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


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Veteran of the Month Program
American Legion Post 44
VETERAN OF THE MONTH
HONOREE NOMINATIONS
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
860-283-9474

2017 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2016 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2015 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2014 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2013 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2012 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies
2011 Veteran of the Month Ceremonies

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Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Saturday, July 7 ~ 10:00 am
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
World War II Army Combat Engineer Victory Wilson
 to be honored on July 7th in Bantam
On Saturday, July 7th, Army Company Engineer Victor Wilson,
who was part of the 38th Regiment that built
 an airfield on Ascension Island (above) in 1942, will be
American Legion Post 44's 358th Veteran of the Month.

The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. at the All Wars Memorial in Front
of Bantam Cemetery on Route 202 in Bantam. The flag of World War II
Navy Fireman Second-Class, Frank Fabbri, former member of Post 44
 and co-founder of the Veteran of the Month program, will be retired first.
Following that portion of the tribute, Victor P. Wilson, formerly of Warren,
 will be honored as Post 44 American Legion's  Veteran of the Month.
Mr. Wilson's flag will be raised and flown for a month.

After the ceremony Post 44 invites veterans and guests to gather
at the Bantam Borough Hall (890 Bantam Road/Route 202) to enjoy
refreshments with members of Post 44, the honorees’ families,
veterans from other organizations and the general public.

WWII ARMY PFC Victor P. Wilson
This morning we gather here at this “All Wars Memorial”
to celebrate the life of U.S. Army World War II, Private First Class,
Victor P. Wilson Late of Warren, Connecticut. Mr. Wilson,
an American Legion member of the Bates Schnell Post 168 of
Warren, Connecticut, and father of Post 44’s own Finance Officer
Wayne Wilson is our 358th consecutive “Veteran of the Month”.

Victor P. Wilson was born on the 15th day of December 1912
to Sylvester and Mary Korduck  Wilson, of New York City.  
At age 8 his parents purchased a 242 acre farm in Warren, Connecticut
and the move was made. He attended local schooling at the
Warren West School, worked on the family farm and when of age
sought employment in the construction trades.
He worked on the Merrit Parkway in the New Haven
area with a local Highway Construction Company.
He supplemented his income by trapping
and selling Muskrat and an occasional Mink pelt.

The clouds of war changed everyone’s plans and Victor enlisted
on the 17th of April 1941 in the United States Army. He reported
to Hartford, Connecticut where transportation was provided to
Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia for his basic military training.
 His advanced training was in the area of heavy equipment maintenance.
Upon completion of his training he returned to Bridgeport, Connecticut
and on Christmas Day 1941 he married Helen H. Kasular.

He next was posted to Charleston, South Carolina to become
 part of the 38th Engineering Battalion, staging for an overseas
mission. He spent the remainder of his military experience on
Ascension Island, building and maintaining a landing strip
 that refueled aircraft being ferried to the war front.  

“Wilson, That’s All”, as he was known to his Buddies was discharged
on the 21st of October 1945 and returned to Bridgeport to rejoin his wife.
For his service he was awarded the “Army Good Conduct Medal”,
the “American Defense Ribbon” the American Theater
Campaign Ribbon and the “World War II Victory Medal”.

Once home he and his wife lived with her parents as he became
one of three million returning Service Veterans looking for work.
He took advantage of the G.I. Bill  attending the Bullard Havens Trade School
and gained certification as a carpenter. He furthered his skills
 building track housing in the post war housing boom.

In 1949 he built his own home on two acres of land formally part
 of the family farm in Warren, Connecticut. Victor and Helene never
 looked back and remained in Warren for the remainder of their lives.

Victor remained a carpenter, but being a workaholic and a jack
of many trades, was involved in many endevers. He maintained a
small heard of beef cattle, which numbered up to forty at a time.
He was a member of the Warren Volunteer Fire Company,  a member
of St. Peters Lutheran Church, a member of Post 168 of the
American Legion and served on the Warren Planning and Zoning Commission.   

Now back to that nickname, “Wilson, That’s All” acquired while
serving in the Army, the name stayed with him. He was known to
some as: “Wilson, That’s All”. The nickname although not common
was not unknown. President Wilson had used it as a campaign slogan.
 It derived from a turn of the century brand of Rye named: “Wilson,
 That’s All” Victor was not a drinking man and any more than one
beer was refused. The only explanation was that he was dominating
which led one to state:  “Wilson That’s All”  meaning nothing else was needed.

Victor P. Wilson was taken from his family on the 10th of June 1978
by a heart attack. He was survived by wife Helene, a brother Percy
and sisters Anna Slate and Gertrude Strong and children Wayne
 and wife Donna Wilson of Warren and Vicki Durham and husband
Kim of Goshen, Connecticut, plus eight grandchildren and ten. great grandchildren.

He was interned at the Warren New Cemetery with full Military honors.

