Army Badge
  • Name: Donald "Jim" James Dowd
  • Location of Birth: Taconite, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: August 13, 1925
  • Date of Death: November 8, 1983
  • Parents: Earl Dowd & Nellie (Cheslak) Dowd
  • High School and Class: 1943 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: PFC (Private First Class)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: February 4, 1944
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: May 11, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Donald James Dowd
    Race: White
    Age: 18
    Birth Date: August 13, 1925
    Birth Place: Taconite, Minnesota
    Residence Place: Taconite, Itasca, Minnesota
    Registration Date: August 13, 1943
    Employer: Baldan [sic] Mining Co., Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 150
    Height: 5-6
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mrs. N. Dowd, Taconite, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: 1944 – Pfc. James Dowd writes enroute and after arriving in England: “We are having nice sailing weather and have plenty of entertainment on board ship. We all received a Red Cross box yesterday which contains writing paper, pack of cigarettes, a roll of life savers, pocket magazine, shoe laces, soap, pencil, sewing kit and razor blades. It is very nice. I still don’t know where I’ll land but will write the first chance I get. Have to eat now; with only two meals a day I can’t afford to miss any. I arrived in England after an uneventful but peaceful trip. I saw some really beautiful scenery. I wish I could tell you more about it, but that will just have to wait. It’s very damp here; if it isn’t fog, its rain; the sun never shines. I found out just before I got off the boat that Bernard Tano was on the same ship but I didn’t get to talk with him. I was on rations the last couple of days so got a chance to see a little of the nearby town; everything is made of brick; houses, streets and every house has a brick fence with hedges sticking over the top. The people are friendly and willing to help or talk with us. The English people have the idea that all Americans, including soldiers, are filthy rich; so when they see one coming, the price goes up a couple of shillings. Don’t get me wrong tho’; one can have a good time with little or no money at all. Just yesterday I went to a dancing school and am trying to learn the English dances, but as on previous engagements, I didn’t do so well. I don’t care too much for their style of dancing. Everything over here is rationed; even our P.X. rations cigarettes, candy, gum, razor blades, soap, combs and anything else they happen to have. I had a nice Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, oranges, candy, dressing and all the trimmings. It was much better than I expected but it wouldn’t compare with your home cooking. We sleep in an old run-down hotel but it’s dry and warm, much better than tents, so I haven’t any complaints so far in my travels. I have hopes of seeing Shorty (Troumbly) and Art (Hanson) soon. Jim.”

    Newspaper article: January 1945 – From Pfc. D. J. Dowd, in England: “Dear Members: I have a few spare minutes this afternoon so I figured I’d better send my sincerest thanks for the Christmas card and stamps and also for the snapshot of the town. A few copies of The Itasca Iron News, November issues, caught up with me yesterday – each issue is just like a long letter from home and believe me, I read every word of every copy. I am getting a chance to see a little of England while here on my brief stay on the Island. I’ve seen Liverpool, London and Manchester and a few small towns. In all, I’ve seen enough and am ready to move on. At present I am stationed in an army camp and if I am here two more months, I’ll have to grow web feet or die trying – too much California sunshine for me! I had hopes at one time of seeing or rather looking up some of the boys that are here, but passes are few and far between, so for the present it’s only a hope. Must close for now. A Taconiter, Jim.”

    Newspaper article: April 1945 – D. James Dowd writes from somewhere in Holland: “My stay lucky enough wasn’t long in France – only two weeks. We stayed in a very modern Dutch school house two nights and I got myself a nice shower, the first in some time. I traveled through or in parts of three countries coming here. I went through a few German towns, that is, what’s left of them. Right now, I am staying in buildings left by the owners when the fighting started. I can hear artillery shells all day long but they’re all going the right way, I hope. One of the boys found a German rifle so we had to try it out. It is not a bad weapon; much better than I thought they were. I am writing this by candlelight and it’s just about all gone. Jimmy.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Donald James Dowd married Pataricia Hillinski in Minnesota in 1956.

    Jim died in Glenview, Illinois. He is survived by his wife, Pat; sons, Greg and Jeff; one brother, Robert; and two sisters, Betty Latz and Margaret Dowd.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):