Conroy, James, COL

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1940-1943, 1st Battalion, 165th Infantry Regiment
Service Years
1939 - 1943



One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 Johnny Conroy to remember Conroy, James, COL.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Nov 20, 1943
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Micronesia, Fed. States
World War II
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
1st Battalion, 165th  Infantry Regiment27th Infantry Division
  1918-1918, 11A, 1st Battalion, 165th Infantry Regiment
  1940-1943, 27th Infantry Division
  1940-1943, 1st Battalion, 165th Infantry Regiment
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1918-1918 World War I
  1941-1943 World War II
  1943-1943 WWII - Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Makin
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Colonel J. Gardiner Conroy, aged 54, was shot between the eyes by a Japanese sniper as he walked up to the front lines during the battle for Makin Island in November 1943. His observation had convinced him that a lone sniper held the troops at bay, and he found three other Colonels pinned down at the location. His plan was to get the troops moving. When hefinally realized there was heavy rifle and machine gun fire he was shot before he could reach cover. He was awarded the DSC and Purple Heart, posthumously.
He had been Task Force Commander for all forces participating in the invasion of the island proper. He was in actuality commanding the 165th Infantry regiment of the 27th Division at the time. Serial number O-185592
The President's son, James Roosevelt stated that he was three feet from Conroy when he was killed. LTC Colonel Roosevelt, a Marine, (and possibly the only one on the island), had participated a year earlier in the raid on Makin made by Carlson'e Raiders, USMC, and had been awarded a Navy Cross for actions there.
A street in New York City, a square on the Army post at Brooklyn and an air field on Makin were named in his honor.
Prior to World War II Col Conroy was a lawyer on FDR's New York staff. He was described as a "peace time National Guard officer".
 This regimental combat team was commanded by 54 year old Colonel W. Gardiner Conroy, a long time Guardsman who began his career as an enlisted man before World War I. He served as Captin, Company E, 106th NY Infantry Regiment in 1918, during World War I. He had served off and on with the Guard as an infantryman and as a Judge Advocate General's Corps lawyer and with the Organized Reserve Corps. He was, in fact, at one point, the Adjutant General of the Hew York State Guard.
He reentered the Guard in 1939 as an infantry colonel and soon thereafter became the commander of the "Old 69th New York", later changed to the 165th Infantry.
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