Joseph R. Odum

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Joseph Roy Odum
Born (1913-02-09)February 9, 1913
Jacksonville, Florida
Died October 15, 1942(1942-10-15) (aged 29)
Pacific Ocean, near Guadalcanal
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1934–1942
Rank Fireman First Class
Unit USS Meredith (DD-434)
Battles/wars World War II
*Guadalcanal campaign
Awards Silver Star

Joseph R. Odum (1913–1942) was a United States Navy sailor who received the Silver Star posthumously for his actions in combat during World War II.


Joseph Roy Odum was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on 9 February 1913. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 20 June 1934.

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.