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Pvt. Ova A. Kelley To Be Honored

Ceremony Planned for Memorial Bridge Sign Dedication

SIKESTON – A dedication ceremony honoring Pvt. Ova A. Kelley is scheduled for Friday, April 13, at 10 a.m. at the Norwood High School gymnasium located at 375 N. Hawk Ave. in Norwood.

Private Ova A. Kelley was a United States Army soldier and recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in World War II.

Kelley was born in Norwood, on March 27, 1914. He joined the United States Army and served Company A, 382nd Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division at the time of his death. He single-handedly attacked an entrenched Japanese position and led a charge which destroyed the remaining Japanese force on Dec. 8, 1944. He was shot by a sniper soon after, and died of his wounds two days later on Dec. 10, 1944. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on Oct. 19, 1945. Kelley was laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery in Norwood, Mo.

Representative Tony Dugger sponsored legislation, which names the bridge on Route E over Route 60 in Wright County the Pvt. Ova A. Kelley Memorial Bridge. Signed by Governor Jay Nixon, the law became effective on Aug. 28, 2011.

The public is invited to attend the event.

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