Tyler-Seward-Kubish Post 44 American Legion
PO Box 441, Bantam, CT 06750
Contact: Post 44 Commander

POST 44 Veterans Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
Veterans of American Legion Post 44 of Bantam, Connecticut
voted at their September 2, 2017 meeting to donate $1,000.00
directly to the Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560 of Houston, Texas.
Post 560 Commander, Charles Powers, states that they are
running near around the clock operations to feed folks
and run supplies out to families in need.

The American Legion — when one mission ends
another one begins — veterans committed
to providing services to their communities.

Litchfield Center School Students
singing "God Bless the USA"
LCS Flag Day Program ~ June 14, 2017
on the Litchfield Green

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Veteran of World War I, Burdette Curtiss
Saturday, November 4 ~ 10:00 am
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
On Saturday, November 4th, American Legion Post 44 of Bantam
will honor United States Army Corporal Burdette Curtiss,
 formerly of Bantam, Connecticut.

Post 44 invites the public to the November 4th ceremony, at 10:00 am
at the All Wars Memorial Route 202 (Bantam Cemetery) in Bantam.
In case of inclement or cold weather the ceremony will be held in the
Bantam Borough Hall, 809 Bantam Road (Route 202) in Bantam.

The ceremony will start with members of a flag detail retiring the
honor flag of United States Air Force Staff Sergeant, Walter Hunt,
formerly of Bethlehem, Connecticut and a veteran of the Korean War.

Mr. Curtiss was  part of the 16th Machine Gun Battalion and was
assigned to the 6th Division of the American Expeditionary Force in France
during World War I. He will be the 350th veteran to be honored and
 this will be the 337th ceremony to salute a Veteran of the Month.

Following the celebration Post 44 will provide light refreshments and
encourages attendees to greet the families of Mr. Hunt and Mr. Curtiss,
as well as enjoy fellowship and comradeship at the Bantam Borough Hall
with other veterans who have served their country.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Staff Sgt. Walter Lynn Hunt
Saturday, October 7, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
On this the 29th Anniversary of the Veteran of the Month Program
we gather to celebrate the life of our 249th consecutive Veteran,
Korean War Era, United States Air force, Staff Sergeant,  Walter Lynn Hunt.
Originally of Bethlehem, Connecticut. Walter Lynn Hunt was born
on the 29th of November 1929 the oldest son of Walter L.
and Lillian Osborn Hunt of Bethlehem, Connecticut.

His early childhood was spent learning the lessons of hard work on his
 parent's dairy farm. He attended elementary school in Bethlehem and
graduated from Watertown High School in 1948. Following high school
he was off to college at the University of Connecticut.

In June of 1950 the world erupted into another war as American Forces rushed
to the defense of South Korea who was attacked by her fellow former citizens
now known as North Korea.  Seven months later on the 2nd of January 1951
Walter left College and reported for induction into the United States Airforce.

He was off to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training followed
by advanced schooling at the universities of Oklahoma, Maryland and Alabama.
His military Occupation was in the personnel counselor and Airman Records area.
His final assignment was with the Headquarters Company of the 3615th
Pilot Training wing at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama.

With his military commitment was completed  he was discharged
on the 10th of November 1953. His decorations included the
National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
He returned to his family in Bethlehem.

As soon as he could, he returned to the University of Connecticut
and resumed his studies.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science
degree from the School of Business Administration in 1956.

In 1972 he joined the first National Bank of Litchfield. This was a job
he truly enjoyed and as he stated, "He had found a home away from home."  
The local newspaper stated, "He gave the kind of service to the
community that James Stewart represented in the classic movie
""It's a Wonderful Life."  Walter retired from the bank in 1997
and he and his wife, Valerie moved to Boston, Massachusetts.

Walter truly believed in giving back to his community serving on
boards such as: Chairperson of the Central Naugatuck Regional
Planning Commission; the Bethlehem Planning Commission,
the Bethlehem Historical Society and the Inland Wetlands commission.
In Boston he helped establish the Berklee School of Music
Neighborhood  Committee and was Secretary of the
Fenway Civic association among many others.
His hobbies were skiing and travel. He and his wife Valerie
traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia.

At the age of 86 Walter was taken from his extended family while
at his home in Boston, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife
of 33 years Valerie (Bird) Hunt. He leaves his children,  Keith Hunt
and husband David LeVangie, of Provincetown, Massachusetts,   
Karl Hunt and wife Fran of New Milford, and Greg Hunt of Bethlehem,
his former wife June (Gisselbrecht) Davis of Nevada, his brothers
Richard and wife Joan Hunt of Florida and Raymond Hunt of North Carolina,
His  stepchildren Peter Dauten Jr. and wife Patricia of Litchfield,
Wendy Dawson  and husband Neil of Texas and James Dauten
of Woodbury, plus many grand and great grandchildren.

His remains as per his wishes were returned to Bethlehem
and a private service was held by his family.

Walter (Walt) Hunt by his own words was a people person.
He is remembered for his true interest in listening and caring
 for his fellow man. We the members of Post 44 of the
American Legion are proud to have this opportunity to honor
Korean War Era Veteran Staff Sergeant Walter Lynn Hunt.     

~ John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

Tribute paid to servicemen killed in Beirut bombing
Litchfield.bz (10-14-17)
David Seelye of Winsted, a veteran of the Marines,
speaks during the Connecticut Beirut Memorial Ceremony
at the All Wars Memorial in Bantam on Saturday. BZ photos

The 241 Marines, soldiers and sailors killed in the bombing of the
U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 23, 1983 were
remembered during the 20th annual Connecticut Beirut Memorial
Ceremony at the All Wars Memorial in Bantam on Saturday.

David Seelye of Winsted, a Marine veteran who grew up in Northfield,
graduated from Litchfield High School, and served in Beirut before the
bombing by radical Islamic terrorists, is the founder of the ceremony.
Several Marines who served in Beirut were on
hand and participated in the observance.

Members of American Legion Post 44 in Bantam attended as did
Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. and Selectmen Paul Parsons
and Jon Torrant. State Reps. David T. Wilson, R-Litchfield, and Jay Case,
R-Winchester, presented a commendation from the legislature.

The servicemen killed in the bombing were part
of a multi-national peacekeeping force.

Marine veterans who served in Beirut participated in the tribute.

The goal of the ceremony is to preserve the
 memory of those killed in the bombing.

First Selectman Leo Paul Jr., right, and Kevin Creed
of American Legion Post 44 watch the ceremony.

State Rep. David Wilson, R-Litchfield, speaks to the crowd while
state Rep. Jay Case, right, and Greg Smith of the
Connecticut Veterans of Foreign Wars listen.

Marine veterans who served in Beirut salute during taps.

Post 44 members Kevin Creed, left, and John Lilley.

Air Force veteran Reggie Harrison of Morris.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
United States Army Corporal Roy E. Howe
Saturday, September 2, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
The flag of September Veteran of the Month, United States
Army Corporal Roy E. Howe is returned to the family. BZ photos

Mr. Howe served in the 169th Infantry Division in Germany
during the Korean war. He is the 348th veteran to be honored and
this is the 335th ceremony to salute a Veteran of the Month.

    This month we gather to celebrate the life and service of a
gentleman born in Bantam and raised in the Bantam-Morris area.
Our 348th Veteran of the month is United States Army,
Korean War era Corporal Roy E Howe.

    Roy Elwyn Howe was born on the 16th of December 1928
 to Roy A. and Grace Bartholomew Howe of Bantam, Connecticut.  
He was the first and only child of Roy Howe who served as
the superintendent of the local ice plant.  
Young Roy attended grammar school in Bantam.
Following his family's move to Morris, he
graduated from the Morris High School in 1947.

Following high school, Roy attended the University of Connecticut
and Radcliff Hicks School of Agriculture majoring in animal husbandry.
In June of 1948, he enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard
and received his initial military training. After a year of college, he moved
to Thomaston where he became a self-employed poultry farmer.

With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the National Guard
was federalized and on the 5th of September 1950, he reported to
Hartford, Connecticut for active duty. After updated training, he was
assigned to Headquarters Company of the 2nd battalion of the
169th Infantry Division serving in Germany. Upon completion of his
 tour, he was rotated stateside and on the 29th of May 1952,
he was discharged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
For his service he was awarded the "Army of Occupation Medal
with German Clasp" and with $192.26 in his pocket was sent home.

Upon his return, Roy and his family moved back to Morris and gained
employment at the Seth Thomas Clock Company in Thomaston.  
He immersed himself in his community. He became involved in the
 Morris Volunteer Fire Department and the Congregational Church
where he served as trustee, deacon and superintendent of Sunday School.
He became involved with the Grange and in 1995 was
awarded the Grange's Golden Sheaf for 50 years of membership.

He remarried in 1978 to Sheila Baird and moved to Wolcott where he
served on the Local Emergency Planning Commission, the Board of
Assessment Appeals and belonged to the Democratic Town Committee.
He was a member of the American legion Post No. 165
of Wolcott and served as its Commander.

He joined SNET on the 3rd of May 1953 and retired on December 29th
 1989 after 36 years. He was not a man to sit idle and immediately sought
 additional activities.  For the remainder of his life he was a blur
 of activity, wherever he saw a need he joined in and took charge.

His favorite hobby was operating his ham radio. When he could find
time, he enjoyed a round of golf. Roy organized and played in several
retiree golf leagues. He was a well-liked and respected gentleman.

At the age of 82, Roy was taken from his extended family on the
4th of July 2011 while a patient at Waterbury Hospital. Besides his wife
of 33 years he was survived by his daughter, Jeanette and her
husband Douglas Eastman of New Hartford, two sons, Steven and his
wife Lori Howe of Colebrook and Fred and his wife Carrie Howe of Harwinton,
a stepdaughter Katherine Baird of John's Creek, Georgia, two grandchildren
Lindsey and Spencer Howe, plus step-grandchildren Trey, Kara, Libby,
Hailey Matassino, Julia Baird, great-grandson Jakob Baird Grusek
and great-granddaughter Jayden Baird-Grusek. He was
predeceased by a stepson Philip Baird.Burial with full
military honors took place at the Goshen Center Cemetery

Corporal Roy Elwyn Howe's burial flag will fly from the All Wars Memorial
until October 7th 2017 at which time it will be returned to his family.  
His life's story is not unfamiliar to his fellow veterans. Those who serve
 their nation understand the meaning of volunteering for the good
of their fellow man and their community.  We thank Mrs. Sheila Howe
for the opportunity to celebrate Roy's Life.  
~ John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring CPL Gerald Jason Roberts
347th Veteran of the Month
Saturday, August 5, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

A Torrington native who was killed in combat during the Vietnam War
was honored as veteran of the month by American Legion Post 44
of Bantam on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

Gerald Roberts Jr., who served in the Army, was recognized by Post 44
in a ceremony at Bantam Borough Hall. A flag presented to Roberts’
five siblings will fly over the All Wars Memorial in Bantam in his honor until Sept. 2.

Receiving the flag were his sisters, Joyce (Roberts) Fenn, Mary Roberts
and Linda Sterling, and brothers Edward and Jack, all of Torrington.
Roberts is also survived by his parents, Gerald and Nancy Roberts.

The ceremony concluded with Roberts’ siblings receiving on his behalf
the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal. The medal was presented
by Harry Conklin of Suffern, N.Y., who served with Roberts and was
 with him when he was killed on the battlefield on Aug. 31, 1967.

Conklin and Roberts met in Vietnam in the spring of 1967
 while serving with the Army’s 1st Air Cavalry Division.