Victor P Wilson was a member of America’s Greatest Generation.
A generation of Americans who knew right from wrong, who believed
in our Democracy and who without question set their lives on hold
to defeat our enemies. We thank the Wilson family for bringing
 Private First class Victor P. Wilson’s life to our attention.  
HE MAY BE GONE … BUT… HE IS NOT FORGOTTEN
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander
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Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II Veteran Frank Fabbri
Saturday, June 2, 2018
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
On Saturday, June 2nd, World War II Navy Fireman Second-Class,
Frank Fabbri, a co-founder of the Veteran of the Month program
was honored as Post 44 American Legion's 357th Veteran of the Month.

WWII  USN  FIREMAN 2nd Class
Francis "Frank" Fabbri
This morning we have the privilege of honoring a local legend, a gentleman
who stood the wall 24 hours a day in honor of his fellow Veterans and the
 freedoms that they procured and defended for This nation, A member of
Post 44 and a co-founder of this very ceremony started some 29 years ago
- the Veteran of the Month program. Today, we honor World War Two
United States Navy Fireman 2nd Class Francis "Frank" Fabbri.

~ BZ photo

Frank was born in Litchfield on the 7th day of July 1925 to Thomas
and Mary Fabbri.  He lost his father in his preschool years to an industrial
accident and was raised by his mother and grandparents. He attended
 local schools and worked part time in his grandfather's construction
company. He tired of school and left to seek a trade, his last prewar job
being in the sheet metal fabrication business.

The nation was at war and Frank enlisted in the United States Navy
 in September of 1942, reporting to Newport, Rhode Island for basic
seaman's training. He next was posted to the Philadelphia Naval Yard
and assigned to the USS Denver a newly commissioned Cleveland Class
 lite Cruiser. In preparation for crew assignments he attended 4 weeks
 of radar schooling followed by 7 weeks of electrical training. On the 23rd
of January 1943 the U.S.S. Denver sailed for the South Pacific.

 ~ BZ photo

The exploits of the USS Denver are volumes, but the short version
 reads as such: 14 major engagements in which it was awarded 14 battle stars.
 It was so badly shot up that at wars end it was retired and sold for scrap.
From the beginning of its actions, to the vary last; on hand was Seaman Frank Fabbri.

Discharged on the 23rd of December 1945 Frank returned to his
beloved Litchfield having been awarded the following decorations:
 "the American Defense Ribbon,"  the Asiatic Pacific Medal with 9 battle stars,"
the "Philippine Campaign Ribbon with 4 battle stars," the "Occupation of Japan medal"
with one battle star, the China Sea Sweep Ribbon and a Presidential Unit Citation.
 Later in life Frank was awarded the Connecticut Wartime Service ribbon.

~ photo by Eileen Schmidt

Upon his return he married Carmella Murrelli and fathered four children.
He gained employment in Waterbury and acquired state certification
in electrical contracting and in 1954 he opened Litchfield County Electric.

Frank like many of this Nation's "Greatest Generation" came home
went to work, raised a family, paid his bills, stayed on the right
side of the law and sought to help his fellow man.  

Frank's life was altered and shaped by his service. His devotion to his
 U.S.S. Denver crew mates and what they stood for never left his subconscious.
The bonds formed by war, and how a man reacts is sometimes a mystery.
 Frank's reaction was positive and assertive.  

~ photo by Eileen Schmidt

Francis Frank fabbri took that bond with his nation and his service
and went several steps further. He took it upon himself to ensure
the American Flag was always displayed correctly. To ensure respect
was paid where respect was earned. To ensure communism and this
nation enemies were pointed out, that the underdog got a fair shake. That the law
was obeyed, but closest to his heart was his need to help his fellow veterans.

He taught young people flag etiquette organized and championed
Channel 5 Veterans cable T.V.  provided disabled Vets parade
 transportation, taught the State Police diving courses and served
as a constable. He belonged to and participated in no less than
four local veteran's organizations, and the list goes on and on.

He spent countless hours at the Bantam Cemetery,
cleaning, spraying, weeding and decorating with appropriate
 flags each and every veteran's grave.
But maybe, just maybe, it is this very program, The "Veteran of the Month"
 program, which he and Marcel Roy founded that will be his legacy.
After all, he filled out his application to be honored by
 this program in 1990 some 16 years before his death.  

Frank was taken from his community and family on the 5th day of June 2016.
He is survived by his children Francine Komisar and husband Larry of Goshen,
Nicholas and his wife Lorraine of Litchfield, Michael Fabbri of Bantam
and Dorette Moreo of Westport Connecticut. Surviving Grandchildren
are Eric, Jessica and Melissia Fabbri, Nicole and Dillion Moreo and Taylor Komisar.

