Chief Warrant Officer

Felix James McCool

Marine Corps
Inducted 2015

Felix James McCool

Chief Warrant Officer Felix James McCool was born 14 June 1912 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and reared there. His Marine Corps service began when he was stationed with the 4th Marine Division in Shanghai, China, before the start of World War II. Later, McCool and his unit were assigned to the Philippines when the war began. After the Japanese invasion of Corregidor, he was captured and endured the infamous Bataan Death March. While a prisoner of war (POW), he worked in various jobs that enabled him to smuggle supplies into the POW camp. Later, on the Japanese island of Fuchu, he was forced to work in the coal mines where he continued his saboteur activities.

After the war, he stayed in the Marine Corps and was assigned as a supply officer with the 1st Marine Division. When the Korean War began, he was assigned to take messages and supplies to Marine units in northern Korea. One unit was at the Chosin Reservoir near the China-Korea border. Chinese Communist soldiers overran the Chosin Reservoir area, capturing many including McCool. Because of his previous experience as a POW, he was credited with saving the lives of numerous other POW's. He was a POW there for three years.

CWO McCool retired from the Marine Corps in 1960, and moved with his wife to Florida and earned two degrees from the University of Miami. He taught social science and business at Florida's Killian High School and was teaching there when he died at age 60 in l972. His military awards include Purple Heart Medal (2 awards); Presidential Unit Citation (3 awards); Army Distinguished Unit Citation (2 awards); Prisoner of War Service Medal; China Service Medal, and several other service medals.