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James O'Rourke


Date and Place of Birth: April 9, 1896 Brooklyn, NY
Date and Place of Death:    October 12, 1918 Fleville, France
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Private
Military Unit: Company L, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division US Army
Area Served: France

James M. O’Rourke, son of Mr. And Mrs. Philip O’Rourke, was born on April 9, 1896 in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of St. Augustine’s School, O’Rourke worked for the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper, starting as a route boy after school before securing employment in the circulation department and later with the mailing department.

In 1913, O’Rourke was an outfielder with the Middletown Middies of the Class D New York-New Jersey League, appearing in 91 games and batting .245. The following year he was with the Newark Indians of the Class AA International League, making eight appearances and hitting .321.

O’Rourke was drafted into military service in September 1917 and sent to Camp Upton, New York. Later, he was transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia and assigned to Company L, 325th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Division, with which he sailed for France on April 26, 1918. Private O’Rourke was killed in action on October 12 as his battalion was leading an attack at Fleville in the Argonne Forest.

In August 1921, O'Rourke's body was returned to the United States and laid to rest in Brooklyn.

Source: Brooklyn and Long Island in the War (Brooklyn Eagle, 1918)

Date Added: May 9, 2015


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