~ photo by Eileen Schmidt

Francis "Frank" Fabbri; a champion of causes, a focal point for dissent,
a Patriot, and a sign post for patriotism to most of us was but a grandfather
to his grandchildren. Granddaughter Taylor Komisar authored a poem in
 honor of her grandfather and will honor us with a presentation.

He may no longer be with us but his loyal dedicated,
Patriotic sprit will continue to grace other Veteran's,
friends and family members for life times to come.
HE MAY BE GONE … BUT… HE IS NOT FORGOTTEN
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

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Veteran ofthe Month Ceremony
U.S.  Army WW II Richard Phair
Saturday, May 5, 2018
All Wars Memorial, Bantam

On Saturday, May 5th, World War II Army Veteran Richard Phair,
 late of North Canaan, Connecticut was honored
as American Legion Post 44’s 356th Veteran of the Month.

   This morning at our first outdoor ceremony of 2018
we gather to celebrate the life of, World War II, Private First Class,
Richard James Phair late of North Canaan, Connecticut.

   Richard came into this world, in Pittsfield Massachusetts on the
9th day of June 1923 as the first and only child of Andrew and
Grace M. Crane Phair.  At the age of 6 months his family moved to
North Canaan where he spent the rest of his life. He attended
Canaan’s Central School later transferring and graduating
 from the Private Hoosae School in Hoosae New York.  

   1941 was not a good year for a young person to be graduating School.
Europe was at War and London was being bombed daily.
You men and women of Richard’s generation were expected
 to set aside life’s plans,  and serve the call to defend our Nation

Veterans, from left, Owen Moore, Frank Dlugokinski and John Lilley
Richard Phair reported to Fort Devens Massachusetts. and began
rigorous combat infantry training.  He graduated in
October of 1944 as a Combat Infantryman and was
 destined for the European Theater of operations.
   He arrived in Europe on the 7th of September 1944 and was
immediately assigned to the 104th infantry Regiment of the 26th Infantry,
 “the Yankee Division”. As fate would have it they were about to engage
one of Germany’s best, the 11th Panzer Division. The details of Dick’s
 exploits are lost but this much is known, on the 17th of October and
again on the 29th of October he was wounded and carried off the battlefield.  
He was hospitalized and rotated state side to the Camp Upton, New York hospital

  Records show that Richard Phair was issued a Disability Discharge
 from the Army at Camp Upton on the 18th of October 1945,
and with $131.03 in his pocket he set off for home.

  He was awarded The Purple Heart with Oak leaf cluster
the Army Good Conduct Medal and the
European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.


 He returned to North Canaan and his family. It was time to resume
 his civilian Life. The job market was crowed with returning veterans,
Richard enrolled at Albany College earned a degree in Pharmacology
and returned to Canaan to operate The Service Pharmacy from which he
 retired in 1983. He continued to work at local apothecaries until he was in his 80’s.

   He was an amateur radio operator and member of the American Radio Relay League.
His was known to radio acquaintances around the world as WA1BAM.
He was a devoted golfer and rarely missed a chance to play.

   He cared for his fellow veterans and was a member
of several military organizations, but it was
AMVETS EAD Post 24 of Torrington where he was most active,

    He was a people person and enjoyed the company of his fellow man.
His warm friendly, sincere and cheerful nature earned him the respect
of all who knew him. He always loved having his family and friends to share a meal.  

   It was only in his later years that he showed his pride in his service..
As with most veterans of his era it was only on rare
occasions that the stories of their service were shared.


   Richard was taken from his family on the 21st of January 2016 in his
beloved Canaan where he had lived since he was six month old.
He was interned at Mountain View cemetery with full military honors followed
a by a gathering of family friends and Military veterans
who showed up in great numbers to show their respect.

  Richard was predeceased by his beloved wife of 62 years
Mary Morgan Phair and his son, John Phair. He was survived by his
daughter in-law Sandra Phair and two grandsons, Jonathan Phair
and wife Cheryl, and Brian Phair and his wife Sarah.  

  Post 44 is proud to have this opportunity to honor one of
“America’s Greatest Generation:” as our 356th Veteran of the Month.
There never was a question about honoring United States Army
Private First Class World War Two,  Veteran Richard James Dick Phair
because his friends Family and fellow veterans Lined up to nominate him.
HE MAY BE GONE … BUT… HE IS NOT FORGOTTEN
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

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Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Honoring USMC Sgt. Glenn Dennis
Saturday, April 7, 2018
@ Bantam Borough Hall

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Glenn R. Dennis of Sharon
was honored as the veteran of the month
by American Legion Post 44 of Bantam
on Saturday, April 7, 2018  at the Bantam Borough Hall
Dennis, who died on Oct. 13, 2013, served as a member of the
 flag detail at veteran of the month services for several years.
His sister, Sharon Rosen of Sharon, partner, Charlene Whitney
of Sharon, and Sharon Rosen’s husband, Harvey,
 attended Saturday’s service at Bantam Borough Hall.
 

