Donovan, Arthur James, Jr., PFC

 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Private 1st Class
Last Primary MOS
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 0311, 3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)/H&S Co
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate

Private 1st Class


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Edson Bellis to remember Marine PFC Arthur James Donovan, Jr. (The Bulldog).

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Baltimore, Maryland

Date of Passing
Aug 04, 2013
Location of Interment
Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens - Timonium, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Art Donovan, born June 5, 1924, was the son of Arthur Donovan, Sr., a famed boxing referee and the grandson of Professor Mike Donovan, the world middleweight boxing champion in the 1870s.  Art attended Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx.  He received a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame in 1942, but left after one semester to join the United States Marine Corps, where he spent four years during World War II.  During World War II, he served on active duty from 1943 to 1945, and participated in significant combat operations in the Pacific. Donovan served as a antiaircraft gun crewman aboard the USS San Jacinto where he saw action in the following major raids and battles; Caroline Islands, Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Luzon. His earned citations, which included the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal and would later earn him a place in the U.S. Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, the first pro football player so honored. After the war Donovan then attended his final three years at Boston College, starting as a two-way tackle the entire time.

Other Comments:
In each of his first three seasons, Donovan played for a team which went out of business.  He started out with the first Baltimore Colts, who folded after his rookie season in 1950, followed by the New York Yanks in 1951, and their successor, the Dallas Texans, in 1952.  After the Texans franchise was moved to Baltimore in 1953 and became the second Baltimore Colts,  Donovan played with that team.  He became one of the stars in an outstanding defense and was selected to five straight Pro Bowls, from 1953 through 1957. The Colts won back-to-back championships in 1958 and 1959.  He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.  During his career, Donovan played in what many believe was one of the most important games in NFL history, the 1958 title game between the Colts and the New York Giants. The contest between the two teams took place on December 28, 1958 and ended in a 17-17 tie.  Because it was the championship game, it went into overtime, the first NFL game to do so.  Donovan made an important tackle during the overtime, stopping the Giants and allowing Johnny Unitas to lead the Colts on an 80 yard scoring drive to win the game.

"The NFL's first overtime game, witnessed by 40 million viewers on nationwide television, captured the public imagination and became known as the 'greatest game ever played.' Donovan was one of 12 Hall of Fame players to take part - six of them Colts - but at the time he was not aware of the game's significance"
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Rifle Marksman (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1943, Boot Camp (Parris Island, SC)
 Unit Assignments
Sea School MarBks NNSY Portsmouth VAUSS San Joaquin County (LST-1122)3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)
  1943-1944, 0311, Sea School MarBks NNSY Portsmouth VA
  1944-1945, 0311, USS San Joaquin County (LST-1122)
  1945-1945, 0311, 3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)/H&S Co
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Marianas Operation /Battle of Guam (1944)
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
  1944-1944 Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Western Caroline Islands Operation
  1944-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Luzon Campaign (1944-45)
  1945-1945 Ryukyus Campaign (1945)/Battle for Okinawa
 Colleges Attended
Boston College
  1946-1950, Boston College
 Military Association Memberships
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