Conklin was discharged from service in 1968 and made no attempt
to contact Roberts’ family. In 2004, he received an email from Roberts’ niece,
Gerri Roberts, who was attempting to gather information about her uncle’s service in Vietnam.

Six years later, Conklin traveled to Torrington to visit the Roberts family.

Roberts was born June, 23, 1946, attended the Migeon Avenue School,
and graduated from Torrington High School in 1966.
After graduation, he went to work at Allied Grocers.

Roberts enlisted in the Army on Nov. 29, 1966. Following basic training,
Roberts was sent to Vietnam in May of 1967 and was assigned to 1st Air Cavalry Division.

Roberts earned a Purple Heart when he received leg shrapnel wounds
 in June of 1967. After hospitalization, he returned to his unit.

The news of Roberts’ death resulted in shock and grief in Torrington,
which had already lost four men in the war. The Gold Star Mothers the Veterans
 of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Italian American War Veterans
and the public rallied in support of the Roberts family.

Roberts posthumously received the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star,
The Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, the National Defense Service Medal,
 the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal.
 His name appears on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and his remains
are interned at the New Saint Francis Cemetery in Torrington.

      This month's Veteran of the Month is from this nation's most controversial
conflict, the Viet Nam War. We honor a young man, who never got to be a
veteran because he paid the ultimate price. Today we honor as
our 347th Veteran of the Month, United States Army Corporal
Gerald Jason Roberts, Jr, late of Torrington, Connecticut.

Gerald was born on the 23rd of June 1946 to Gerald and Nancy Roberts.  
He attended elementary grades at the Migeon Avenue School and is
 remembered by Classmates for his curly reddish hair and freckles.
He always had a smile for everyone. He graduated from Torrington High School
with the Class of 1966. He was creative and art was his specialty.
Following High School he gained employment at Allied Grocers.   

His generation would bear the brunt of another major war, the third in 25 years.
The Draft hung over their heads. And the media was full of the need
 for volunteers. What was a red blooded American Boy to do?
 He enlisted on November 29, 1966 and reported to Fort Knox, Kentucky
for basic training followed by assignment to Fort Polk, Louisiana for advanced training.

He arrived in Viet Nam in early May of 1967 and was assigned to "A" Company
2nd Battalion of the 8th Cavalry of the 1st Air Cavalry Division.
 His first Purple Heart came in an action in June, when he received leg
shrapnel wounds. After hospitalization and medical care he was returned to his unit.

The details are sketchy but this much is known,
on August 31 1967 while engaged in a firefight with enemy forces
 he was taken from this world at the young age of 21.

The news of his death caused shock and grief at home; he was the
5th hometown man to die in Viet Nam. The Gold Star Mothers,
 the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, the Italian American War
 Veterans and the public rallied to the side of the Roberts Family.
Torrington Mayor P. Edmund Power ordered all flags
 on municipal building to fly at half-staff .

Gerald Roberts earned the following ribbons and awards:
 the Combat Infantryman's badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster,
 the National Defense Service Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal
and the Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Service Medal.  His name appears
 on the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC on Panel 25E line 76.

Funeral services with full military honors were held at Saint Francis
Roman Catholic Church and his remains are interned at the New Saint Francis Cemetery.
He was survived by his parents Gerald and Nancy Roberts, three sisters
Mrs. Joyce Fenn, and Mary and Linda Roberts,
two brothers Edward and Jack Roberts, all of Torrington.  

Struck down in the prime of life, a man with a long road in front of him.
 He will not grow old as did the rest of us. He will never again smile
upon us. We who survive have been denied the privilege
 of his company and the experience of his knowledge.

We at the Veteran of the Month Program wish to thank
Mrs. Linda Sterling and the Roberts family for allowing us the privilege
of celebrating the life of Viet Nam Veteran, Corporal Gerald
Jason Roberts Junior as our August Veteran of the Month.

As that horrible war ended and slipped into history,  it shall dim in our minds,
but the heroes who fell in our defense shall not be forgotten.
Rest well brave patriot and rest assured
 that you -- SIR; ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.

Veteran of the Month Program
American Legion Post 44
The Bantam American Legion Post #44 Veteran of the Month program,
honors deceased Veterans, POWs and MIAs
still unaccounted for and certain Merchant Mariners
who served in battle areas during World War II.

Honorees do not have to be natives of Bantam or Litchfield
and are recognized in order of nomination.
To honor a veteran, please send nominations to
 Post 44 of the American Legion
P.O. Box 441, Bantam, CT 06750

Contact: Henry Osowiecki, OIC

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring World War I Pfc. Frederick Flaherty
Bantam American Legion Post #44
345th Veteran of the Month
Saturday, July 1, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
Post 44 of the American Legion in Bantam continues to commemorate
the 100th Anniversary of United States' entry into World War I by
honoring the life of United State Army Private First-Class Frederick Flaherty,
long time resident of Bantam as the July Veteran of the Month.

WWI U.S. Army Frederick L Flaherty
This morning we gather here at the "All Wars Memorial"
to celebrate the life of one of our own, a past member and
Commander of Post 44 of the American Legion, and a WWI Veteran
of the U.S. Army Frederick L. Flaherty. His honor flag will fly from
this memorial until it is retired on the 5th day of August 2017.

Frederick Lawrence Flaherty was born on the 7th of July 1896
in South Coventry, Connecticut. He was one of eight children born
to William N. and Catherine Obrien Flaherty. Part of a large Irish family,
Frederick soon learned the necessity of hard work. He attended grade school,
but after the 8th grade left to enter the work force, to help support his siblings.

He enlisted in the Army in January of 1918 and proceeded to
Fort Slocum, New York for basic military training. His advanced training
was with B Company as an artilleryman. In May of 1918, he was assigned
 to the American Expeditionary forces and shipped to France with the
American 5th Division. He is credited with participating in the following actions.
the American Operations on the Vosges front, the St. Michael Offensive,
the Battle of the Marne, and the Argonne Offensive. At the end of
the war he became part of the Occupation Army at Geurbey.

At the will of the government he was reassigned and
on the 30th of July 1919 was honorably discharged
 and returned to Coventry, Connecticut.

He returned to a tough job market, but with family support,
stayed on in Coventry. He married Isabel Swanson and they began
their family. In 1930, they moved to Highland Avenue in Bantam
 and he began work at the Warren McArthur Corporation.

Another war broke out in 1941 and he watched his fellow neighbors
march off to the defense of the nation. He knew that upon their return
 they would need support, the kind of support that eluded the WWI Veterans.

He remembered the broken promises. He remembered 1932,
the year 17,000 World War I Veterans marched on Congress.
He remembered how they were fired upon by their own government
and how the government defaulted on the pay owed to those veterans.

In 1946 after the war ended, and when most veterans had returned,
he scheduled a Bantam veterans meeting and rallied them to
 re-charter and re-open the Bantam local American Legion Post.

Post 44 had been organized and chartered in 1920 using the name
of local WWI Veteran Robert P Jefferies, but had, due to lack of
participation closed in January of 1928. The post WWII American Legion
would stand up and insure that Congress supported the
millions of returning veterans. The American Legion
would ensure that there would be no repeat of 1932.

WWI Veteran Frederick Flaherty soon took his turn as
Commander of the newly charted Tyler Seward Kubish Post 44
and helped to ensure that support for area veterans continued.

Not a well man, Frederick was admitted to the Rocky Hill
Veterans Hospital. On the 30th day of September 1971
after a long illness, he was taken from his adopted community.

His remains were returned to his birthplace, Coventry, Connecticut,
where he is interned at Saint Mary's cemetery. Post 44 was there to honor him.
 Bearers were Walter Parson, Louis Zenowich, John Evangelisti and William Fabbri.

He was survived by his wife Isabell and a son,
State Police Officer William (Buzz) Flaherty of Litchfield, and a
daughter Mrs. Isabel Bowe of Manchester, plus five grandchildren.

On this holiday weekend it is fitting that we choose to honor a patriot.
Post 44 has no shortage of patriots and we are proud to
celebrate the life of WWI American Expeditionary Forces,
Army Private Frederick L Flaherty of Coventry and Bantam, CT.

Following the celebration Post 44 will provide light
 refreshments and encourages attendees to enjoy
 fellowship and comradeship at the Bantam Borough Hall.   

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II, United States Army
Tech 3, Reno "Ray" Luzi
344th Veteran of the Month
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Bantam Borough Hall

WWII U.S. Army T3 Reno S Luzi
    On this Saturday morning we gather here in Bantam, Connecticut,
"The Center of Litchfield County Patriotism"
to celebrate the life of one of Bantam's own.
World War II U.S Army Tech 3 Reno "Ray" Secondo Luzi.   
Reno, a first generation American was born on the 3rd of November 1922
to recently arrived Italian immigrants, Augusto and Zelinda Luzi of
Bantam Connecticut. He attended  grade school in
Bantam followed by high school in Litchfield.
 He led an active youth participating in sports and scouting.
As a boy scout he achieved Eagle Scout status and as an
athlete he played on the Litchfield High School soccer team.  

On Sunday, December 7th 1941, he remembered listening to a
New York Giants baseball game when the announcer broke in to announce
 the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

The very next day at school all of the Litchfield High students
were gathered in the gymnasium to listen to President Roosevelt
 ask for a declaration of war.    Little did he, or others of his generation know,
events beyond their control were about to change their lives.

David Luzi (right) presents the burial flag of his father, WWII U.S. Army T3 Reno S Luzi.

He graduated in June, and the very next day left to pursue a degree
 in architecture at Pratt Institute in New York City. He had formulated a plan
report to Pratt and join the Army Reserve, where they were told that
once enlisted in the Reserve they would be left alone to
 finish college. He joined the Reserve on the 5th of August 1942.

His education was interrupted by the arrival of the draft notice and
on the 20th of May 1943. He reported to the Induction Center in
Hartford, Connecticut. After his basic combat training at Camp Edward,
Massachusetts he was posted to Fort Belvoir, Virginia where he attended
 a twelve week course in blueprint creation. In December of 1943,
he was dispatched to the European Theater of Operations.

He mainly served in Northern France and the Rhineland.  
His unit's mission was to create blueprints for the repair of
war-torn infrastructure.  At wars end he was present in Rheims, France
when the German Command came there to surrender
 and he enjoyed the celebration that followed.

     He was discharged at Fort Devens, Massachusetts  on the 29th
of January 1946. With $304.16 in his pocket and a bus ticket home,
 he was free to go. His military awards included the Good conduct Medal,
the Victory Medal and the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon.
Michael Luzi (right) accepts the Connecticut Veterans
Wartime Service Medal on his father's behalf.

Brothers Michael (left) and David display the service medal and burial flag.

     Upon arriving home Reno returned to the family's roots and worked
 at Luzi and Evangelisti Lumber in Bantam, which eventually
became Bantam Lumber. Following that, he owned and operated
Torrington Millwork. His specialty was millwork and custom cabinetry.

 In 1949, he married Lena Bacconi of Torrington and they raised
two children together, Michael and David Luzi. They enjoyed and
embraced their Italian heritage traveling to Europe and Italy
and spent 50 years in marriage until Lena's passing in 1999.

He was a member of Post 44 of the American Legion of Bantam,
the Bantam Volunteer Fire Company and UNICO of Torrington.
      He is remembered as a good natured, quiet, gentle, patient and
dedicated man who valued relationships and his fellow mankind.

