The above picture, an Army Press Release of Donnell McBride, was printed in the Osceola Sentinel, date unknown. The caption reads: "With. the American Infantry Division on Cebu, PFC Donnell McBride, a veteran automatic rifleman from Osceola, Iowa, who compares game-hunting in his home state to Jap-hunting in the hills of Eastern Cebu. Says the Osceola Infantryman, "Deer or Possum are much more clever than the Jap." McBride, overseas 16 months, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. McBride.

Donnell's story is gleaned through the following forms and letters received and kept all these years by his parents:

An affidavit, which substantiates the applicants claim for payment of World War II Service Compensation, indicates that Donnell's parents were Frank W. age 47, and Mrs. Malinda Amelia M. McBride age 46. Donnell had never married, consequently there was no widow or children. The document was signed by W.W. Reynoldson, practicing attorney in Osceola when the document was drawn

A second document titled WORLD WAR II Honor Roll of Iowans in the Combat Forces of the United States and Allied Nations states that the birthplace of PFC Donnell Frank McBride was Osceola, date of birth June 11, 1924. He had a high school education at Osceola and his civilian occupation was farmer.

Donnell was inducted into the Army Infantry June 21st 1943, at Camp Dodge and sent to Fort McClellan. He was in A company, 132 Inf., Americal Division. He was sent overseas November 1943 to the Pacific Area. His death occurred April 15, 1945, on eastern Philippines island of Cebu, when he was shot between the eyes. Death instant. He had overseas ribbons, campaign medals, and the Purple Heart at death, a bronze star. He was returned to United States for burial — War Release 8/14/48. This record for permanent preservation in the State Archives for the Iowa War Division. Send information and photograph to the State Department of History and Archives, Des Moines, Iowa.

Washington, D.C. 5-6-45 to Mrs. Malinda A McBride RFD* 3 Osceola, Iowa
The secretary of war desires me to express his deep regret that your son PFC McBride Donnell F. Was killed in action on Cebu 15 Apr 45 confirming letter follows.

Ulio The Adjutant General 4 11 p.m.

* (Rural Free Delivery)





28 April 1945

(to Mrs. Amelia McBride)
My dear Mrs. McBride,

No doubt the War Department has already informed you of the death of your son. I realize that nothing anyone could do or say would ease the pain and sorrow of a mother who has lost her son, but I did want to give you as many of the circumstances surrounding his death as possible at this time.

While our company was assaulting an enemy-held ridge just below Guadalupe, Cebu, Philippine Islands, Donnell was mortally wounded by an enemy machine gun burst. The wound penetrated his head, killing him instantly. I am sure he suffered no pain.

Donnell was an excellent soldier, and in combat he was one of the most courageous men I have ever seen. His passing will leave a gap in our ranks, which can't be filled.

Donnell was laid to rest in the United States Armed Forces Cemetery, Cebu #2, near Cebu City, Cebu, Philippine Islands. The Protestant Chaplain officiated at the last rites.

If there is any additional information you may desire, please write me, and I will be only too willing to serve you.

Very sincerely yours,
J.C,. Wollard
Captain, Infantry




l32nd Infantry Regiment
Office of the Chaplain

May 7, 1945

(to Mrs. Amelia McBride)
My dear Mrs. McBride:

It is the least I can do as the chaplain to your boy, Pfc. Donnell McBride, to write to you as his mother and give to you our deep sympathy and assurances of our prayers for your comfort and faith. Donnell met his death in the furtherance of his duty as a front line soldier during action in the campaign for the liberation of Cebu Island of the Philippines.

As a soldier, there was none better than your son. He has had an honorable record and was extremely well thought of by the officers and the men who knew him best in his company. It is a debt of honor which we owe to his memory and we fully realize how much our country owes to him, and others who have given their all. Only God in His mercy can properly reward His own who have "fought the good fight, have finished the course and gained an eternal crown of righteousness."

That you may know full honors were given to him, may I assure you that I personally officiated at his burial, He was given religious rites according to the ritual of the Protestant faith which was read at the grave as the body was committed to the ground. There, his remains will rest in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery No. 2 on the island of Cebu. I know it is as he would wish, to lie with his comrades and his buddies, there to await the general resurrection when we shall be with our Maker.

My prayers go with you along the way as you carry this heavy sorrow. May God mercifully comfort you and wipe away all your tears. If there is anything further I can do that will aid or comfort you, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely your servant,
Joseph T. Riley
Chaplain (Capt.)