A 1962 graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School,
Dennis enlisted in the Marines in 1964 and traveled to Parris Island, S.C.,
 for eight weeks of boot camp. His first assignment following training
was with the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Marines of the 2nd Marine Division.
The unit was assigned to the 6th Fleet and stood ready
off the coast of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis.
USMC Sgt. Glenn Dennis
Dennis also served two tours in the Mediterranean Sea and a tour in
Keflavik, Iceland. His final assignment as a Marine was at
Marine Helicopter Squadron One Marine Corps Air Station in Quantico, Va.
He was promoted to sergeant when his enlistment ended on July 1, 1968.
Upon his discharge from the Marines, Dennis received the
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal,
the Cold War Service Medal, the Rifle and Pistol Expert Marksman Badges
and the Connecticut Wartime Service Medal.
After his military career, Dennis attended Pace University,
 lived in New York City for several years, had a brief career
 in auto racing, and worked as a commercial fisherman.
Dennis raised a daughter, Summer Dennis, and worked
as grounds supervisor in the Rocky Point and Mount Sinai
school systems on Long Island before retiring in 2008.
Dennis retired to Sharon and joined the Marine Corps League Detachment
 042 of Canaan. He served on the final honors squad of the
 Torrington Veterans Service Office. He was a member of the
Sharon Historical Society, the Conservation Commission and Planning and
 Zoning Commission, and was president of the Sharon Eastside Cemetery Association.
Dennis was born Aug. 6, 1944, the son of Melvin and Mildred Dennis.
His father was a World War I veteran and a Purple Heart recipient.

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Veteran of the Month Ceremony
honoring Major Harold Colvocoresses
Saturday, March 3, 2018
@ Bantam Borough Hall
Major Colvocoresses has the distinction of being the only locally
known veteran to have served his country in three
consecutive wars over a span of 48 years. ~ BZ photos

 

Harold Colvocoresses, who served his country during three wars
 and lived in Litchfield, is American Legion Post 44
of Bantam’s March veteran of the month.

Colvocoresses was honored during a service Saturday at
Bantam Borough Hall. It was the 341st consecutive monthly
veteran of the month service. Colvocoresses, who died on Nov. 1, 1965
and is buried in East Cemetery in Litchfield, was represented
 by his grandson, Harry Colvocoresses III of Litchfield.

 
Harry Colvocoresses III with flag in memory of his grandfather.

Born Sept. 4, 1880, in South Orange, N.J.,
the son of George and Mary Colvocoresses,
Colvocoresses was educated in Litchfield and Washington, D.C.,
and graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in 1895.

He attended the U.S. Naval Academy for two years,
during which time the Spanish-American War broke out.
He resigned from the academy for academic reasons and
joined the Marines at the rank of second lieutenant in 1900.

Colvocoresses married Katherine Lee in New York City in 1903
and a year later was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which led to a
disability retirement from the Marines. The retirement lasted
until World War I, when he re-enlisted as a 1st lieutenant
working in the Marines recruiting office in Atlanta, Ga.

Colvovoresses resumed his retirement after the war and lived in
Santa Fe, N.M., San Antonio, Texas, and Washington, D.C. In 1933,
he returned to Litchfield with his wife to live in the family home.

When World War II started, Colvocoresses again interrupted his
retirement to serve at the age of 60. He was promoted to major and
assigned as the officer in charge of the Marine recruiting office in
Syracuse, N.Y. At war’s end, he received the World War II Victory Medal
and the American Campaign Medal and retired for good.

Major Colvocoresses (seated) with his staff and Marine mascot in their
Georgia recruiting office during World War I. ~ contributed photo
Colvocoresses was a member of American Legion Post 27 of Litchfield,
St. Michaels Church and the Litchfield Country Club.  

USMC Major Harold Colvocoresses
    This morning we celebrate our 341st consecutive Veteran of the Month
 service, by memorializing the life of USMC Major Harold Colvocoresses late
 of Litchfield Connecticut. Major Colvocoresses has the distinction
of being the only locally know veteran to have served his country in
 three consecutive wars over a span of 48 years.

   Harold was born on the 4th of September 1880 in South Orange New Jersey
 to Rear Admiral George P and Mary Baldwin Colvoresses. His early education
was in Litchfield and Washington D.C. He graduated from St John's
Preparatory Schoolin June of 1895 and upon graduation took
and passed the United States Naval Academy entrance exam.

His military career started when he entered the Naval Academy in May of 1897
class of 1901. Alas, it was not to be and he resigned for academic reasons in 1899.

Upon reaching the age of 20 he took a military examination and in September
of 1900 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
 More than one way to skin a cat.   His first military duty was as an engineering
 officer serving on board the battleships Alabama and Massachusetts.