  He was taken from his family on the 23rd of March 2016.
He is survived by his sons David Luzi of Litchfield and his wife Janet
and son Michael E. Luzi of Bantam and his wife Kim Thibault plus two
grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His remains are interred
at the Our lady of Grace Cemetery only yards from the "All Wars Memorial."

We thank the Luzi family for allowing us the opportunity of celebrating
 the life of one of our own, WWII United States Army Tech 3 Reno Secondo Luzi,
 A man who took life in stride and truly left the world a little bit better than he found it.
 One of "America's Greatest Generation"
Gone, but not forgotten!

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II, United States Army Veteran
 Private Eugene Freund
343rd Veteran of the Month
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Bantam Borough Hall

This morning we celebrate the life of our 347th Veteran of the Month
WWII Army Medical Corps Private Eugene Freund originally of New York City,
but since 1949 a resident of East Canaan, Connecticut.

A gentleman, a farmer, and friend to all Eugene Freund was born
 in Bronx, New York on the 16th of July 1924, the first son of Joseph
and Adele Freund. He attended local schools and graduated from
James Monroe High School where he played the violin in the orchestra.

Playing in a production of H.M. S. Pinafore foreshadowed many years of
duets played in the family home with his daughter. After High School he pursued
his interest in farming and veterinary medicine by enrolling at Cornell University.

    The world was at war and Eugene was reluctant to derail his plans and rush
off to war. His plan was to attend college and become a member of the Cornell ROTC.
He thought this might shield him from the draft, but, alas came the draft notice.

 He reported for induction at Ithaca, New York on the 29th of October 1942
and after basic combat training was sent off for medical schooling and
 graduated as a Surgical Technician. After a short leave, he was posted
 to the South Pacific and assigned to the 9222 TSU Medical Detachment,
 a unit that worked aboard ships in support of military operations.

He is credited as participating in the following battles and campaigns:
the Dutch New Guinea Campaign, the Northern Solomons, Luzon
and the Southern Philippines the Ryukus and the Eastern Mandates.

As the war ended he was demobilized and discharged on the 17th of Oct 1945.
He was awarded the following medals: the Purple Heart, the Philippine
Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star, the Army Good Conduct Medal,
the American Theater Service Medal, and the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal.

 He returned to his home and family in the Bronx.
Following discharge he used the G.I. Bill and returned
to Cornell to finish his studies in a pre-veterinary
 course with an emphasis on genetics.

     After the war, Eugene went to work at a friend's grandfather's farm
 in New Marlboro, Massachusetts. His friend suffered a fall from a truck and was
 visited during his recovery by a nurse, Esther Brown, from East Canaan.
Eugene, the city fellow, met Esther the farmer's daughter and they
were married on Christmas Day 1948. Esther joined Eugene
 in Ithaca as he finished his last semester at Cornell.
 They began on a small farm in Canaan Valley. They then held one of
the last cattle drives in Canaan as they herded the animals to the
current location on route 44. He never tired of his love of farming,
respect for animals and the environment drove his philosophy.

He participated in the local community serving
on the Canaan Board of Education, the Board of Finance
and the Inlands Wetlands Commission.
His favorite was serving as a Justice of the Peace, because it
enabled him to unite people in marriage, a privilege he enjoyed.  

      Professionally he was active in Cooperative Leadership. He was a
director of Agway Inc., H.P. Hood Inc., and a representative for AgriMark.
He was a member of Beth El Synagogue in Torrington, Connecticut.

Eugene and Esther had five children and understood the importance
on planning to preserve the important agricultural legacy they established.
The untimely death of Esther in 1985 tested their plan and today the
 thriving enterprise of Freund's farm is testimony to their forsight.

Although the dairy farm commanded untold hours of relentless dedication,
the family never suffered for opportunities to see and experience the world.
The house was open to generations of outsiders from close relatives
to international travelers. The family rarely left the farm; instead they
shared the critical lifestyle with so many diverse people that even today
the Freunds have friends they can visit all over the world.

He remarried in 1987 to Tobi S. Scheinblum and together
they traveled the globe experiencing many of natures' wonders.
Eugene was taken from his community on December 5th 2008.
He was survived by his wife, Tobi, his children Laura Freund, Gloria Freund,
Rebecca McBurney, Benjamin and Mathew Freund plus grandchildren
Amanda, Emily, Isaac, Rachel, Sarah, Aaron, Cameron and Joe.

    His remains were laid to rest in Mountain View Cemetery,
North Canaan with full Military Honors.
"Gone, but not forgotten"

Korean War Medals Awarded
by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT -5th Distrct)

Six Korean War Veterans were awarded the
Ambassador for Peace Award and the
Connecticut Wartime Medal
on Saturday, May 6, 2017
at the Bantam Borough Hall.

Nick Gandolfo (Marine uniform) submitted the award
requests for all six Korean War Veterans to Rep. Esty.

Owen Moore and Joseph Yankus, Sr. were both
able to attend and receive their medals.
Owen Moore

Joseph Yankus, Sr.

Family members received the awards for deceased Korean War veterans
Charles Hurley, Donald Godburn, Everett King and Jack Peck.
Charles Hurley

Donald Godburn

Everett King

Jack Peck



Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II United States
Navy veteran Chester Wright
342nd Veteran of the Month
Saturday, April 1, 2017
@ Bantam Borough Hall

World War II United States Navy veteran Chester Wright
was honored as the 342nd honored veteran on
Saturday, April 1, 2017 in the Bantam Borough Hall

World War II veteran Chester H. Wright, who lived in Bantam
and was a member of American Legion Post 44, was honored as the
post's veteran of the month Saturday at Bantam Borough Hall.

Chet, his three brothers and his father
all served proudly in the United States Navy.
Chet was also a Civil Defense volunteer
during the 1955 flood of the Naugatuck Valley.

Wright, who died April 17, 2016, served in the Navy and saw duty
on ships in the Pacific Theatre of operations. Three of Wright's children,
Tom Wright of Torrington, Sue Doyle of Brentwood, N.H., and Richard Wright
of Westminster, Colo., participated in the service and received a flag from Post 44.

Wright was born in Winsted on Aug. 23 and had to quit school
in the eighth grade because his family needed him to work during the
Great Depression. With World War II raging, Wright
 enlisted in the Navy on June 23, 1942.


He served on the USS Suamico and the USS Moctobi during the
battles of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Guam, Saipan, Eniwetok, Atoll and others.
It was while serving as a portside gunner on the Suamico that Wright lost his hearing.


The war ended and Wright returned stateside and was discharged.
He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal
with two Battle Stars, the American Campaign Medal,
and the World War II Victory Medal.


Back in Winsted, Wright married Lucille Burns on June 21, 1945
and stared a family. They had six children. Wright worked as a metal
finisher at Waring Products, Colt Firearms and PTC Aerospace in Bantam,
where he met the woman who would become his second wife, Mildred.
They lived in Bantam and spent 32 years together before Mildred died in 2014.


Wright is survived by his sons, Tom and Richard, and daughter, Sue,
nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. His daughters,
Barbara and Darlene, and son, Leonard, predeceased him.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II United States Marine
Corporal Clifford L. Schmidt
341st Veteran of the Month
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Bantam Borough Hall

As the 341st consecutive Veteran of the Month, we honor
WWII United States Marine Corps Corporal Clifford Leroy Schmidt.
Clifford is a past member of the Disabled Veterans of America and Post 27
of the American Legion of Litchfield, Connecticut, where he served as Post Chaplain.

Clifford was born on June 27, 1922, on a farm in Mitchell, Iowa
to Fred E. and Flora Nieland Schmidt.  The rigors of rural farm life taught
 him early the qualities of hard work and a need for an education.  
He attended local schools, graduating from the Mitchell Consolidated High School.

During the summer break of 1940, while working on the family farm,
it is remembered that a Navy recruiter visited the farm and,
 after listening to the recruiter for a while, his father stated,
"Of my six boys, take this one.  He wants to get an education."  

Thus, he reported for duty with the United States Marine Corps
on August 7, 1940, at the Des Moines, Iowa Induction Center.  

After basic and advanced training as a Fire Controlman, he was assigned
 to the Central Pacific as part of the Marine Corps 6th Defense Battalion.  

He served with Baker Battery of the 5th Artillery.  They served in defense of
the Midway Islands from December of 1941 to March 11, 1943.  He acted as a
forward observer directing artillery fire during the June 4th and 5th, 1942, Battle of Midway.

Cliff was rotated stateside in 1943 and became a Drill Instructor at
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  He was selected from his peers to
attend a two-year Officer Training School.  While a student, he came
down with rheumatic fever and spent seven months in the hospital.  
The end of the war and his medical situation led to his separation from the service.

Discharged on March 7, 1946, he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal,
 the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the American Campaign Ribbon
 and the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon.

He and his wife returned to Iowa.  He took advantage of the G.I. Bill
and was off to the University of Iowa where he graduated with a degree
 in Political Science and earned a M.A.  He next attended and completed a
 six-year program in school administration at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Mr. Schmidt was a public school teacher and administrator in schools in
 Iowa, California and West Haven, Connecticut.   After his retirement
from public education, he taught for two years at Mildin Technical Institute
 in New Haven before moving to Northfield where he remained for the rest of his life.


Always active in community affairs, he served on the Board of Alderman
while living in Milford, Connecticut.  After moving to Northfield,
 he served on the Veterans' Committee and the Water Pollution Control Authority.

 He was a member of the Northfield Volunteer Fire Company,
a director and secretary of the Northfield Cemetery Association, President
of the Village Improvement Society and a member of the Northfield Historical Society.

Cliff and Lorrie enjoyed traveling.  They visited Europe, North Africa,
South America, Central America, Australia, Canada and 49 of the 50 US states.

Cliff did not make it to Alaska.  Lorrie finally visited Alaska in the
summer of 2016.  They visited his brother's grave in Margraten,
Netherlands - Staff Sergeant Arthur Schmidt, a member the
601st Bomb Squadron, was shot down during World War II.


One of Cliff's favorite vacations was an Elder Hostel trip in the 1990s.  
He worked on the restoration of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor.  
Each morning he would be picked up from his hotel and transported
 to the ship.  Special troops and a canine unit guarded the Missouri.

 His work was mostly painting and polishing floors.  Lunch was served
on the deck - something that he particularly enjoyed.  The reunions of
his Marine Unit that served at Midway were something that he always
looked forward to and bragged about how proud he was of his comrades.

He delighted in giving family and friends the apples that he grew.
 Cliff was an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction.  He always had
a book by his chair and kept a running list of the titles he had read.  

He was also a meticulous wood worker.  He created serving trays,
cutting boards, bowls, and a variety of boxes-some with finger joints.  


His boxes included a music box, a lap writing desk and a multi-drawer
 table top storage box.  He made napkin holders, silverware caddies,
and display shelves.  Some of his pieces were decorated
with wood burned designs.  

He built entertainment equipment cabinets.  In two of the houses
in which he lived, he constructed built in bookcases.  As a corollary
to his woodworking, Cliff collected antique wood-planes.

Clifford was taken from his family on November 9, 2009.  
His wife of 65 years Dolores "Lorrie" Schmidt, a daughter
Ruth LaFrance of Tillamook, Oregon and a son Arthur Schmidt
of East Litchfield, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren
survived him. His parents, six brothers and a sister predeceased him.

A celebration of life service was held at the Northfield Fire Company
and his remains were interred at the Northfield Cemetery.

