John G. McNamara (#O-25677)

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Bellaire, Ohio
January 6, 1921
908th Field Artillery
83rd Infantry
Combat Infantryman's Badge, Bronze Star Medal, European African Middle-Eastern Campaign Medal with one Silver Campaign Star (for 5 Campaigns, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe, Ardennes-Alsace)

John Gilmore McNamara was born on January 6, 1921 in Bellaire, Ohio to the late John J. (1892-1949) and Anna M. (Kraus) McNamara (1891–1987).

John McNamara (#0-25677) was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with the class of January 1943. Commssioned into the Field Artillery upon graduation.

John Gilmore McNamara as a cadet   Second row in the middle, John Gilmore McNamara at the USMA West Point

Known to everyone here as "Mac" this serious minded Ohioan came to West Point trough prep school. His Irish nature prevents him from being dominated, but once convinced it's a necessity to do a thing he does it completely. With a philpsophy similar to Omar Khayyam's life will probably go well for him. Having found his red comformer all other activites became secondary. When he makes up his mind as to his branch, he will probably go very far.

Source: "Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY) - Class of January 1943"

John McNamara, 1944
  During World War 2, then Captain, John McNamara served as a Battery Commander with the 908th Field Artillery Battalion, 83rd Infantry Division. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star for heroic action in the Steckby Forest of Germany. "The infantry battalion for which he was the liaison officer was hit by two German infantry battalions and tanks, and the lead companies were overrun. Although under heavy small arms, tank, and artillery fire, John stood his ground and directed devastating fire on the enemy from an exposed position." Resigned his commission in 1954.


England, 1944


John McNamara married Anna Rita McClure (1921-1995) and they had 3 children, Nancy McNamara Hamilton, John McNamara, and Michael McNamara

Their daughter Nancy McNamara Hamilton recounts her parents wartime romance:

1st Lt. Anne R. McClure aka 'Red McClure', for the hair of course. When John McNamara would have time between the battles and would come looking for her, he would just say, "I'm looking for a redheaded nurse" and there were few enough of them that he could find her fairly soon. They had a very romantic courtship, for sure. She was so funny! An elderly Belgian man who was helping me track down war related locations and information on her and my father told me that he talked to one of my mother's nurse friends that he was able to help secure the Legion of Honor medal for (so my mom would be eligible too, had she lived, she had the same experiences). This woman, Dottie, remarked too on my mother's humor. She said that when they all were mock fighting with each other, my mother, who was a Catholic, would say, "You Dirty Prods" (Protestants).
So when I called Dottie the first time, this man told me to say, "I want to speak to the dirty prod." I did, and there was a stunned silence and then she burst into laughter. We both laughed and laughed. I called three of these nurses who served with my mother, just because it is a link with her.

They met during WWII. She was a nurse in the 16th General Hospital. They were set up by Dr. Debakey, the heart surgeon, forerunner of MASH units, to get medical help closer to the front lines. Saved many more lives than previous systems). Her tent hospital was closest to the Battle of the Bulge. They met in England during the build up to the war, and he courted her throughout the war. They were married in Paris in August 1945. A romantic story!

Anna and John dating during the war at chateau Fayenbois, Belgium
  This 17th-century chateau in the vicinity of Liege,Belgium,
served as quarters for hospital personal

John McNamara left

During the Occupation period,
somewhere in Bavaria, Germany

John McNamara (right) occupation period,
somewhere in Bavaria, Germany


June 22, 1947
Promotion to Major

John McNamara and his dog Willie (aka Tussa)
He is Major at this time (1950 or 1951)
John McNamara (left) as education Major at the Bowling Green State University ROTC program and Colonel Malone (right)



John Gilmore McNamara died on January 18, 1981 and is burried at the Mount Calvary Cemetery, Bellaire, Belmont County, Ohio.

Nancy McNamara Hamilton