John Bohy

John Bohy, former Bellevue High School Principal and Korean War veteran, speaks at the annual Veterans Day program at Bellevue High School. Bohy coordinated the event for over four decades.

A longtime educator, veteran and community leader passed away last week.

John Bohy of St. Donatus, a former Bellevue High School Principal and Korean War veteran died unexpectedly at home last Tuesday. He was 91.

Funeral services for Bohy will take place Friday, Dec. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bellevue High School West Gymnasium, as a large turnout is expected.

Burial with full military honors will be conducted by American Legion Post #273, where Bohy was a member for over 50 years.

As well as his service to the school, Bohy led the charge to build Bellevue’s all-weather track and served in many roles. He began working at Bellevue Schools in 1967 and was the first guidance counselor, retiring as High School Principal in 1990. Over the years, he was instrumental in starting the school’s wrestling program, and coached both track and cross-country.  

Bohy, a Korean War veteran who served two tours during the height of battle in 1950 and 1952, was also well-known for coordinating the Bellevue Veterans Day program every year at Bellevue High School. He served in that capacity for over 50 years, with his first program starting in 1968.

Bohy, served aboard the U.S.S. MacKenzie-836, a massive destroyer also known as “The Fighting Tin Can” during the Korean War.

In a prior interview with the Herald-Leader, Bohy said that fighting broke out in Korea when he was serving as a radio operator aboard the destroyer near the Panama Canal.

“We just kept going through the canal and straight on to Korea,” said Bohy. “When we got there, there was some pretty intense fighting.”

During Bohy’s second tour, his ship lobbed more than 9,000 rounds of high explosives at communist targets on the Korean peninsula. Bohy and the destroyer’s crew also supervised the rescue of 22 downed Navy, Marine and Air Force pilots in a 21-day time period.

Bohy’s ship faced enemy shore fire seven times during his service, and on one occasion dueled point-blank for over an hour with Communist gun crews near Wonsan.

The U.S.S. MacKenzie steamed more than 60,000 miles during Bohy’s tour of duty in 1951, took on provisions on 31 occasions and received ammunition while underway 30 times.

Bohy was Past Commander and Past 2nd District Commander of the Bellevue American Legion.