We at Post 44 are proud to have this opportunity to honor
WWII United States Marine Corps Corporal Clifford Leroy Schmidt
late of Northfield, Connecticut.  A Gentleman from "America's
Greatest Generation" he was also a man that was even more rare,
a Soldier-Educator.  We thank the Schmidt family for allowing us this opportunity.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring World War II United States Army Air Force
Technical Sergeant Levi E. Parsons III
340th Veteran of the Month
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Bantam Borough Hall

WWII United States Army Air Force, Technical Sergeant Levi E Parsons the III.
Levi was a long time member of Post 44 of Bantam and an organizer
and supporter of this "Veteran of the Month" program.

 Levi was born on April 9th, 1920 in Torrington the first son of Julia and Levi Parsons
of Litchfield, Connecticut. His early life was spent close to home, attending Litchfield
elementary schools followed by graduation from Litchfield High School with the class of 1940.
Following High School he was off to attend Middlesex University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

He worked part time during the school year and summers as a Veterinarian's assistant.
      Europe was at war, and Levi could see the handwriting on the wall, so
after the 1st year of college he was off to Hartford and on the
12th of August 1941 he enlisted in the United States Army Airforce.

      After eight months of basic combat and aviation training he was awarded
his Aviation Badge and shipped out to the 5th Army Air Force in the South West Pacific.  
He flew 125 Combat missions as a Technical Crew Chief. His unit,
the 54th Troop Carrier Wing helped to liberate Papua and New Guinea.

       Levi Parsons saw the worst of the war and suffered from dysentery and Malaria.
He had three bouts with Malaria before he was discharged. He was a
caring individual and was greatly affected by what he saw and experienced.
He spent his remaining years honoring the ideals of those he saw suffer for their country.   

          He was rotated stateside in April of 1945, arriving just in time for
 VE Day on the 8th of May 1945, and was discharged on the 19th of May.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster,
the Distinguished Unit badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense
Service Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon.
He returned to Litchfield County, to his wife and family.

    Levi is listed as one of the reorganizers of Post 44 in 1946.
He served as Chaplain, Adjutant and chaired many fund raising committees.

He is especially remembered for his commitment to the Veteran of the Month program.
He was instrumental in exporting the program to other area Communities.
He helped organize Veteran of the Month programs in Thomaston,
 Winsted and Torrington. He attended almost all the services no matter
where they were held, sometimes having to leave the Thomaston Service
at 09:30 and race up route 8, to arrive just in time for the start of the Torrington service.


  He was honored by Post 44 of the American Legion of Bantam
and the residents of Bantam in 1995 by being named
as Parade Marshal of the annual Memorial Day Parade.  

         Levi Parsons is remembered as a gracious, kind, honest and
hardworking man who loved his family and honored his fellow Veterans.
He always had a ready smile for everyone. Carpentry and fishing
with his sons were his relaxation. He enjoyed his
fellow man and when asked to help he never said no.


  At the age of 92 after a long and arduous illness Levi was taken
from his family and friends. His wife Margaret Elizabeth was at his side
as he slipped away. Besides his wife he was survived by his son
James Edward Parsons and his wife Arlene of Guilford, Connecticut,
daughter-in-law Melissa of Atherton, California, grandson
David Whitney Parsons and great grandson, David Levi Parsons both
of San Francisco. He was predeceased by his son David James Parsons.

      His remains were interned at the West Side Cemetery in Litchfield with Military Honors.  
      We the Members of Post 44 of The American Legion of Bantam
take great pride in honoring WWII Veteran, Technical Sergeant
Levi E, Parsons as our 340th consecutive "Veteran of the Month"   
One of "America's Greatest Generation."
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony Honoring
Grand Army of the Union Private Johannes Iffland
339th Veteran of the Month
Saturday, January 7, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall



We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of an immigrant soldier,
Grand Army of the Union Private Johannes Iffland,
who served with Litchfield's own 19th Volunteer Infantry Regiment,
which was later re-designated and became known
as the Connecticut 2nd Heavy Artillery.

Johannes Iffland was born in the city of Bebra Germany on the 16th of March 1835,
to Johannes and Anna Iffland. History tells us that life in Germany was hard on the
untitled, and most young men looked for escape to a better life as soon as able.
Johannes was no exception. At the age of 18 in 1853 he sailed for
American to join his older brother Martin who was already established
as a farmer and land owner in East Litchfield Connecticut.  

     Johannes arrived on the 17 of June 1853 aboard the ship Delaware
and took employment in New York City.  After only three years he became
a United States Citizen. Mission accomplished he moved on to
 East Litchfield and after a short adjustment period
gained employment at the Garrett farm on Jefferson Hill.

The tribute included members of Civil War reenactors that represent
the regiments of all four soldiers — the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery,
 the 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and the 8th Connecticut Infantry.

Johannes had a plan, become a citizen, get married and own his own farm.  
The next step marriage, took place in 1861 when he married Katharine Reiners also
of German heritage. Now he had one last hurdle to accomplish, owning his own farm.

     The first shot of the Civil War is generally accepted to have happen at 04:30am
on the 17th of April 1961, as the Confederates fired on Fort Sumpter.
President Lincoln put out the order to the northern states to call up their
militias and raise what additional military units as might be needed.

 In July of 1862, the call was out to form the 19th Infantry Regiment at Camp Dutton.
Enlistments were for 9 months and cash stipends were offered for able bodied men.  
A cash bonus, a monthly paycheck, clothing and three squares a day,
Johannes saw this as the answer to saving the money for his farm.
Against the objections of his wife and brother he enlisted.

        On September 10th, 1862 the Regiment of 889 officers and men from
Northwest Connecticut marched down from Camp Dutton formed on the
Litchfield Green and in front of thousands of cheering family and friends
received their Colors. After a short farewell speech the unit with bands
playing marched down what today is route 118 to the East Litchfield Depot
and boarded a 23 car train of the Naugatuck Valley Railroad to be wisked off to the War.

 This sendoff was to take place again and again as the war's demand
for manpower increased. Thousands upon Thousands marched off as whole
 military units while only stragglers and walking wounded came home.

     The 19th infantry Regiment remained in the Washington,D.C. area
for the remainder of 1862 and 1863. During this time Johannes was able
to furlough home and each time the discussion was the same; do not re-enlist,
come home or option someone to take your place. Johannes weighed the
escalating reenlistment bonus now at $200 to $300, and the fears of his family
 against the dream of owning his own farm. He re-enlisted.

 On November 23rd, 1863 the 19th Infantry Regiment was reorganized as the
2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery under the Command of Colonel Elisha S. Kellogg.

     President Lincoln now fully disappointed in the progress of the
Army of the Potomac promoted and placed in command Ulysses S Grant
who was directed to take the war to the enemy.

General Grant attacked and pressed forward, no stopping, by the flank,
and forward only to stop for re-supply than onward again. Causalities soared.
 General Lee began to lose ground. Lee had far fewer men than General Grant.
The strategy of attrition was in Grant's favor.  

The Connecticut 2nd Heavy Artillery was reorganized by
General Grant back to an infantry unit. Its heavy artillery left in
Washington State, D.C. it moved into Virginia under a new
Commander Major General Horatio G Wright of Connecticut.

         On May 31st  of 1864 General Grant and General Lee squared off at a place
called Cold Harbor about 12 miles north of Richmond Virginia. From May 31 to June 12th
both armies hammered each other. General Lee was well dug in and heavily
fortified against General Grant in the open with superior manpower.

       After four days of continuous frontal engagements Grant called for
another frontal attack and the Connecticut 2nd Heavy Artillery now Infantry,
after marching all night being totally tired and without sleep
 led a frontal attack against a well-supplied and fortified enemy.

It was on this day that Northwest Connecticut lost 323 of its fathers,
sons and husbands, killed and wounded, including Johannes Iffland.

      In the Litchfield Historical Society's collection is a ledger that belonged
to Dwight C Kilbourn also in the 19th Infantry. In the ledger next to
John Iffland's name is the following: “killed at Cold Harbor. He fell on the top
of the rebel breastworks, riddled with balls. Buried at Litchfield.”

       It was only last month that we honored the Wadhams Brothers of
Goshen and Litchfield. Their service parallels the service of John Iffland.
All have gone before us but none have been forgotten
Pvt. Iffland’s Flag will fly from the "All Wars Memorial” until February 4th.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring Wadhams Brothers from Litchfield County
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall

Edward Wadhams        Luman Wadhams            Henry Wadhams
8th Conn. Regiment    2nd Conn. Heavy Artillery   14th Conn. Regiment

Educator and historian Peter Vermilyea (below left) told the tragic story of  Litchfield County's Wadhams family which lost three sons in the spring of 1864. Sergeant Edward Wadhams was killed May 16 in an assault on Fort Darling, 1st Lieutenant Henry Henry was killed May 26 leading a charge against the enemy's works on the south side of the North Anna River and Captain Luman Wadhams was wounded June 2 at Cold Harbor and died two days later.

BZ photos

Mary Tuttle of Litchfield married Edwin Wadhams, a farmer from nearby Goshen, in 1828.  Together they raised six children:  a daughter Martha and sons Henry, Luman , Edward, and twins  Frederick and Francis. Edwin had risen to be a colonel in the Connecticut militia, and his sense of patriotism and soldierly duty ran strong in his three oldest sons.

Twenty-six year old Luman enlisted in the First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry within three days of Lincoln's call for volunteers following the firing on Fort Sumter.  In 1861, Luman - whose pension record lists him as being five foot ten inches tall, with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a sandy complexion - was a machinist, living in Waterbury.  He was appointed a sergeant, and served with the First at the Battle of Bull Run on July 21st, seeing continuous action for six hours. Soon after, the regiment departed for Connecticut, where they were mustered out on the 31st.

This brief service did not satisfy Luman's desire to serve his country, for in September 1861 he enlisted in Company E of the newly-forming Eighth Connecticut Infantry, alongside his twenty-four year old brother Edward.  As Luman's prior service was a much-desired quality, he was promoted to lieutenant.  In January 1862, the regiment sailed to North Carolina with the expedition under the command of Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside.  Together the brothers participated in the Battle of New Bern, but while Edward continued on to Fort Macon, Antietam, and Fredericksburg with the Eighth., Luman, resigned his commission in April 1862 and returned home.

Twenty-nine year old Henry Wadhams answered Lincoln's call for 300,000 more volunteers in the summer of 1862 by enlisting in Company C of the Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry on August 3rd.  Born in Goshen, five feet eight inches tall, with brown hair, gray eyes and a light complexion, Henry was a machinist like his brother.  He married Mary Warner in her native Waterbury in 1859, and together they had a daughter, Jessie.  Henry clearly possessed military talent, for he was promoted to sergeant, then second lieutenant, then to first lieutenant. Henry served with the Fourteenth through the campaigns of Antietam, Fredericksburg (where he was wounded), Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

Henry's enlistment, along with brother Edward's continued service in the Eighth Connecticut, must have rekindled the martial spirit in Luman, for he enlisted - for the third time in the sixteen-month old contest - on August 8th, 1862 with the Nineteenth Connecticut Infantry, soon to be rechristened as the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery. His prior service led to his commissioning as a second lieutenant, and he helped lay out Camp Dutton on Chestnut Hill in Litchfield where the regiment mustered, and there taught the new recruits how to pitch their tents.

The regiment soon departed for garrison duty in the defenses of Washington, where they remained until the Spring of 1864. "I came here," Luman was wont to say, "not to lounge about Washington but to do my duty." He did accept a three-week furlough from the army in February 1864.  He traveled back to Connecticut and married Louisa Baldwin of Litchfield on February 21st in New Haven.  True to his character, he was back with the army two days later; he did, however, bring Louisa with him, and one member of Luman's Company A reported that "the captain's wife likes living down here very well so far."

