Pottawattamie County

M/Sgt. James B. Cavanagh

Died 10 Feb 1943


Return Bodies of 10 S. W. Iowans
Three From Bluffs Area

Bodies of 59 Iowa service men, including 10 from southwest Iowa, were among the 2,792 war dead returned Tuesday aboard the army transport Cardinal O’Connell, which docked in San Francisco, Calif.

Three of the men returned aboard the Cardinal O’Connell are from the Council Bluffs area, including M. Sgt. James B. Cavanagh of Neola, Seaman 1/c John Henry Field and Tech 5/g Lyle C. Smith of Council Bluffs.

Sgt. Cavanagh, son of Mrs. Angie Cecilia Cavanagh of Neola, was taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines and died of disease in a prison camp in October, 1943 (sic).

Seaman Field, son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Field, 1204 North 29th street, died Jan. 19, 1942 aboard his ship in the Pacific, malaria causing his death. He had served in the navy since 1938. He attended Thomas Jefferson high school in 1935-36. Surviving are his parents, five brothers, including Joe and Marshall Field of Council Bluffs, and three sisters.

Cpl. Smith, son of Clyde C. Smith, 3014 Avenue C, was fatally wounded on Kwajelein on Feb. 2, 1943. He was a native of Tekamah, Neb., graduated from high school there. He will be buried in Tekamah cemetery. His father came to Council Bluffs last year.

Other southwest Iowans aboard the USAT Cardinal O’Connell included: (next of kin listed in parentheses)

Flight Officer Leo V. Herrold (John V. Herrold, Diagonal) [Ringgold Co.]; Pvt. William H. Matthews, (Frank A. Mathews, Woodbine) [Harrison Co.]; Fireman 2/c Richard Ewing Moore, (Arthur R. Moore, route 2, Mount Ayr) [Ringgold Co.]; Machinist’s Mate 2/c John Spicer, (Beryl Parks, Afton) [Union Co.]; Cpl. Francis D. Spicer, (Mrs. Stella J. Spicer, Clarinda) [Page Co.]; 2nd Lt. Clark G. Sundberg, (Mrs. Ida O. Sundberg, Red Oak) [Montgomery Co.]; and Cpl. Ole C. Wibholm, jr., (Ole C. Wibholm, sr., Clarinda [Page Co.].

Bodies of the servicemen returned on the O’Connell were taken from many cemeteries throughout the Pacific. A large number of the bodies had been concentrated at the mausoleum in the Hawaiian islands after smaller mid-Pacific island cemeteries had been evacuated. The bulk of the others are being returned from cemeteries at Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, and Guadalcanal.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, February 10, 1948, Page 4 (photo included)

Neola News

Mrs. Harold Marchand of Stockton, Calif., has arrived in Neola to attend funeral services for Sgt. James Cavanaugh (sic). Her mother, Mrs. Angela Cavanagh, who has been visiting in Stockton since December, accompanied Mrs. Marchand.

Cavanaugh Rites at Neola Friday

NEOLA – Military services for Master Sgt. James Cavanaugh (sic), first Neola service man to be returned for burial, will be held Friday at 9 a. m. at St. Patrick’s church, with burial in the church cemetery. The body will arrive in Council Bluffs Thursday, with the Beem-Belford funeral home in charge, will be brought to the home of Mrs. Catherine Cavanaugh Thursday afternoon.

Sgt. Cavanaugh died Feb. 10, 1943, in a Japanese prison camp. He was the son of Mrs. Angela Cavanaugh. The Neola post of the American Legion will be in charge of the military funeral.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Tuesday, March 02, 1948, Pages 5 & 6