By ROBERT BOSWORTH
The City of Quincy honored 30 living veterans of World War II and paid tribute to dozens more who were among the “Greatest Generation” but have passed away during an emotional tribute at Quincy High School Dec. 7th – the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that thrust this nation into war.
The veterans were introduced with biographical sketches of their service in the nation’s military and were seated together on stage before a packed Lloyd Hill Auditorium. They were lauded not only for serving during World War II but for helping to create a strong city and nation as public servants, entrepreneurs, teachers, business leaders and other professions when they returned home from the war.
Each veteran was presented a service medallion and hat as a token of the city’s appreciation. The veterans honored were:
Carl Awed, U.S. Navy; John I. Barr, U.S. Marine Corps; Francis X. Bellotti, U.S. Navy; Robert Connolly, U.S. Army; Mildred Cox, U.S. Marine Corps; John Coyne, U.S. Army Air Corps; Russell D’Angelo, U.S. Army; Pasquale Dimattio, U.S. Army; Russell Erikson, U.S. Army Air Corps; Barbara Gilliland, U.S. Navy; Fred Grenier, U.S. Army; Manual Horvitiz, U.S. Army; John S. Kelly, U.S. Army; Richard F. Morrissey, U.S. Navy; Edward O’Toole, U.S. Navy; James Papile, U.S. Navy; Ralph Papile, U.S. Navy; Louis Pasquale, U.S. Army; Joseph Ralph, U.S. Army Air Corps; Charles Santoro, U.S. Navy; Dean E. Schaeffer, U.S. Marine Corps; Bernard Schnaper, U.S. Army; Thomas Shephard, U.S. Navy; Peter Sorgi, U.S. Army; Americo Speranzo, U.S. Marine Corps; James Uvanitte, U.S. Navy and Arthur Wahlberg, U.S. Army.
Two video montages produced by Mark Carey, the city’s media specialist, were displayed on a large screen above the stage. The first segment showed photos of the living veterans while in the service and today. The second video showed photos of Quincy World War II veterans who have passed away but are not forgotten. Many in the auditorium waved flags and applauded as the photos were revealed as a patriotic soundtrack played.
Guest speakers included Capt. Starlet E. Baker, U.S. Army Boston Recruiting Office; Capt. Derek Smith, USCG Executive Officer Base Cape Cod; and Mayor Thomas Koch.
Also speaking were George Nicholson, director of Quincy Veterans Services; and George Bouchard, the city’s Graves Registration Officer.
Approximately 8,500 Quincy residents served during World War II; 255 were killed in action.
More on the World War II veterans’ tribute appears in the Dec. 12th issue of The Quincy Sun.