In early May 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant hurled the Army of the Potomac, against Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Court House.  In the resulting bloodbaths, Grant suffered more than 36,000 Union casualties.  This led Grant to call upon the defenses of Washington for reinforcements.  While Luman's Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery returned to their original role as infantrymen. Meanwhile, Grant ordered the Army of the James to operate against the southeastern side of Richmond.  On the morning of May 16th, 1864, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard launched a counterattack against the Edward's 8th Connecticut's position at Fort Darling. During this action - in the "fog and confusion of a disastrous morning", as one veteran remembered it - Edward was shot. Doctors later found that the bullet had penetrated the sergeant's heart, killing him instantly.  

Ten days after Edward had fallen, Grant attacked a heavily entrenched Confederate army on the banks of the North Anna River. The Fourteenth Connecticut, was ordered to advance and clear the rebels from the Doswell Farm in their front. Among the casualties was Henry Wadhams. The fatal bullet pierced his body just below the ribs. He was buried on the north Bank of the North Anna River.

Civil War re-enactors from Company "I" of the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer  Heavy Artillery Regiment, 14th Connecticut Regiment and the 8th Connecticut Regiment attended and paid respect to these brave brothers.

On May 28th, Luman Wadhams received permission to go to see Henry. "I found he was killed day before yesterday," Luman informed his colonel upon returning.  Three Wadhams brothers had entered the Overland Campaign; only Luman survived the first three weeks of fighting.  

Five miles east of Richmond stood the crossroads of Cold Harbor.  In the late afternoon of June 1st, Grant launched a full-scale Union assault, spearheaded by the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, which would see its first real combat action. Against strong Confederate entrenchments, the Second suffered massive casualties, 141 killed in the brief engagement.

Among those hit was Luman, shot through the belt.  He lingered for two days in faint hopes of making it home, but Luman expired on June 3rd.  His funeral day would be exactly sixteen weeks after his wedding. Unimaginable grief hit Litchfield upon receipt of the reports from Cold Harbor.  

Nowhere was it worse than at the Wadhams house, and one recollection puts the scale of the tragedy into perspective.  In the days after Cold Harbor, Deacon Adams of Litchfield was kept busy traveling from the telegraph office in the center of town to homes in the surrounding countryside, with the unenviable task of bringing the news of a son's death to the parents.  He had journeyed out to the Wadhams house to break the sad news of one son's death, and was on his way back to town when a rider approached and told Adams that he needed to turn around, for another Wadhams son had fallen.


Four years after their deaths, in writing the regimental history of the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Luman's comrade Theodore F. Vaill, succinctly described the scope of the family's tragedy: Three brothers, in three different Connecticut regiments, in three different army corps, all slain in the approaches to Richmond within the space of fourteen days. A designated burial flag will be flown in their honor for the month of December at the All Wars Memorial in Bantam.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring Col. William T. Rodenbach
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall

This morning we celebrate the life of United States Air Force Colonel William T. Rodenbach
a Veteran of this nation's conflicts beginning with WWII, and ending with Vietnam.
A part time Bantam resident in his youth who upon retirement, after 31 years
 in the Air Force, returned to Bantam  making it his home until for health reasons
he moved away.  He was a Gentleman, a Patriot and an adopted Bantamite.

William Rodenbach was born on the 19th of November 1923, son of Charles Phinney
and Ruth Bushnell Rodenbach of Naugatuck, CT.  His elementary education took
place at Salem elementary in Naugatuck and Mercersburg Academy in Ohio after
which he returned to Naugatuck to attend and graduate from Naugatuck High School.
 He next attended Ohio State University pursuing a degree in Business Administration.
He swam competivley both in high school and college His involment in his father's manufacturing
 company added to his education and provided him employment during summer vacations.

While a freshman attending Ohio state he applied for pilots training and in
March of 1944 he was ordered to active duty. His basic training was far
from the norm, he was ordered to a hotel room in Miami Beach for three months
of marching and physical training followed by being transferred to North Carolina
State University for five month of aeronautical engineering and finally to
 Arcadia, Florida where he began his aviation career, flying biplanes.

He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and upon completion of state-side training
 was posted to the Western Philippines and assigned to the 82nd Tactical
Fighter Squadron flying P-51's Mustang Fighters. He was able to log 10 combat
missions before the war ended and he became part of the occupation forces. He was
promoted to 1st lieutenant and rotated state-side discharged and returned to Connecticut.

During that summer of 1947 he met and married Barbara O'Shea and that fall
he returned to finish up at Ohio State. Upon Graduation he went to work for
his father's manufacturing Company. His Job was at odds with his dreams and in 1950 at
the invitation of a service buddy he returned to the Air Force, a decision he never regretted.

Updates in flying technology and a transition from propeller driven fighters
to jet aircraft and his motivation moved him into assignments flying the
 most sophisticated of surveillance aircraft. He was a U2 Pilot for 5 years.
His career path led to his attendance at the Command and Staff College.

During the Vietnam War while flying a mission out of Thailand his aircraft
was hit over North Vietnam. He was able to manhandle the aircraft back
to Laos before having to bail out.  He was rescued and returned to Thailand.

After 31 years of military service, Colonel William T Rodenbach retired from
the United States Air Force in 1974. Among his many awards were The Legion of Merit,
The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Purple Heart, The Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters,
The Joint Service Commendation Medal, The Air Force Commendation Medal,
The Air force Combat Action Medal, The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award,
The Air Force Good Conduct Medal, The American Defense Service Medal,
the American Campaign Medal, The Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with four Battle Stars,
The World War II Victory Medal, The Army of Occupation Medal, The National
Defense Service Medal, The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, The Vietnam Service
Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.  

He and his wife retired to the family estate in Bantam where he purchased
 land from the family trust. He immersed himself in the supervision of the family land
holdings and supervised the building of a new home that fronted on Cat Hole Road.

Slowly his health began to fail him and in 1980 Barbara and he made the decision
 to move to an easier climate. They acquired a new home in Venice, Florida where
they lived for 5 years. The burden of care for William forced Barbara to look for a
full care facility. She located and they moved to a Retired Air force
Officers Community in California where he spent the remainder of his life.

He was taken from his family on the 24th of July 2010 and his remains were
interned with military honors at the National Cemetery in Riverside, California.
He was survived by his wife Barbara, sons William T Rodenbach the III, of Boise, Idaho
and Charles Phinney Rodenbach the II of Florida and daughters Jane Hoffman of Arizona
and Jennifer Rodenbach Jenner of California. 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Post 44 of the American legion of Bantam wishes to thank the Rodenbach family
for this opportunity to celebrate the life of United States Air force
Colonel William T Rodenbach. His Honor Flag will fly at the "All Wars Memorial"
 in celebration of his life until December 3rd 2016 at which time it will be retired.  
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
WWII  U.S. Army Captain Richard C. Kilbourn
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall

A veteran known to area residents as the Voice of Christmas Village
and a part of the team that founded WTOR in 1949,  
WWII  United States Army Captain Richard C. Kilbourn
was honored as the 334th consecutive Veteran of the Month,
at a ceremony held on Saturday, October 1st
at the Bantam Borough Hall in Bantam, CT.

Captain Richard C. Kilbourn was born on the 29th day of August 1919.
His parents Henry and Lena Morehouse Kilbourn of Bantam sent him to
 local schools in Bantam followed by high school in Litchfield and then off
to Emerson College in Boston, Mass., to pursue a degree in speech and drama.

Upon the declaration of war Richard knew his duty and enlisted in the
United States Army. He served time as an enlisted person reaching the
 rank of Sergeant before being selected for officer's candidate school.  
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and posted to England.
He landed at Utah Beach fought his way across Europe and at wars
 end he was discharged as a Captain and returned to Bantam.  

He acquired local employment, but had his heart set on pursuing
his dream of a broadcasting career. He applied for and
chased auditions. Each time going further north until he
 landed his first job as an announcer in Lowell, Mass.

 In 1949, he and a group of investors opened WTOR in Torrington, Conn.
He became heavily involved in the local community and adopted the
Christmas Village Program. Many local residents still remember
tuning in on the radio for the gift and fundraising marathons, and the
Children's Story Hour. He became the early voice of Christmas Village.

He went on to Bristol, WBIS as Business Manager and became involved in the
local community. He was drafted to run for the 6th District Congressional Seat.
He lost to Ella Grasso by a narrow margin. Following the election he was offered
 the directorship of the Hartford office of the federal Department of Commerce.
He enjoyed his new career and work until a heart attack influenced his retirement in 1982.


Richard liked to say that the heart attack gave him reason to retire,
but not to stop living. He continued to work; it seemed like 12 hours a day.
He could never say no, when asked to help with civic and volunteer work.

He served as Post Commander and Chaplain of Post 44 of the American Legion
and was a member for 70 years. He served his church; Saint Paul's of Bantam
as a member for 95 years, the senior Lay Reader for 60 years and was
chairperson of the grounds committee. His little red pick-up truck was always on the move;
Boy Scouts, tag sales, bottle and can drives and fundraising events, he never said no.

Captain Richard C. Kilbourn was taken from his family on the 8th of April 2015.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years Alice,
Sons David and John and daughters Susan and Patricia.
He was predeceased by a daughter Deborah.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring Marcel Daley Roy
Saturday, September 3, 2016
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

This month we have the honor of celebrating the life of one of our own,….
an American Legion of Bantam, Post 44,  past member,
 a Korean War Veteran of the United States Navy,…  
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Petty Officer Marcel Daley Roy.

Late of Bantam, Marcel was born on the 15th day of November 1930,
 the first child of Marcel Dominic and Mary Agnes Daley Roy of Bantam, Connecticut.
He attended local schools and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1948.
 Following school he resumed full time employment working in the family pharmacy business.

His age had precluded his involvement in World War II, but when the Korean Police Action
broke out he knew what he had to do. He enlisted in the United Sates Navy
on the 4th of January 1951.  After his basic naval training he was off to the
Hospital Corps training school from which he graduated in August of 1951.

Following advanced schooling he was assigned to the Atlantic 6th Fleet Operations.
He served on two ships the U.S.S. Salem, CA139, a Heavy Cruiser and most
significantly the U.S.S. Randall APA 224 an attack troop transport.
During a home leave on April 11th 1953 he married his
sweetheart of four years Margaret Mary Hemlock.  

Upon completion of his enlistment in Oct of 1954 he was discharged,
 and returned to his new wife and family in Bantam. He was awarded the
 following service medals: The National Service Medal,
The Good Conduct Medal and the European Occupation Medal.   

Having been brought up in the family business, "The Bantam Pharmacy"
coupled with his naval medical training and three years of tending to the
medical needs of his crew mates, these were stepping stones to his following
 in his father's footsteps. He next was off to attend the Massachusetts College
of Pharmacy in Boston. From which he graduated in 1959.

  He and Margaret had three daughters, Elizabeth who
eventually followed in her fathers and grandfathers footsteps
as a pharmacist. Followed by Cynthia and Darlene.

Marcel's father had taken over the ownership of the Bantam Pharmacy in 1929
 and he and Marcel and the entire family worked there until it's
 closing in 1996.  67 years of serving the local community.

Marcel loved his community, and considered his customers and friends to be
part of his extended family. He joined Post 44 of the American Legion,
the Bantam Volunteer Fire Department, The Lions Club, and the Knights of Columbus
for which he was its treasurer for several years. He could be found
each year making pizza's at the firemen's annual carnival.
 He served on the Council of Our Lady of Grace Church.  

