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

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

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

Contact: Henry Osowiecki, OIC

Wreaths Across America
 Locally, WAA is co-sponsored by the MFT Chapter DAR
and the Tyler Seward Kubish Post 44 of the American Legion.
It will be held this year on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at
The All Wars Memorial in Bantam, CT at 12:00 Noon.

Portions of this memorial celebration are supported
by David St. John (sound systems),
 Am Vets Post 24, American Legion Post 38, Torrington,  
The Marine Corps. League of Canaan, CT,
General Wolcott's Sixth Militia Brigade,
 of The Governor Oliver Wolcott, Senior Branch of the SAR,
 and the CAR (Children of the American Revolution.)

Wreaths Across America was started as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2007,
after the first wreaths were donated to Arlington National Cemetery (1992)
 by Morrill Worcester and the Worcester Wreath Company.

In the last ten years, WAA has grown by 30 % annually,
with over 1,422 participating locations nationwide in 2018.  
2,500 fundraising groups will provide the money to place over a 1.2
wreaths in total this year -all in the mission to Remember the Fallen;
Honor those who serve (and their families); and Teach our children
about the high cost of the freedoms we enjoy each and every day.

Wreaths are placed on the graves of each fallen U.S. veteran and,
locally one wreath for each branch of the military service and one for POW's
at The All Wars Memorial. Each sponsored wreath costs $15, with $5
being allowed to the fundraising program that is paid back to our many
fundraising partners including Legion Posts, VFW's and Auxiliaries,
Civil Air Patrol Squadrons, school groups, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,
DAR, SAR, and other national non-profits like Easter Seals.

The remaining $10 procures the wreath, delivered to a participating
 location, and funds the Wreaths Across America in its year-round
mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach. Each wreath is a handmade
(what they call mail-order quality) wreath using domestically grown
balsam fir, and hand-crafted right here in the United States.
The wholesale market price for an equivalent wreath is $12-15 per wreath.
 It is intentional that a highest quality wreath was chosen as this gift of
 remembrance for those who made sacrifices that can never be repaid.

"Remember this.... In truth a person dies twice, once when he
stops breathing, and a second time when somebody mentions his or
her name for the last time. Join us this December 15th.
 to make sure they will never be forgotten."
-Executive Director of Wreaths Across America

Susan Harrison, Veterans Rep.,
Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter DAR

Litchfield.bz (12-05-18)

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
First Lieutenant Terry Ryan,
a United States Army nurse
Saturday, December 1, 2018
All Wars Memorial,  Bantam

A nurse who served in the 45th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital
during the Korean War was honored as the veteran of the month
 by American Legion Post 44 of Bantam on Saturday.

Recognized at the Bantam Borough Hall was the late Therese Ryan of
Walpole, Mass., sister of Mary Curtis of Bantam. In attendance were
Ryan’s son, Robert Ryan of Severna Park, Md., and daughters,
Terri Barning of Oakdale and Lorrie Berry of Wenham, Mass.

After the ceremony, the Ryans were presented with the Korean
Ambassadors War Medal in recognition of their mother’s service.

Therese Ryan, the eighth female veteran to be honored as veteran
of the month by Post 44, was a first lieutenant.
Her MASH unit operated close to the front line.

After the war, Ryan served at the Fort Jay Army Hospital in New York City
and married William J. Ryan, who also served in Korea. For her service,
Ryan received the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Unit Citation,
the National Defense Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.

Ryan and her husband settled in the Boston, Mass., area and
had four children before she returned to nursing at
Norwood Hospital in 1970. She retired in 1990.

Ryan was born March 3, 1930, in Indianapolis, Ind., the daughter
of John and Helena Alerding, but spent most of her life in Walpole.
She graduated from Dorchester High School
and the Boston City Hospital School of Nursing.

After enlisting in the Army nursing program, Ryan trained at
Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Tex., was commissioned
as a second lieutenant on May 5, 1952, and was assigned
 to the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, Calif.

Ryan died July 11, 2011 in Walpole, where she was buried with
 full military honors. She left her son and daughters and four grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband and her youngest son, James Ryan.