In September of 1903 he married Katherine Alice Lee in the Church of the
Transfiguration ("The Little Church around the Corner") in New York City.
Ten Months later in July of 1904 he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis
and mustered out as a 1st Lieutenant with a disability retirement.  

He and his wife Alice traveled in search of Tuberculosis cures, visiting
sanitariums and rejuvenation centers throughout the American west.  

When WWI broke out in Europe he set aside his retirement status and
resumed his commission as a First Lieutenant serving as Officer in Charge,
OIC, of the Atlanta, Georgia Marine recruiting office. During this assignment
he was promoted to Captain, and later to Acting Major.  Shortly
after wars end in 1919 he reverted to his retired status.

 Between 1919 and 1932 he and his wife lived in Santa Fe, San Antonio
and Washington D.C. In 1933, upon the death of his parents, he and his wife
returned to the family home in Litchfield where they resided for the
 remainder of their lives.  In the period between 1932 and 1941
he engaged in architecture and real estate sales.  

    Another war was on the horizon and at the age of sixty he again volunteered
to set aside his retirement and resumed active duty. During his service he had
acquired and stayed in touch with comrades, like, Naval Academy class mate,
and friend, Ernest J. King, who was destined to be Chief of Naval Operations
 and his Marine Corps, 1st enlistment friend, Thomas Holcomb now serving
as Marine Corps Commandant.  He resumed active duty with a promotion to permanent
 grade Major and was assigned as Officer in Charge of the Marine Corps
recruiting efforts in Syracuse, New York, followed by a
transfer to the Washington D.C. recruiting district.  

     In Sept of 1944 at the mandatory retirement age of 64 he was shown the
door and resumed his retired status for the last time. A man who loved his country,
 loved his Marine Corps and who was a Spanish American War, World War I
and World War II era veteran could serve no more. He returned to Litchfield.

    His known awards and decorations are the World War
Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.  

  He was a member of the American Legion Post 27 of Litchfield,
 a member of St. Michaels Episcopal church and the Litchfield Country Club.
He stressed thrift, and had several sayings that reinforced that value.
He saved every scrap of wood, sheet medal, leather and used nails.       

  He passed away on November 1st 1965 and was interned in the family
 plot in the East Cemetery, Litchfield. He was survived by his wife
Mrs. K. Alice Lee Colvocoresses, a son Harold L. Colvocoresses, Jr.
and grandson Harold L. Colvocoresses, III, of West Hartford, Connecticut.

    Mr. Harold L Colvocoresses, also a veteran, comes from a family whose
military tradition and service to our country carries back for many, many,
generations. Post 44 wishes to Thank Harold for his help in
bringing his grandfather's service to our attention.

HE IS GONE ….. BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

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Veteran of the Month Ceremony
United States Marine Corps
Lieutenant James Fields Mayenschein
On Saturday, February 3, 2018
American Legion Post 44 of Bantam
honored United States Marine Corps
Lieutenant James Fields Mayenschein,
Veteran of Iwo Jima and uncle
 to Bryan Simmons of Litchfield.

Lieutenant Mayenschein, February's Veteran of the Month,
proudly served with the 5th Marine Division at Iwo Jima
during World War II, where he gave the ultimate sacrifice.

American Legion Post 44 of Bantam celebrated the
battlefield gallantry of a World War II Marine Corps officer during
its veteran of the month service Saturday at Bantam Borough Hall.

First Lt. James F. Mayenschein died during the 1945 invasion of Iwo Jima,
the island in the Pacific Ocean defended by 27,000 Japanese soldiers.
With his troops from Company B pinned down by enemy sniper fire and mortars,
Mayenschein organized a withdrawal of his men and those who were wounded.

Toward the end of the withdrawal, Mayenschein was fatally wounded.

He was represented at the veteran of the month service by his
nephew, J. Bryan Simmons of Litchfield. A flag honoring Mayenschein
 is flying over the All Wars Memorial in Bantam until March 3.

Mayenschein, posthumously, was awarded the Silver Star Medal;
 the Purple Heart Medal; the Presidential Unit Citation with Ribbon Bar
and One Star; the American Defense Service Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

Originally buried on Iwo Jima, Mayenschein rests at Mount Olive Cemetery
 in Parkersburg, W. Va. He is survived by his two children, James Mayenschein
 and Patricia (Mayenschein) Duncan, three grandchildren,
six great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

Mayenschein was born March 9, 1919, the son of Harry James
and Hazel Fields Mayenschein of Pedro, Ohio. The family moved to Malden, W. Va.
 in 1930 and Mayenschein graduated from the Malden High School in 1937.

He enlisted in the Marines in 1938 and served a tour at Guantanamo Bay
before returning to the U.S. in 1941. He married Inez Snidow on June 14, 1941
and was honorably discharged from the Marines on Nov. 2, 1942.

