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Check Six – 1967: Lt. Col. George McEldowney Retires

December 14, 2021

From the Fall 1967 issue of the Hawai‘i Guardsman

Hawaii Army National Guard photograph

Lieutenant Colonel George Shiel McEldowney, veteran Army National Guard officer and former commander of the Big Island’s 2nd Infantry Battalion, 29th Infantry Brigade, retire on July 16, 1967 in Hilo, He received his second award of the Hawai‘i National Guard Commendation Meal during the retirement ceremonies.

Colonel McEldowney endured more that 28 years active and reserve service, including nearly 20 years with the Guard,

His son, Robert Shiel, 22, carrying on the military tradition in the family, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in June. Following additional training at Fort Benning, Georgia, the younger McEldowney, a lieutenant, will be assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade at Schofield Barracks in November.

Other children included daughters, Lois, 20, Phyllis, 15, and Janis, 8.

Colonel McEldowney is a 1934 graduate of Leilehua High School on O‘ahu.

In 1940, he graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a bachelor of science degree in sugar technology. He received his commission as a second lieutenant at the University in June 1939 as a member of ROTC. He taught ROTC for a year there.

Two days after Pearl Harbor he was called to active duty, serving in Hawai‘i and the South Pacific. He saw action at Guadalcanal, He was released from active duty as a mayor in May 1946.

Interestingly enough, it was in Hawaii that McEldowney received a medal for heroic action, when he saved a drowning soldier off Makapu‘u Point, O‘ahu in April 1943. For this, he was awarded the Soldiers Medal. 

His other award and service ribbons include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

Last year he was awarded his first Hawai‘i National Guard Commendation Medal for outstanding leadership and dedicated service. Colonel McEldowney also holds the Hawai‘i National Guard Service Medal for 20 years of Guard service.

Colonel McEldowney wrote the history of the activated 298th Regimental Combat Team, 1943-1945. This 58-page document has maps and photographs and was published in December 2007.

From → History

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