     Growing up in the Roy house was known as the open door house;
 friends and family would stop by at any time of day or night
and would be greeted with open arms, food and drink.


Stories are still told of the card games held each Tuesday morning in the
back room of what is now Jackie's, and games held late on Wednesday evenings
 at the family homestead. Names of Veterans like…. Fisher, Shaw, Pearson,
Evangelisti, Parsons and many more.  Since 1949 a group of buddies who met,
 enjoyed each other's company, laughed and supported
each other in times of need. Buddies thru the years.    
     Marcel had an infectious smile an easy to befriend attitude
and the ability to listen and understand.

Marcel Daley Roy was taken from his family 0n March 10th 2015 at Valerie Manor
 in Torrington after a long illness. He is survived by his three daughters
Elizabeth Lowell and her husband Christopher of Gainesville, Virginia,
Cynthia Williams and her husband Stephen of Northfield, CT.
and Darlene Maniago and her husband Michael of Harwinton.
Two grandchildren Catrice Sandt and her husband Allan, plus Jessica Clark
and her husband Dennis, one great grandson, Colton James Clark.  
Marcel was predeceased by his wife Margaret who passed
 on the 9th of November 2000 and a sister Patricia Roy.

We at Post 44 of the American Legion wish to celebrate his life here,
not to mourn his death……. He left a legacy of caring, he cared for
his family, his fellow Veterans his customers and his community.

All who met him were better off for having known him.  
   Korean War Veteran, United States Navy… Hospital Corpsman
2nd class Petty officer Marcel Delay Roy,
 our 333rd "Veteran of the Month"
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
United States Navy Aviation Machinist Mate
Petty Officer 3rd Class
Viet Nam Era Veteran William R. Carr
 Saturday, August 6, 2016
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

Continuing with our 2016 summer of honoring local veterans we have
the privilege of paying tribute to United States Navy Aviation Machinist Mate,
Petty Officer 3rd Class, Vietnam Era Veteran William R. Carr, late of Morris, Connecticut.
His burial flag will fly from this All Wars Memorial until Saturday September 3rd.

The Connecticut War Time Service Medal was awarded posthumously by Jack Casey (left with vest)
of the Patriot Guard Riders. Reggie Harrison of Morris (right)  read the proclamation as the
award was presented to Ann Carr (2nd from left), wife of the late William Carr. ~ BZ photos

        William came into this world on Feb 9th, 1954, a son born to Billie Ray and
Mary Ann Ronan Carr Kelsey of Huntington, Indiana. His early childhood
was spent in Huntington where he attended local elementary schools followed
by Huntington Catholic High School. He graduated from high school in 1972
with a major in automotive mechanics. Following school, he chose to explore
opportunities elsewhere and eventually ended up in Buffalo, New York.

The burial flag is received from Ann Carr.

The Vietnam War was raging in Indochina and William was motivated by a friend
to enlist in the United States Navy. On the 26th of July 1974 he enlisted and
 after his basic military training was selected for advanced schooling as an
aircraft mechanic, with specialties in corrosion control and aviation electronics.

Upon completion of his schooling he was assigned to Training Squadron 27 (VT-27),
Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas. The mission was to maintain
 the fleet of aircraft used in the training of naval pilots.

 He received several Letters of Commendation during his service and
exactly three years and one day from his date of enlistment,
he was discharged. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal.

  During his Navy service he liked attending the car races. At one particular event
 there was a life changing event, it seems that there was a serious accident,
 and one of the drivers in an act of desperation while trying to flee the
wreckage was about to run into oncoming traffic.


William sprang into action and while trying to block the driver’s path the driver
 ran into him and knocked out his two front teeth. Enough said.
On the 20th of March 1977 he married that race driver, … Ann Stoddard.

  He and Ann settled in Indiana until in 1981, the failing health of Ann’s parents
convinced them to return to Ann’s hometown of Morris, CT.  William gained
 local employment with Bantam Toyota, until it’s demise, followed by Branch Toyota
in Watertown where, combined he worked as a parts manager for 30 years.

 He was a member of the Bodian-Weik-Skilton Post 173 of the American Legion in Morris
and the American Legion Patriot Guard. He was a Hoosier thru and thru. He always
 sat with his back to the wall and no one could get behind him. He enjoyed
practical jokes and kept everyone on their toes. He would always explain to people when
 asked about his accent, that they must have the accent because Hoosiers had no accent.

On Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 following a long struggle with cancer he was taken
from his family. In addition to his wife of 34 years Anne Stoddard Carr, he was survived
by his two daughters Tiffany Cattey of Morris, and Dawn Wagner of Norfolk, Nebraska,
a son Joe Carr of Plymouth, and a stepson, Tom Mefford of Morris,
14 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased
 by a son, Jason Lynne Carr, and a stepson Donald Mefford.

He was buried with Military Honors at the Lakeside Cemetery in Morris, Connecticut.
     Post 44 of the American Legion of Bantam is proud to honor as our 332 Veteran
 of the Month, United States Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class William Roy Carr.
We wish to thank the Carr family for this opportunity to honor his life.  
William Roy Carr, a father, stepfather and husband.  
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
honored Charles Edward Wilson
Saturday, July 2, 2016
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

On this 4th of July weekend it is only fitting that we honor a local veteran,
one of America’s "Greatest Generation" and a man known to have lived
 a life of service to his community and country. As our 331st consecutive
“Veteran of the Month” we honor WW II United States Navy,
Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class,  Petty Officer  Charles Edward Wilson,
late of East Litchfield, Connecticut.


Charles Edward Wilson was born on July 22nd 1920 at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital
in Torrington, Connecticut the second  child of Edward J. and Ethel Adelaide (Iffland) Wilson.  
He attended the East Litchfield one room schoolhouse through 8th grade then graduated
 from Litchfield High School in 1938. During his childhood he developed a fascination
with all things aeronautical. This interest and his natural mechanical
 aptitude were to become cornerstones in his future.

Upon graduation from High School he was off to Newark, New Jersey
and studies at the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics.
He excelled in his studies and graduated in 1942.

History was not to be denied and an entire generation was to have their lives
 and plans put on hold as the entire world erupted into war. The United States
 entered the war in 1941 and Charlie knew he would have to have a plan.

Following graduation from Casey Jones, he returned home, married his sweetheart,
Barbara Hibbard and enlisted in the United States Navy. He reported to the
Naval Training Center in Newport, Rhode Island and was assigned to
 Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida for 21 weeks of further training.

 He was posted to a naval maintenance facility in the Marshal Islands on Eniwetok Atoll.
The mission was to service and repair aircraft from carriers in the region.
He liked to reminisce that during this period he would take flights with pilots who
needed to maintain required hours of stick time in the air. When they were aloft,
the pilots would turn over the controls to Wilson and take naps.

World War II ended in August of 1945 and on the 4th of November at the
pleasure of the government Edward was honorably discharged. He was awarded
The World War II Victory Medal, The American Theater Ribbon,
The Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal and was credited with participation
 in two major combat engagements, earning him two Combat stars.
The State of Connecticut later awarded him the Connecticut War Time Service Medal.
He returned to his family in Torrington.

He accepted a job at the Simsbury and later Bristol Airports.  He and Barbara
moved to Granby during this period.  In 1951 his father’s request to join the
family business, Edward J. Wilson and sons Inc. of Torrington, bought him
 again back to East Litchfield. With the help of Family and friends they built an
Aladdin kit home and were finally settled.  He served as president and ran
the service department of the family business for 41 years. He never lost his
 love of aviation and during this period used the G.I Bill to secure
his pilot’s license and flew whenever he found the time.

Charlie immersed himself in his community. He was not a man to be idle.
He was an incorporator of the East Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department
and served as its Fire Chief for 15 years. He was a member and past
president of the Litchfield County Fire Chiefs association.  He participated in
Boys and Girls Scouts with his children. He was a Mason and a volunteer
with the Goshen Players and the Litchfield Rotary. He also served as a
Deacon and Trustee in his church and volunteered at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.
His hobbies were many, stained glass, carpentry, gardening
 and restoring model airplanes to name a few.

After his wife passed away in 1991 Charlie returned to his passion of aircraft.
He continued to fly until he was too old to have a pilot’s license,
then decided to build a ultralight aircraft that required only a certificate,
not a license. He built it from a kit, from strips of balsa wood. He made variations
 from the kit and it ended up looking like a geodesic structure. He flew it proudly.  

Charles Edward Wilson was taken from the family and community he loved
on the 16th of July 2013.  He is survived by his Son David T. Wilson,
and his wife Lynne Skidmore Wilson of Litchfield, a daughter Cynthia Wilson Young
and her husband the Rev. Dr. Samuel Young of Oxford, Mass.

Three grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. He was predeceased
by his loving wife of 49 years Barbara, his parents and siblings.


Each veteran no matter from what war, upon returning has a choice.
To celebrate life and give thanks for his deliverance or to mourn and lament
the misfortunes of his experience. United States Navy Aviation Mechanics Mate 2nd Class,
Charles Edward Wilson chose to celebrate life and in so doing enriched all who knew him.

We here at the Veteran of the Month program have a saying “We celebrate their
 lives not mourn their deaths.” He truly was one of “America’s Greatest Generation.”
Post 44 of the American Legion and all those who participate in the
Veteran of the Month Program are proud to honor Charles Edward Wilson.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Sgt. E5 Russell A. Humes, Jr.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

     It gives us great pleasure to fulfill a promise made to a member of our Honors group.
Only months before he passed away, Sgt. Glenn Dennis nominated United States Marine
Corps Sgt.  E-5 Russell Arnold Humes Jr. late of North Canaan and Lakeville Connecticut.

Sgt. Humes is our 330th Connective Veteran of the Month and his
burial flag will fly from this All Wars Memorial until July 2nd 2016.

Russell was born on the 12th of June 1944 in North Canaan, Connecticut
the first Son of Russell and Lilian Parmilee Humes. His early education took place
at Salisbury Elementary followed by Housatonic Valley Regional High School
in Falls Village. Standing 6 foot and weighing 200 pounds, he was a natural athlete.
 He excelled at football and also played on the basketball and baseball teams.

  It was right after graduation, in June of 1962 that he and one of his closest friends,
Glenn Dennis marched off to Hartford, Connecticut to enlist in the United States Marines.
After completion of basic infantry boot camp he was off to advanced training.  
Posted to Brentwood, Maryland he attended the Institute of Computer
Management specializing in data processing and computer programing.
Additionally he attended leadership courses and a basic computer wiring course.   

 After completion of his advanced military schooling he was posted to the
3rd Marine Division as a general warehouse forman in Okinawa, Japan.
He was promoted to Sergeant E-5 in Sept. of 1966 and the following month
was honorably discharged and he returned to Farnum Road in Lakeville, Connecticut.  

 His military decorations included the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal
and he later was awarded the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal.

   Upon his return he immersed himself in his hometown community.
He joined the newly formed Marine Corps League, Detachment 042 of Cannan,
played baseball for Lakeville and joined St. Mary’s Church.   

 His military training in the computer sciences led him to employment in the
Poughkeepsie, New York area. He enrolled at Marist College from which he
graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in marketing.
He was a member of the Marist Red Foxes football team. Following graduation
he gained employment with IBM where he worked for 20 years.
   On April 8th 1980 he married Carol Perkins and they both settled in Lakeville, Connecticut.  
On the 30th of April 1986 they were blessed with a son Russell A Humes the III.
A career in a field he enjoyed, a wife and an infant son, all seemed to point to a bright future.