Litchfield.bz (11-06-18)

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
U.S. Army WWI Veteran,
Captain Leonard Cleveland Fussenich
Saturday, November 3, 2018
All Wars Memorial,  Bantam
Leonard C. Fuessenich, who served in the Connecticut Army National
 Guard and has descendants in Litchfield, was recognized at Bantam Borough
 Hall during Post 44’s 362nd consecutive veteran of the month service.
A flag honoring Fuessenich is flying over the All Wars Memorial in Bantam
until Dec. 1. Three of his descendants, great-nephews L. Cleveland Fuessenich
 and Dan Fuessenich, both of Litchfield, and great-niece, Debbie Fuessenich
of Litchfield, represented the Fuessenich family at the observance.
Leonard C. Fuessenich was born in Torrington on Jan. 15, 1885
and died Oct. 27, 1931 in New Milford, where he lived, after a diabetic attack.
Fuessenich, the son of Frederick and Celia Fuessenich, graduated
from Torrington High School in 1903. He worked at the Hendy Machine Co.
after graduation and began his military career by joining Torrington’s
newly-formed Company M of the 2nd Regiment of the Connecticut Army National Guard.
After marrying Frances Holder on Feb. 29, 1905, in New York City,
Fuessenich settled in Torrington, became involved in activities at Trinity Church,
 and was elected a justice of the peace in 1910. He advanced through
the ranks of the National Guard to captain, but in 1915 resigned his commission
 to assist with the family business following the death of his mother in 1914.
When the chance to serve with the National Guard on the Mexican
border came up, Fuessenich re-enlisted as a lieutenant and through
 special arrangement served a tour as quartermaster sergeant.
Upon completion of the assignment, Fuessenich returned to Torrington
and resumed his work with the family business. His stay didn’t last long,
however, as Company M was ordered to muster at the Torrington Armory
on April 1, 1917 and prepare for a trip to the World War I battlefield.
The Torrington contingent arrived in France on Oct. 2, 1917 as part
of the 102nd Infantry Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division’s Yankee Division.
Fuessenich, a first lieutenant, had a distinguished record in combat.
After peace was declared, Fuessenich sailed from Brest, France,
on the USS Troy, arriving in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was discharged from active
duty and returned to his wife and family in Torrington, where he became
active in the community and joined the city’s American Legion post.
He served in many capacities with the American Legion and in 1927 became
 the legion’s 6th District commander. Later, he helped establish
 a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in New Milford.


Litchfield.bz (10-15-18)

Beirut Lebanon 21st Anniversary Service
Saturday, October 13, 2018
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
David Seelye, Chairman of the Connecticut Beirut Memorial
Committee and Post 44 of the American Legion of Bantam
celebrated the lives of troops who were killed while in Beirut on
a peace-keeping-mission during the Lebanese Civil War.

Those 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers who lost their
 lives on the 23rd of October, 1983 in the Beirut barracks
bombing were honored at the All Wars Memorial in front of the
Bantam Cemetery on Route 202 in Bantam, Connecticut.
This was the 21st annual service conducted by Mr. Seelye and his group.
"They may be gone but never forgotten."

Litchfield.bz (10-10-18)

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II Navy Senior Chief Petty
Officer Joseph M. Knox, Jr.
Saturday, October 6 ~ 10am
All Wars Memorial,  Bantam
World War II Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Joseph M. Knox, Jr.
was honored as Post 44 American Legion's 361st Veteran of the Month.
During World War II, Mr. Knox was assigned to the USS Bowfin.
The USS Bowfin went out on nine war patrols between August 1943
and September 1945 and sank a total of 16 vessels for 67,882 tons.

Veteran of the  Month Ceremony
World War II Army Veteran
Sheldon E. Miller
Saturday, September 1, 2018
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
A deceased World War II veteran who served in the Army and lived in
 Torrington and Harwinton was recognized as the veteran of the
month Saturday by American Legion Post 44 of Bantam.

Sheldon E. Miller was honored at the All Wars Memorial in Bantam
 during Post 44’s 347th consecutive veteran of the month service.
A flag will fly over the memorial in tribute to Miller until Oct. 6.

Miller was drafted by the Army on March 24, 1944 and reported
 to Fort Devens, Mass., for basic training, after which was sent to
 Fort Still in Oklahama for 13 weeks of advanced
 training with the Army’s Signal Corps.

