


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kevoh
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Thanks Pete,
Have emailed RM Historical Society as you suggested.

Kevin
Pete
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Actually have just re-read your post and there could be other units that are more likely, eg. RM Commando Engineers, Landing Craft Obstruction Clearance Units, etc. Hopefully the RM Historical Society can help. Have you a photo of your uncle in uniform?

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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kevoh
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Joined: 05/07/2020 11:09:13
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Pete,
The photo of Don in uniform is too large to send (1.4Mb) zipped. What are limits?
Can I send it to you via another means?
I also have 2 pages of interview he gave to Irish newspaper that give more detail, I will try to send them individually.

Kind Regards

Kevin
kevoh
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Pete, Reduced file size image of Donald O'Hara.
My name is Kevin Michael O'Hara, nephew of Donald.
[Thumb - Don1 2.jpg]
 Filename Don1 2.jpg [Disk] Download
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kevoh
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Pete,
Interview with Donald O'Hara
[Thumb - Don2.jpg]
 Filename Don2.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description Page 1 Interview
 Filesize 299 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  223 time(s)

[Thumb - Don3.jpg]
 Filename Don3.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description Page 2 interview
 Filesize 197 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  230 time(s)

kevoh
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With Regard to my uncle's trip to Far East, his unit was tasked to assist The Buffalos (92nd US Infantry Division, an all black unit) in the invasion of the Japanese mainland. After dropping of atomic bombs and surrender the landing was called off and his unit pulled back to Bombay. There they embarked in HMS Colossus (Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier) and were "dumped" in Jakarta, then in Java, a Dutch Colony, to help return the island to Dutch control. A nationalist group had started an uprising to gain independence and his unit, alongside Dutch troops, tried to re-assert control. This attempt to gain control by Dutch failed and Java, now Indonesia, was soon granted independence. They were promised extra pay by Dutch but it never materialised, a fact he still remembers. Following the end of WW2 he spent 20 years clearing up wrecks sunk during war in European waters. During this time he went to Falkland Islands to help prepare SS Gt Britain, for transport to UK.He was also engaged in building houses and built at least 6 houses in our own village of Lumb. He then moved to Fareham, with his first wife. She died in 1973 and he subsequently married his second wife, widow of an RAF sergeant. They built a house in Annascaul, near Dingle in Co Kerry, Ireland and moved there. Alma, his second wife subsequently died and he was left alone. He has one daughter, by his first wife and a step son and two step daughters who were his second wife's children from her first marriage. He now lives in a care home in Dingle, Co Kerry, age 94. He kept himself busy during his time in Annascaul by making rocking horses, model ships and running classes in carpentry. in his own, well equipped, workshop. He also built a small golf course, behind his house, to keep his hand in. He must at some time have had contact with Gurkha soldiers as he gave me a set of mounted Kukrie knives. as well as a standard brass diving helmet.
I have emailed him to ask about his WW2 service but may have to write as I don't know if he is still reading his email account.

Kind Regards

Kevin
kevoh
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Joined: 05/07/2020 11:09:13
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Marine Donald O'Hara,
Further to my previous posts I now have more information on my uncle. His service number was PO/X117415 and he served with 2nd Royal Marine Armoured Support Regiment that was attached to Canadian Army landing on Juno Beach. on D Day. I don't know which battery he was in 3rd or 4th, or which troop he was in J, K, L, M N, O, P, or Q.
Donald died on 11th March 2023 in Dingle, Co Kerry, Ireland aged 98. His ashes now lie with his first wife in crematorium graveyard in Porchester.
Any further info gratefully received.

Kevin
 
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