Railroad Policeman John F. McGovern

Railroad Policeman John F. McGovern

New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Friday, May 8, 1942

Add to My Heroes

John F. McGovern

Railroad Policeman John McGovern was struck and killed by a train near his guard shack on the northern end of the Neponset Drawbridge in Boston, Massachusetts.

A search was initiated shortly after 9:30 pm after he failed to make his regular half-hour check-in to the signal tower. A railroad crew located his body near the guard shack.

Railroads regularly assigned officers to guard bridges during WWII to prevent sabotage of critical infrastructure.


  • Age 35
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by train
  • Location Massachusetts

foot patrol

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Officer McGovern, my Dad spent several years working for the New York Central Railroad, about 5 of which he was a RR cop. He grew up in Neponset (NOT Dorchester; NEPONSET) and was just a young kid when this tragic event happened. He must have known since his Dad was worked as a Brakeman for the NYCRR but he never mentioned it. I'm dumbfounded by this and my heart is heavy at learning this. You're like a cousin to our family. My Uncle also worked for the NYCRR. My Grandfather retired from the PennCentral and my Uncle from CSX, but it's all family.

Thank you for your service in helping to protect one America's greatest assets, it's Railroads and for being there during one of the Nations most trying times, WW2. You are a true hero and I pray your descendants have been made well aware of your sacrifice for our country.

God Bless you, Brother and may your eternal Rest be forever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

July 4, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.