Joseph R. Odum
|Joseph Roy Odum|
February 9, 1913|
|Died||October 15, 1942
Pacific Ocean, near Guadalcanal
|Allegiance||United States of America|
||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1934–1942|
|Rank||Fireman First Class|
|Unit||USS Meredith (DD-434)|
|Battles/wars||World War II
On 15 October 1942, Fireman First Class Odum was a gunner on the destroyer USS Meredith (DD-434) when she was sunk by Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft from the aircraft carrier Zuikaku. He remained at his battle station after the order to abandon ship had been given so he could protect his shipmates in the water from being strafed by Japanese planes. He was still firing when the ship went under and was lost with the ship.
For his actions during the sinking of Meredith, Fireman First Class Odum was awarded the Silver Star posthumously.
The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Odum (DE-670) was named for Fireman First Class Odum. She was converted during construction into the high-speed transport USS Odum (APD-71) and was in commission as such from 1945 to 1946.