Mayenschein re-enlisted in the Marines as World War II began
to unfold and enrolled in officer candidate school.
He earned the rank of 2nd lieutenant and was
promoted to 1st lieutenant on Oct. 1, 1943.

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Gulf War Veterans Day Observance 2018
Wednesday, February 28 ~ 12:30 pm
Torrington's Coe Park
The Torrington Veterans Support Committee,
 and its member groups, invites everyone to join them in their
Gulf War Veterans Day Observance on Wednesday February 28, 2018.

The Ceremony will be held, rain or shine, at Torrington's Coe Park
and will begin approximately 12:30 PM. In the case of inclement
weather the ceremony will be held inside the Coe Park Civic Center.

The public, current military personnel, and all Veterans, especially
Veterans of the Gulf War and Veterans of the continuing War on Terrorism,
are invited, and encouraged, to attend. Please make every effort in
 joining us to show our gratitude to the Veterans of the Gulf War
and the Veterans of the continuing War on Terrorism.

If anyone has an American flag that is torn, faded, or otherwise
damaged they may bring it to the ceremony and member of a Veterans
organization will take the flag and see that it is properly retired.

If you have any questions or comments,
 please contact the Veterans Service Office
at (860) 489-2531 by Friday, February 23, 2018.

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Major General John Sedgwick

John Sedgwick was born on the 13th of September 1813 in the small
 section of Cornwall know as Cornwall Hollow to Benjamin and
Olive Collins Sedgwick. His family was well-known to area families,
as his father was active in community affairs and his grandfather,
 for whom he was named, served with distinction in the Revolutionary War.

Henry Osowiecki looks on as Peter Vermilyea speaks about Cornwall’s
 reaction to the death of General John Sedgwick in 1864.
To the right are Martin Spring of the 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery Unit,
who served as chaplain, Dane Deleppo of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers,
and Dan Thurston of Torrington AmVets who was on Flag Detail.
~ photo by Eileen Schmidt

John attended local elementary school followed by attendance at the
Sharon Academy where after completion of his studies he taught
for two years. At the age of 20 he was accepted and attended
West Pont from which he graduated in 1837 as a Lieutenant of Artillery.

History tells us that these were turbulent times. Our Democracy
was busy establishing, expanding and defining its territories.
 Lieutenant Sedgwick quickly saw action in the Florida Seminole Wars
followed by duty in the northwest and the Canadian Rebellion.
By 1846 he was serving in Mexico. He excelled and was breveted a Captain
followed in 1855 by promotion to Major and in 1861 to full Colonel.
During this time he served with the 1st and 4th Cavalry.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he was transferred to Washington D.C.
promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers and participated
 in the design and construction of the defenses for Washington.

~ Photograph from the Library of Congress.  
August 1862, Harrison’s Landing, Virginia Col. Albert V. Colburn,
Col. Delos B. Sacket & Gen. John Sedgwick

In the opening months of the war Union Forces faltered, failed to
 take the battle to the enemy and generally squandered away its
military advantages. Disappointed leadership and the public became
hungry for good news from the front. It was at this point that a Gallant
and fearless Brigadier General Sedgwick, known to his men as
General Uncle John, and the public became aware of each other.

He and his division joined General McClellan's campaign. He led from the
 front giving his men the image of invulnerability. His years as a teacher
at Sharon Academy had set in his mind the lesson of leading by example.
The tone for his actions were always to lead the way by example
and never ask from his men more than what he was able to do himself.
His men and the public perceived him as a gallant and fearless leader.

 In the battle of Antietam he was wounded three times. The shoulder,
the leg and the wrist, had a horse killed while in the saddle and still
pressed forward refusing to leave the field of battle. It was only after
passing out from loss of blood that he was removed for medical care.

It was during the following recuperation that he payed his last visit
 to his dear home in Cornwall Hollow. It was Thanksgiving of 1862
and family and friends gathered to pay respects. His parents had
passed and only two siblings remained, but the
 old homestead was always full of kindred.

  He truly loved the quiet of his valley and being with family, but,
the need to be with his troops and serve his nation began to
gnaw at him….  He truly believed his country needed him in the field.
 A week after Thanksgiving he set off for the battle front.

Eighteen months later on the 9th of May 1864 while probing enemy lines
for the best placement of artillery the story is told,  that he r
eprimanded his men who kept flinching and ducking, as rebel sharpshooters
fired at them from a distance of about 1000 yards. He strode out
into the open making the remark, "What?...  men dodging and ducking
 for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the entire line?" ….  
Although ashamed the men continued to flinch, and he said, "Why are
you dodging like this? They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."…….
Moments later he was shot under the left eye and fell dead.

As the news spread, Generals cried, the nation gasped, and the small
village of Cornwall Hollow prepared to lead the nation in mourning.
 His body was returned to his family and to the valley he loved.