May 24, 1945

My dear Mr. McBride:

The President has requested me to inform you that the Purple Heart has been awarded posthumously to your son, Private First Class Donnell F. McBride, Infantry, who sacrificed his life in defense of his country.

The medal, which you will receive shortly, is of slight intrinsic value, but rich with the tradition for which Americans are so gallantly giving their lives. The Father of our country, whose profile and coat of arms adorn the medal, speaks from it across the centuries to the men who fight today for the proud freedom he founded.

Nothing the War Department can do or say will in any sense repair the loss of your loved one. He has gone, however, in honor and the goodly company of patriots. Let me in communicating to you the country's deep sympathy, also express to you its gratitude for his valor and devotion.

Please believe me,

Sincerely yours,
Henry L. Stimson,
(Secretary of War 1940-1945)





A.P.O. 500, May 25, 1945
(To Mrs. Amelia McBride) Dear Mrs. McBride:

My deepest sympathy goes to you in the death of your son, Private First Class Donnell F. McBride.

Your consolation for his loss may be that he died in the service of his country in a just cause and for the benefit of all.






5 July, 1945

(To Mr. Frank W. McBride)
Dear Mr. McBride:

I have the honor to inform you that, by direction of the President, the Bronze Star Medal has been posthumously awarded to your son, Private First Class Donnell F. McBride, Infantry. The citation is as follows:

"For heroic achievement in military operations against the enemy at *****, *****, on 2 April 1945. When his company was subjected to heavy enemy attacks Private McBride, together with three other men, exposed himself to devastating enemy fire in order to throw grenades and fire at the enemy. After his platoon had repulsed the enemy attack on the left flank, Private McBride arose from his foxhole and with utter disregard for his own safety, crawled to a position across open ground to reinforce the right flank which the enemy was threatening. By his zealous devotion to duty Private McBride was a source of inspiration to his platoon and a credit to the Army of the United States.

The decoration will be forwarded to the Commanding General, Seventh Service Command, Omaha, Nebraska, who will select an officer to make the presentation. The officer selected will communicate with you concerning your wishes in the matter.

May I again express my deepest sympathy to you in your bereavement.

Sincerely yours,
Brigadier General
Acting The Adjutant General






The official records show that Donnell F. McBride was inducted into the military service on 23 June, 1943, at Camp Dodge, Iowa at which time his home address, was known as RFD #3, Osceola, Iowa. He was transferred to the Enlisted Reserve Corps on the date of his induction and reported for active duty 7 July 1943. He left the United States for foreign service 9 January 1944, and was killed in action 15 April 1945, on Cebu, Philippine Islands, while serving as a Private First Class, Company A, 132nd Infantry Regiment.

This official statement furnished 3 June 1949 to Mrs. Frank McBride, mother, Osceola, Iowa.


Major General
The Adjutant General







Mamie Jo McBride Whitehead, Donnell's only sister, nine years younger than he, told of his background. They were of Scotch-Irish descent. Frank was Irish and Amelia Scottish. Her heritage traced back to the McPhersons who came to America through Canada. Mamie Jo said there is undoubtedly some Indian blood, which has given them a tendency toward a dark complexion. Amelia said of her two children they were her pigeon pair because the mother always had two chicks, a male and a female. The picture of Donnell standing was taken in their front yard. The evergreen tree is still there.

Frank's ambition gave him various pursuits. He was Osceola's night watchman before a police force was needed. He farmed, drove a school bus and worked with Bob Young's Construction Company. He built several Standard Oil Stations, the one in Osceola was on the "Four Corners," the intersection of highways 34 and 69. One of Amelia's outstanding characteristics was an intuition giving her a precognitive gift. Her children could never surprise her.

Of Donnell, Mamie Jo remembers him as one of the kindest fellows she ever knew. He was particularly respectful of girls and women. He and his mother had their special code by which to slip letters past the censor. When he asked how the guineas were, she knew he was on the island of New Guinea. They had no guineas. He made a reference to Christmas out of season and she knew he was on Christmas Island. He had a way of letting her know they went to the South Pacific by way of the Panama Canal. Even though her heart sank when she saw Puny Hart's car come over the hill, because he was the one who brought the telegram with the startling news, she had already known. Nights before, Donnell had sat on the side of her bed and said, "Mom, I'm all right."

Donnell wrote about General Douglas MacArthur, that he had been invited to his home for a weekend. He described him as a sweet man, very protective of his men and not always in agreement with the military upper echelon.

Amelia was born in 1902, died in 1984; and Frank, born in 1901, died in 1991, at the age of 90.


Return to main page for Clarke Veterans by Fern Underwood

Last Revised June 7, 2015