In March of 1945, the 978th Signal Service Company Miller
was part of arrived in the Philippines for mop-up duty after the
 country was liberated from the Japanese. Six months later,
on Aug. 15, 1945, Japan surrendered and the war was over. Miller
would spend the next eight months in Tokyo, Japan,
working under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Miller, who held the rank of Tech 4, was discharged on April 16,
1946 and returned to his wife, Helen, and their young son in Torrington.
The couple was married on May 23, 1941 in Torrington.

Upon discharge, Miller received the Army Good Conduct Medal,
the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory
Medal, the Army Occupation of Japan Medal, the Japan,
 Philippine Liberation Medal and the Victory Medal.

Back in Torrington, Miller worked as a farm manager and then
as an installer for the Webster Fencing Co., which put up fence
along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Miller and his wife bought a home
 in Harwinton, where he joined American Legion
Post 173 and the Christian Advent Church.

In the early 1960s, Miller and his son opened S. Miller and Son,
a power equipment business in Torrington. The business,
 later named S. Miller and Sons, lasted into the 1970s, when it
closed and Miller took a job as a truck driver. He retired in 1983,
died on June 28, 1997 and is buried in West Avon Cemetery in Avon.

Miller was born on Oct. 23, 1920 in Burlington, Vt., the son of
Edward and Abbie Miller. The family would move to Avon,
where Miller attended local schools, before graduating
from Farmington High School in 1938.

After high school, Miller drove a truck for the Sanford and Hawley
 Lumber Yard in Farmington before finding full-time employment
at the American Brass Mill in Torrington. He also had a small band
that played on Saturday nights in the Torrington area.

Miller was predeceased by his wife. He is survived by three sons,
Ronald Miller and his wife, Mary, of Warren, Robert Miller and his wife,
Sandy, of Torrington, and David Miller and his wife, Diana, of Torrington,
a daughter, Donna Pelletier of Torrington,
ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II Army Veteran
Richard G. Sangster, Sr.
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Bantam Borough Hall
A World War II veteran was honored as the veteran of the month
 by American Legion Post 44 of Bantam on Saturday.

Richard G. Sangster Sr., who died Nov. 13, 2014, was recognized
at Bantam Borough Hall during the 359th consecutive veteran of
the month service. A flag presented to Post 44 by Sangster’s
great-granddaughter, Madeleine Aziz of Miami, Fla., is flying over
the All Wars Memorial in Bantam in Sangster’s honor until Sept. 1.

Sangster, born June 28, 1920 in Thomaston, enlisted in the Army in 1942
and was trained in combat at Fort Devens, Mass. After basic training,
Sangster was trained as an electrician and was deployed to Europe f
or a 12-month assignment repairing lights on
 runways and generators at military bases.

While in Europe, Sangster met his future wife, Virginia Byrd,
at a USO event. After they were married on June 28, 1943, Sangster
served with the Headquarters Operational Forces in Austria and Italy.
Sangster was in charge of 100 military vehicles and supervised
the work of prisoners of war and Army personnel.

Sangster was discharged on Jan. 10, 1946, and received the
 Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European,
African and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II
Victory Medal. He returned to his home on Elm Street in Thomaston
and started a family with his wife. They had two children,
 R. Gerald Sangster and Jeanne Byrd Sangster.

Sangster worked for Innes Brothers Construction Co. in Thomaston
for 45 years as a heavy equipment operator.
He was a member of American Legion Post 22 in Thomaston.

Sangster graduated from Thomaston High School and from Post College
 in Waterbury with an associate degree in business and accounting.
He is buried in Hillside Cemetery. For more information
about the Veteran of the Month program

Veteran of the Month Ceremony
World War II Army Combat Engineer
Victor Wilson
Saturday, July 7, 2018
All Wars Memorial, Bantam
Army Company Engineer Victor Wilson, was part of the
38th Regiment that built an airfield on Ascension Island in 1942.

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.  
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander
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.

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.
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

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.
Contact: John Lilley, Post 44 Commander

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.

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.


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.

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.

~ John Lilley, Post 44 Commander