The service as expected, was with full Military Honors, after all
he was the highest ranking officer in the Union Army to have
been killed in action. VIP's and politicians attended and it was
said to be the largest funeral ever held in Northwest Connecticut.

When everyone had left and the valley was back to normal,
a neighbor stated: Home is the warrior. The Army was his wife;
his Soldiers were his family, and Cornwall Hollow his home.

Today there are many memorials to John Sedgwick,
one in Spottsville Virginia, one in Gettysburg Pennsylvania,
and another at West Point to mention a few. None are as
appropriate as the one in Cornwall Hollow, Connecticut.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
~ John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

**************************
Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Korean War Era Veteran,
Corporal Loren Walter Moore
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Bantam Borough Hall

On this First Saturday in December of 2017, we gather to celebrate
 our 338th Consecutive Veteran of the Month service by celebrating
the life of Korean War era, U.S. Army Corporal Loren Walter Moore,
 late of New Preston and New Milford, Connecticut.
~ photos by Eileen Schmidt

Loren was born in Sharon, Connecticut on the 3rd of March 1935,
the 5th son of Walter and Flossie (Florence) Richards Moore of Kent, Connecticut.
 In 1938, shortly after the family's move to New Preston, his mother passed,
 leaving his father with the responsibility of raising five young boys.
His elementary education took place in New Preston, Connecticut and
his summers were spent working on local farms for room and board.
 It was during his youth that he acquired the nickname Pinky.

Being the son of a Cherokee Indian and raised without a mother
he developed a strong inner strength and belief in one's self.  
These strengths served him well in the years ahead.

At the young age of 17 he enlisted and set off to see the world, just as his
 older brothers had done. War or no War it was his time. He reported to
New Haven and after swearing in, he proceeded to Fort Devens Massachusetts
and Basic Training. His advanced training was with the artillery
and his service consisted of assignments in Hawaii and Alaska
where he served with Battery A of the 450 AA Battalion.

Upon the completion of his enlistment he was returned to Fort Devens
 and discharged.  He returned to New Preston Connecticut and started
the process of settling down.  He was awarded the National Defense
Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.

During this time period it should be noted that all of the Moore brothers,
all five of them, served their country honorably in the United States Army.    

He soon gained employment with the Allen Tree Service Company
in Torrington and eventually joined the SEGA Construction Company
 working as an oiler on a construction crane. It was during
this period that he met and married Beatrice Corna.
As a new family man he made career changes and joined
the Kimberly Clark Corporation of New Milford where
he worked for thirty five years before retiring.

In retirement he coupled his great love of the outdoors and hunting.
 He joined and became a life time member of the Western Connecticut
Tree Hound Association and the Rocky River Coon Club.  His knowledge of the
outdoors and expertise with his dogs earned him hundreds of competitive trophies.

After the passing of his wife he moved to Willet, New York
 to be closer to his friends and hunting community.
It was in Willet, New York on the 4th of November 2015 surrounded by
family and friends that he passed away. Services were held in New York
followed by a private service in New Milford, Connecticut.
Burial was listed as private.

He was predeceased in death by his wife Beatrice (Corna) Moore,
his brothers, Edward, Kenyon and Creighton plus a grandson Corey Anderson
of Washington, Ct.  Surviving family members include his children
 Sharon and Robert Anderson of Washington, Kathy Moore of New Milford,
Howard Moore of Canaan and Michael and Tracy Moore of New Milford
 and his lone surviving brother Owen and wife Jane of New Preston,
Connecticut plus  seven grand and great grandchildren.
He also left a special survivor his beloved Hound Dog Skeeter.

Post 44 wishes to thank the last surviving  sibling, Owen Moore,
 and his family for this opportunity to Honor  Korean War era
United States Army Corporal Loren Walter Moore.

He May be gone but he is not forgotten!
~ John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

**************************
Wreaths Across America
Saturday, December 16, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
~ photos by Eileen Schmidt

Seven ceremonial wreaths were placed at the
All Wars Memorial in Bantam, CT to:
REMEMBER all soldiers, sailors, airmen,
and marines who served;
HONOR their sacrifices; and
TEACH our younger generations
about the high cost of our freedoms.

Specially designated wreaths for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force,
Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and POW/MIA were placed at the
All Wars Memorial during a ceremony that was
coordinated simultaneously all across the Country.

The Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
sponsored and conducted the Wreaths Across America ceremony.
 Color Guard members of the Sons of the American Revolution performed a musket salute.

**************************
On Friday, December 8, representatives of the two local American Legions;
Post 44 of Bantam and Post 27 of Litchfield; delivered gifts to elderly veterans
at the Berkshire Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center in Sandisfield, Massachusetts.
After the gifts and Girl Scout cookies were delivered,
the "elves" spent some times visiting with the veterans.