   But tragedy derailed his plans when after a short illness, on Saturday the 8th of April 1989;
he was taken from his family at the young age of 44. He was survived by his
wife Carol his only child Russell A. Humes III, his mother Lillian and two sisters
Alina Milton of Sharon and Denise Dennis of Millbrook, New York.

    Services were held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lakeville followed
by internment at Salisbury Cemetery with military honors.

 Russell A. Humes Jr.  in his short 44 years left his mark on his family and his friends.
He was nominated for the Veteran of the Month by a gentleman we are all very familiar with,
Marine Corps Sgt.  Glenn Dennis. He enlisted with him, he served with him, was best
man at his wedding and a pall bearer at his funeral.

     Our motto here is we do not mourn their deaths, but we celebrate their lives.
A short life it was, but in writing this tribute I learned that everyone who
knew him was happy to have known him.  
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)
participated in the All Wars Memorial Monthly Honors Ceremony
in Bantam on Saturday, June 4, 2016 to honor Irwin L. Klein,
who passed away in December 2014 at age 91.

Klein served as a Captain and Military Intelligence Officer
in the United States Army during World War II,
from December 1942 to August 1946, and during the
Korean War, from January 1951 to January 1953.

He was stationed in the Pacific region at posts in
 New Guinea, the Southern Philippines, and Luzon.

His wife, Margaret “Maggie” Klein, accepted
the following medals at Saturday’s ceremony.

- Bronze Star Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
- Army of Occupation Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- Connecticut Wartime Service Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Korean Service Medal with two bronze star attachments
- United Nations Service Medal

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
U.S. Army Air Force Master Sergeant
Arthur G. St. John
Saturday, May 7, 2016
@ Bantam Borough Hall

   Today we honor one of our own, a man who devoted 68 years of active service
to the American Legion, a member of Post 44 for 54 years and chief writer and steward
of the Veteran of the Month program since its inception in October of 1989.

We are extremely proud to honor him as our 329th consecutive honoree
U.S. Army Air Force Master Sergeant, Arthur G. St. John late of Bantam, Connecticut.

Arthur was born in Jewett City, Connecticut on February 22nd 1926
to Victor and Rosa St. John. He attended local schools,
graduating from Griswold High School in 1943.

His class was the second class to graduate after the declaration of war in 1941,
Arthur and many of his classmates enlisted immediately. Arthur chose the
United States Army Air Corps Cadet program, being called to active duty on July 16th 1944.

He trained as an Aviation Airframe and engine mechanic, but the Army in
all its wisdom chose to assign Arthur as the chief administrative clerk at
Mather Air Field in California. He was discharged on July 1st 1946.   

On the 25th of June 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea and Art enlisted
in the U.S. Army Reserves being assigned to the 305th Military Police Detachment.
He was discharged on June 15th 1953 at the rank of Master Sergeant.

    His Service awards included the World War II Victory Medal,
the American Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Marksman Badge.

   After his Military service he had employment in several diversified areas.
He worked as a millwright, a  designer for Electric Boat, owner manager and editor
of a local weekly newspaper, a corporate manager and Director of Sales Marketing
and Communications at PTC Aerospace in Bantam and a published author to name a few.
   Arthur married his lifetime sweetheart Annette M.  Messier on February 7th 1948
and they had 61 years together. Their legacy includes two children
The Honorable Diane Blick and David St. John
plus six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

 Arthur and his family moved to Bantam, Connecticut in 1961 when he accepted
a position with Aerotherm in Bantam and he immediately became involved
in his new community. He transferred to the Bantam Legion Post #44,
became a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, joined the
 Bantam Historical Society, became involved with the Boy Scouts,
 the Bantam Vigilance Society, and Saint Anthony’s Knights of Columbus.
He never refused a call to help.

    We members of the American Legion remember him most for his devotion
 to his fellow Veterans.  Among his local contributions were the creation of  
“The Veterans Voice,” an award winning quarterly Newsletter for Veterans,
his four terms as Commander and his leadership of the Memorial and Flag Day committees.

 We must never forget Arthur’s family side. He was devoted to his wife and family.
In his family he found love and the true meaning of life. The loss of his wife on
June 1st 2009 created a void in his life, so in her memory, he published 100
of his penned poems in a book titled “Everything but the Kitchen Zink.”  

He took great pride in his children…. His daughter, Diane, who followed in his footsteps
with her dedication to community service and his son, David, who inherited his carpentry skills.
Art also was very proud that in their own lives, his children mirrored his love of God, Country and Family.


Arthur suffered thru many medical situations over the last 15 years of his life.
A botched knee operation, resulting in a prolonged hospitalization
with complications and infections lasting from 2001 to 2004. Numerous follow-up
surgeries were personally challenging to Art. It was during this time
of despair that he was inspired by his faith to pen his poetry.   

The last 2 or 3 years of his life were lived on pure grit. Several hospitalizations
followed by valiant recoveries. Arthur fought each and every day to be with us.

    But he was taken from us on the 4th of January 2015 and his remains are
 interned here at our Lady of Grace Cemetery only a short distance from
 his labor of love this….. “All Wars Memorial” which he designed.

Art is survived by his children the Honorable Diane Blick and her fiancé Frank Pierzga;
his son David St. John; his grandchildren David Oliver and his fiancé Christina;
Clayton (CJ) Oliver and his wife Stephanie; Ryan, Mark , Devon, and Zachary St. John;
and his seven Great Grandchildren: Garrett, Colin, Riley, Isabella, Matteo, Hope and Faith.

We are proud to have been in his company and we thank the St. John family
 for the privilege of paying tribute to their father, and our comrade
United States Army Air Corps Master Sergeant Arthur G. St. John.
Arthur not only preached GOD, HONOR AND FAMILY….. he lived it.  
“Forever Mourned, forever honored.”
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley


Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Corporal Wallace C. Parsell, Jr.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall

United States Army Corporal  Wallace Curtis Parsell, Jr.
was honored as  the  April 2016 Veteran of the Month.  
A gentleman with long standing ties to the Southbury community.
His designated burial flag will fly at the All Wars Memorial until May 7th 2016.

 Wallace Parsell was born in Waterbury, CT on September 13th, 1928 the
first son of Wallace and Dorothy Harrington Parsell of Southbury, Ct.
His elementary education was in Southbury followed by High School in Woodbury.
When he wasn’t in school or taking care of chores he worked
 with his father at the family business, Parsells Auto Service.

    Upon completion of high school he joined his father as a mechanics helper.
But this generation, as had their older siblings, was about to be called
upon to defend world freedom again. The Korean War broke out in June of 1950
and Wallace received his draft notice and reported to New Haven, CT
on 11 June 1951 for induction into the United States Army.  

He received his basic military training at Fort Devens,  Mass. It was while
 training there that he met William Layman and George Keith III of Warren.
They traveled back and forth on weekends and formed a long lasting relationship.
 It was these friends who introduced him to Anna Sterling who later became his wife.
Following basic infantry training he was posted to Camp Gordon, Georgia
for an advanced 11 week course qualifying him as Power man.
Upon arrival in Korea he was assigned to Company C of the 79th Engineer
Construction Battalion as an Amphibious Wheel and Engine Mechanic.
The 79th participated in several offensives, company C serving as a
maintenance center, repairing and returning war torn vehicles back to service.  
    In June of 1953 he was returned to Fort Devens, Mass where he was
Honorably discharged on 5 June 1953. He immediately returned to Southbury
and his family. For his service he was awarded The Korean Service Medal
with 3 Bronze Service Stars the United Nations Service Medal
and A Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

    High on his list of priorities was a young lady, Anna Sterling
whom he married in Oct of 1953. She was the love of
 his life and they were to have 59 years together.

    They settled into family life and he settled into the family auto repair business
alongside his father He and Anna became members of the United Church of Christ
and he a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1607 of Southbury.
Two sons and a daughter blessed their marriage.

   He was a family man who worked long hours and taught his two sons
everything he could. He took ownership of the business in 1959.
Wallace III and James Parsell still operate the family business.

   Wallace loved country music and played guitar. He was a very good country singer.
He and his wife traveled for pleasure taking in country and western shows
 such as The Grand Old Opry in Nashville and Branson, Mo.  His needs were
modest and he devoted most of his efforts to his wife and family.

    Wallace Curtis Parsell Jr. was taken from his family on September 28th, 2012
 while under the care of VISTA Hospice Care at Saint Mary’s Hospital in
Waterbury, Connecticut, after a long illness. He was survived by his wife Anna
and three children: Karen and Husband Ken Guralnick of Torrington,
Wallace III and wife Michelle Parsell of Woodbury and James and
Wife Karen Parsell of Southbury. Also surviving were four grandchildren
as well as his brother Howard and wife Carol and one niece and 3 nephews.
    Services were conducted at the Munson – Lovetere Funeral Home
 and internment was in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Southbury, Connecticut.

   Bantam’s, Post 44 of the American Legion is proud to honor United States Army
and Korean War Veteran Corporal Wallace Curtis Parsell, Jr. as our
328th Consecutive Veteran of the Month. A husband, father,
mentor and friend, a true Connecticut Yankee.  His legacy lives on.
We thank the Parsell family for  allowing us this Honor.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
United States Army Air Corps  Lt. Colonel
Livingston Van Rensselaer Crowell
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Baqntam Borough Hall

        Lt. Colonel Livingston Van Rensselaer Crowell was honored on
Saturday, March 5, 2016 as the 327th consecutive Veteran of the Month.
He was a Patriot and an Educator,  late of Watertown, Connecticut.
His designated Burial Flag will fly at the All Wars Memorial until April 2nd of 2016.

Livingston was born on the 26th of October 1922 in the Town of Pittsfield, Mass.
The Second son of Harvey and Elizabeth Van Etten Crowell. His stay in Pittsfield
was short and as a preschooler he moved with his family to Watertown, Connecticut.  
His local education started in the one room Guernsey Town schoolhouse,
followed by the Baldwin School and Watertown High from which he graduated in
 June of 1942. During his teen age years he developed a fascination for flying
and joined a model airplane club where he learned the basics of aviation.

     Just six months out of high school, he was ordered to report for induction into
the United States Army Air Corps.  After testing and pilot training he was
commissioned a Lieutenant and ordered to the South Pacific. He flew with several
bomb groups, but eventually settled in with the 330th Bomb Group.  He flew 24
combat missions over the Japanese Empire from his base in Guam. At the end
of the war he was discharged and returned to Watertown, He was awarded the
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Asiatic Pacific
Theater Medal, the American Theater Medal, and two Presidential Unit Citations.  
Later in life, he additionally was awarded the Air Force Reserve Medal
and the State of Connecticut Wartime Service Veterans Medal.

     Livingston’s commitment to our nation and its defense was in his genes.
He came from a family whose heritage went back to the French and Indian Wars.  
His father had been a Pharmacist Mate in WW I, his great grandfather,
Walter was a hero in Pickett’s Charge during the Civil War. He believed "This Nation"
was destined to become involved in other wars and needed a strong military
so he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and remained there until he retired in 1982.

     On August 11th, 1946 he married Florence Anna Ida Thornhill of Brookfield
and they settled into married life. He was off to college.  In 1951 he received
his Bachelor of Science degree from Central Connecticut State University
 in New Britain followed by his Master’s Degree in 1954.

          His chosen field was Education.  He taught at the Baldwin School followed
by a stint as a teaching principal at the Colebrook Consolidated School in 1956.
 His wishes were finally realized when he was appointed principal of the
Fletcher Judson School in Watertown, a position he held for 26 years.