Left to right: Master Sergeant Linda Searles of Post 44, John Lilley,
Commander of Post 44; Barbara Spring, Auxiliary Member of Post 27
and Donna Dougal, friend of Post 27. ~ contributed by Eileen Schmidt

**************************
The Veterans of American Legion Post 44
are collecting information on women veterans.
The veterans of American Legion Post 44 in Bantam are collecting names
stories and photographs of women who have, or are serving, in the military.
This information will be added to the Women in Military Service for
America Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Women's Memorial is
dedicated to all military women - past, present and future.

If you would like to add yourself or a veteran from your family
(deceased or living) please see Master Sergeant Linda Searles
at the Saturday, December 2nd Veteran of the Month ceremony
 in the Bantam Borough Hall. The ceremony to honor a veteran
 starts at 10 am, social and light refreshments will follow. She can
also email you the form. Contact Linda at lindaarmyveteran@gmail.

**************************
AMVERT EAD Post 24
Holiday Food Distributed
Commander Daniel Thurston recently announced that members
of AMVETS EAD Post 24 of Torrington gathered to load and distribute
Thanksgiving meals to Litchfield County Veterans and their families.
This is the 12th consecutive year that AMVETS has distributed Holiday
 meals to those identified as being in need. Officer in Charge Roger Geiger
states that 55 complete meals were distributed and a like number
 will be distributed the Saturday before Christmas.

**************************
Veteran of the Month Ceremony
Veteran of World War I, Burdette Curtiss
Saturday, November 4, 2017
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
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 was the 350th veteran to be honored and
 the 337th ceremony to salute a Veteran of the Month.

Originally of Northfield Connecticut, but it is here in Bantam that he
 left his mark. Burdette was a past member of the reorganized Post 44
 formed following WWII and as such is one of our own
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into  
…. World War I. We think it only fitting that we celebrate this anniversary
by honoring one of our own, Corporal Burdette Curtiss.


Burdette was born on the 22nd of September 1893 to Eugene
and Fannie Coon Curtiss of Northfield, Connecticut. Being the fourth boy
in a family of fourteen children, he learned early on, the necessity of
early to bed and early to rise and the meaning of hard work. His attendance
 in elementary schools in Northfield was followed by his seeking local
 employment at Seth Thomas in Thomaston and other local communities.  

The drums of war were sounding and the United States
reluctantly entered WWI On the 6th of April 1917.
It did not take long for Burdette to answer the call.

In July of 1917, being 23 years of age he enlisted in the Regular Army
at Fort Slocum, New York. After basic training he was assigned to
Company F of the 53rd Infantry Battalion and later transferred to the
16th Machine Gun battalion. His unit sailed for Europe arriving in July of 1918.
They were assigned to the 6th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces.
The 6th Division  participated in the Meuse - Argonne and Argon
 -Alsage campaigns.  At wars end, on the 26th of June 1919
he was discharged and returned to his Family in Northfield

It should be noted that Burdette, was not the only Curtiss to serve.
His brothers Eugene and Elwin also served as part of the expeditionary Forces.
 His brother Eugene was captured and became a Prisoner of War in Belgium;
The Curtiss family was and is noted for their service to our nation.

In July of 1925 he married Emma Phelps at a service in Torrington,
Connecticut and together they settled into farm work for the next
 fifteen years. In 1940 they moved to Bantam where he
was employed by Warren MacArthur and Aerotherm.

He was involved in local activities being an active member of Post 44
 of the American Legion and the Litchfield Grange. He loved fishing
and many stories were spun about his fishing escapades.
He was an expert gardener and maintained a large garden.

The first week in November of 1970 at the age of 77 while a patient
of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital he was taken from his family. He was
interned with military honors in the West Cemetery in Litchfield, Connecticut.

He is survived by his wife Emma Phelps Curtis, three sons,
Charles Curtiss of Washington State, Edmund Curtiss
and Donald Curtiss both of Bantam,  His legacy
includes 9 Grandchildren and 21 Great Grandchildren.  

His family has requested that his sibblings, all thirteen of them
be listed for historical reference in this document, they are:
Eugene, Erwin, Daisy Walker, Elwin, Vina White, Charles, May Sutliffe, Appleton,
 Jeannette Sutliffe, Roger, Reubin, Theresa Dew, and Evelyn Darling.

Post 44 of the American legion is proud to have this opportunity
to celebrate the life of Burdette Curtiss. We are especially grateful to
 Mary Curtiss of Bantam, a daughter-in-law for her research and help in
creating this tribute. Burdette Curtiss was a quiet man and as
such did not leave a lot of material to aid in our research.

We at Post 44 think it appropriate that his Flag will fly from the
All Wars memorial during the Month of November as we celebrate
his life and the anniversary of American's entry into World War I.

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
~ John Lilley, 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
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.     

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
~ 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.  

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
~ 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 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.
       GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!!

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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.