     Livingston and Florence belonged to the first Congregational Church
 in Watertown, serving as presidents of the couples club. He served
 as an usher and was on the editorial staff of the newsletter.

     Not a man to remain idle, he with the help of his wife became involved in a
long list of community organizations, the Watertown Jaycees, the Baldwin Judson PTA,  
the Litchfield County Principals' Association, the Watertown Library Association,  
the Elementary School Principals' Association, the Watertown Lions' Club,
the Watertown Land Trust, and the Watertown Historical Society to name a few.

    In addition to local community organization he found time to attend 18 reunions
of his 330th Bomb Group Association and along with his wife and they became the group's
 historians.  During his tenure as historian two books about the group were published.

      He played Bridge at the Cornell Club, the Middlebury Club and the Waterbury Club.
He also found time to teach bridge to a group of Mattatuck College
 students. He was a member of the Watertown Golf Club.

     At the age of 91, Livingston Van Rensaalaer Crowell was taken from his family.
He was survived by his loving wife of 67 years Florence and four children
Julia Crowell Jordan and husband Peter; Betsy Crowell Lilliendahl and husband
William; Charles S Crowell and wife Margaret; John V. R. Crowell
and wife Joanne; nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
     A private memorial service was held on
Saturday, February 8th, 2014 with Military Honors.  

    The Veteran of the Month program is proud to have this opportunity
to honor the life of one of "America’s Greatest Generation,"
United States Army Air Corps and United States Air Force Reserve,  
Lt.Colonel Livingston Crowell of Watertown.  An officer, a gentleman,
a husband and father, and an educator. He was a man who was on a
quest to leave his country and his fellow man in a better state than
when he arrived. He never refused to help.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Post 44 Honors Adam John Wascavage
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Bantam Borough Hall

     On Saturday, 6 February 2016, Post 44 of the American Legion of Bantam
honored World War II United States Navy Seaman 1st Class Adam John Wascavage
 late of Thomaston and Northfield, Connecticut as its 326th Consecutive Veteran of the Month
Seaman 1st Class Wascavage's flag will fly in his honor at the All Wars Memorial until March 5th.

 Adam John Wascavage was born on 26 January 1926, in the small Coal Mining
town of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. He was one of three sons and
two daughters born to Adam J. and Genevieve Wascavage. His early education
took place in Mahanoy City and he only went to the eighth grade.
At the young age of 16 he escaped the poverty and limited opportunities of the
Coal Mining town by leaving to live with his brother Edward in Thomaston, CT.

  He immediately secured employment as a trucker working for the
New Departure Ball Bearing Company in Bristol, Connecticut. His brother Edward
 is remembered as a pitcher and Adam as a 1st baseman in local baseball leagues.
In those early years they lived together at 202 East Main Street.

At the young age of 18 he was ordered to report to New Haven
for induction into the United States Navy.  He received his basic training at
Naval Training center Sampson, New York, followed by advanced schooling
 in Norfolk, Virginia and Brooklyn, New York. During his service he sailed
 aboard the SS ESSO Buffalo delivering military deck cargo to England
 plus the AV-5 USS Albermarle, a converted Sea Plane Tender delivering
cargo in the Atlantic. He additionally sailed on two Liberty ships
named the USS James E Havilland and the USS John P. Holland.

WWII ended in 1945, and while most Army and Army Airforce personnel
were being rotated home and discharged, the Navy would be the last to
begin downsizing. Their job of transporting the millions of military personnel
home for discharge took a while longer. Adam was transferred to the Naval Air Station,
in Squantum, Mass. and finally to Lido Beach, Long Island where at the
pleasure of the Navy he was Honorably Discharged on May 18th 1946.  
He was awarded the American Theater Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal,
The European Theater Medal and the Victory Medal for his service.

   He returned to Thomaston, Connecticut and restarted his life.
He gained employment with the Torrington Company where he worked until
retirement in 1991. He led a quiet and uneventful life. His hobbies were square
dancing and playing cards at the Thomaston Post #22 of the American Legion,
where he was a long time member. He read books, and particularly enjoyed
those books that pertained to staying healthy. The last 20 years of his life
were enriched by his befriending  the Angel of his life, Louise Donovan.  
As age advanced and his health declined he was eventually
admitted to the Cook Willow nursing facility.

 Adam John departed this world on Oct 21st, 2015 at the age of 89   
He was predeceased in death by all of his family with the exception
of one brother, Adolf of New Jersey.  His arrangements were private.

      World War II United States Navy Seaman 1st Class Adam John Wascavage
 never married and had no children.  We his fellow Veterans, who participate
 each month in this veteran of the Month program set a goal of celebrating
each deceased Veterans life, not their death. Normally an honoree's
name is nominated by a family member, but in this case he was nominated
by people whose life he touched. People who remembered his service
and the way he lived his life. A special thank you to Lily Winn,
Louise Donovan and others who helped make this tribute possible.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring Col. Benjamin Hinman
Saturday, January 9, 2016
@ Bantam Borough Hall

As is the custom, Bantam Post 44 of the American Legion chooses to honor
each year at least one patriot from the Revolutionary War as a means of
reminding the public that without citizens who are willing and able to
fight for your rights there would be no free society.

This January as our 325th Consecutive Veteran of the Month we have chosen
to honor Colonel Benjamin Hinman late of a part of Colonial Woodbury now called Southbury.  
Col. Hinman served as a Revolutionary War military officer, a member of the
state legislature and a member of the Connecticut Convention that adopted the
United States Constitution in 1788.  Col Hinman's honor flag
will fly at the All Wars Memorial until February 6, 2016.

Benjamin Hinman was born in Woodbury, the Colony of Connecticut in the year of 1720.
The son of Benjamin II. and Sarah Sherman Hinman. He was born into an
extended family of military and civic leaders. His great grandfather
Captain John Sherman having served in the Colonial legislature.

Fate dealt the young Benjamin a blow when at the age of seven his parents
 were taken by sickness leaving he and his sibling as orphans. The children
were taken in by relatives and raised in the family of Judge Noel Hinman.
Living in the household of a judge gave Benjamin
an early appreciation of the law and education.

The young Benjamin settled into a life of farming,
 and in the year of 1745 he married Mary Stiles of Woodbury.

During these years the Indians were always viewed as a threat. Raiding parties
and tales of scalping and murder kept the Colony in a state of alert.
The French to the north stirred the Indians up and wars in Europe
between France and England spilled into North America and created the
French and Indian Wars. They became seasonal wars. Young men marched
off in the spring after planting was done, and returned when it was too
cold to fight or in time for the harvest.  It generated spendable
income that supplemented a farmer's income.  

Benjamin's military education was derived from participation in the military
 excursions of the local Colonial Militia's The French and Indian War Campaigns
were the training grounds for the future officers of this nation's Army of Independence.
He first served as a Quartermaster in 1745, and in 1751 he served in a troop
under General Roger Wolcott in their invasion of Canada.  In 1753,
he was commissioned as a Cornet (2nd lieutenant) in the
13th Connecticut Regiment of foot and horse. Promotions
 to Capt, Major and Lt. Colonel followed in quick secession.


The settlement of Woodbury during this period was a hotbed of young men
serving in the militias. Throughout the Revolution there were more commissioned
officers by the name of Hinman in Connecticut than  by any other name,
all having been born in Woodbury ---- two Colonels --- 5  captains ---
4 Lieutenants ---- 2 Ensigns and one quartermaster, plus many, many enlisted men.

He was elected to serve as a representative in the Connecticut Colonial Legislature
serving in sessions 1760 to 1762 again in 1767 to 1768. While serving in the
legislature he maintained his commission as a Lt. Col. and became a full Colonel in 1771.
 A rank he held through the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

On the first day of May 1775, he was ordered to take five companies and
post three at Salisbury and two at Greenwich for the defense of the Colony.
On  June 1st 1775 only two months after the Lexington and Concord action,
Col Benjamin Hinman is ordered to march his 4th Regiment off to Fort Ticonderoga
and participated in the nation's first major victory of the war, Col.
Hinman continued north and although ravaged by sickness campaigned into Canada.  

He is next ordered by General Washington to Long Island. His defensive actions
and the strenuous activities of a field commander wear his health down.
A sick and tired man, he is in next place in command of the defenses of
 Connecticut and its coastline. His health continues to deteriorate causing
 his return to Woodbury. At the age of 57 he is worn out and can no longer
serve as a field commander.  He never again rejoins the army.

He and Mary had four children Aaron, Joel and Sherman, who died at age 2.
His death was followed by the birth of another son whom they also named Sherman.

Benjamin due to ill health exchanges his military command for political leadership
 being re-elected to the Connecticut legislature for an almost continuous
 period from 1780 to 1788. He was a member of the Connecticut Convention
 that adopted and approved the United States Constitution in 1788.

His first wife passed on the 7th of May 1783 at the age of 54.
He next married Sarah Hicock on the 23rd day of November 1791.

Colonel Benjamin Hinman was taken from his family on 22 March 1810
at the age of 90 and his remains are interned at Old Black Cemetery in
Southington, Connecticut. He was survived by two of his children, Aaron and Joel
and his second wife Sarah. Today, his grave site is marked as a
 Patriot by the Sons of the American Revolution.

Post 44 of the American Legion is proud to have this opportunity to honor
 Col. Benjamin Hinman, who's bold efforts in the field of battle, and strong
 legislative leadership on behalf of his home Colony of Connecticut,
along with the sacrifices of his fellow Connecticut patriots, provided the
freedom that allowed the formation of the State of Connecticut
 and the creation of the United States of America.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring World War II, United States Army
1st Lieutenant Frank W. Morton
Saturday, December 5, 2015
@ Bantam Borough Hall

Post 44 of the American Legion honored World War II,
United States Army 1st Lieutenant Frank W. Morton
as its 324th consecutive Veteran of the Month on
December 5, 2015 at the Bantam Borough Hall.  

Frank W. Morton was born on Sept 9th, 1918 in Thomaston, Connecticut,
the first son of Frank Burns Morton and Lena Bodendorf Morton. He attended local schools
and after graduation from Thomaston High School he was off to the University of Wisconsin.

History interceded in the lives of his generation as the world erupted into World War II.
 He was among the first draft call at the University and reported for duty on the
18th of March 1943. Inductees with college attendance and higher test scores
were sent for additional training, so Frank W. Morton received his
commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.

During his short leave to Thomaston in July of 43 he married his High School
sweetheart Jean Elizabeth North and then reported for transport to Europe.

After a short reorganization and additional training his unit, the 157th Artillery
of the 44th Infantry Division went into action. He served as a forward observer
and infiltrated behind enemy lines to locate targets for elimination. He often
stayed behind enemy lines and lost contact with his command. His wife Jean in
Thomaston was notified on 17 different occasions that he was (MIA) Missing in Action.

The war ended and the 44th Infantry Division after spending 260 days in combat
was rotated stateside. They began equipping for the invasion of Japan.
 Fate interceded, Japan surrendered and Frank came home to Thomaston.
He was awarded the EAME Theater Ribbon with eight Bronze Battle Stars,
the American Theater Ribbon and the Victory Medal.

Frank W. Morton Partnered in D&M Trucking for years, worked with the
Furniture Barn and other jobs always kept him busy. His first Son Frank W. Morton Jr
was born in 1946 followed by daughters Patricia Ann, Kim and Lori plus a son Robert.

Frank passed at the age of 90 on May 31st 2009 and was buried next to his wife
and first daughter Patricia Ann. A gentleman who lived his life to the fullest.
He was part of America's Greatest Generation.
~ Gone, but not forgotten ~
~ Tribute written by John Lilley