Brookline War Memorial
The Cannon and Veteran's Memorial Park

<The War Memorial>    <Casualty Lists>    <Remembrances>

<4.7 inch M1906>    <155mm Schneider>

The Brookline Monument.

The Brookline Monument, better known as "The Cannon" has been a mainstay on Brookline Boulevard for many years, dating back to 1935. It is the showpiece of Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park, or Brookline Boulevard Triangle Park as it is officially known.

The memorial sits on the small island situated between Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton Avenues. The cannon, a World War I artillery piece, stands quiet watch over the Commerical District and honors the legacy of Brookline's fighting men and women in arms.

The Brookline Veteran's Memorial.

At the entrance to the park is a fine pink granite Memorial Bench with two bronze Mrmorial Plaques, one "In Memory of All American Veterans" and the other honoring "The Veterans of Brookline," our military men and women that have served in the various conflicts from World War I through the present-day War on Terror in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The Brookline Monument.
Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park in the 1970s. The original
white marble Memorial Bench is partially visible.

The park contains a few other park benches, a flag pole and a flower garden. Each year, the local Memorial Day Parade begins at the Veteran's Memorial. The parade is preceeded by a somber ceremony in honor of those who fell in battle. The Cannon is one of the most recognizable features on Brookline Boulevard, and has always been a favorite amongst the youngsters who like to climb aboard and turn the wheels.

Children play on the Cannon Monument in 2012.
For decades, children have been fascinated by the Cannon at Veteran's Memorial Park.

Many Brookline residents and casual passers-by, however, are unaware of the true significance of this small park, and the sacrifices made by Brookliners over the past century in the service of our country. It is in their honor that this park exists, and it is our duty to tell that tale on this webpage, thus keeping their stories, and memories, alive in our hearts and minds.




The Former Site Of Brookline's Freehold Real Estate Office

In 1905, when the Brookline section of the former West Liberty Borough was undergoing the transformation from a rural farming district into a modern residential and commercial community, the Freehold Real Estate Company established a small sales office on the triangle. The original one-room wooden shack was replaced by a two-room brick building in 1912. The office was a busy place for many years as the community grew.

Brookline Boulevard, 1910.    Brookline Boulevard, 1913.
The Freehold Real Estate office along Brookline Boulevard in 1910 (left) and again in 1913.

As for ownership of the triangle, Freehold owned the larger share of the property, and the City of Pittsburgh owned the rest, located near the tip of the triangle that pointed in the direction of the developing Brookline Boulevard Commercial district.

In November 1919, a city ordinance was enacted allowing the Brookline Board of Trade to place a bronze Memorial Tablet "Commemorating the Achievements of Brookline World War Heroes." This was placed on the city owned portion of the triangle.

Original Brookline War Memorial Plaque.

Then, in 1932, as a result of the financial crisis caused by the onset of the Great Depression, the Freehold Office in Brookline was closed. Their land was sold to James McGaffin, a prominent Brookline businessman and owner of the McGaffin Construction Company. The old Freehold office was razed in the fall of 1933 and a retaining wall built along the Chelton Avenue side to level the land.

Despite the struggling economy, the 1930s were a time of great change in Brookline. The Joint Civic Committee was busy working on many initiatives to help modernize and improve the community. One such project was to establish a larger Veteran's Memorial to honor Brookline soldiers who fought in World War I.

On April 18, 1934, James McGaffin sold his portion of the triangle to the city for the purpose of establishing a permanent memorial. The cost of the transfer was $5750, and the land was designated as the Brookline Boulevard Triangle Park.

On July 4, 1935, before the start of the annual Independence Day Parade, members of Brookline's American Legion Post #540, formed just two months prior to that in May 1935, dedicated a white marble Memorial Bench. Bolted to the bench was the original bronze Memorial Tablet originally dedicated in 1919.

The white marble memorial bench.
Members of the local American Legion Post #540 dedicate the original white marble
Memorial Bench at the Brookline Boulevard Triangle Park on July 4, 1935.

Soon afterwards, The United States Department of the Interior granted the American Legion Post #540 the loan of a government surplus artillery piece to be placed on the triangle as another local monument to Brookline Veteran's. It was placed on a concrete pad with the gun barrel facing towards the Commercial District.

Other additions to the Veteran's Memorial continued in the years that followed. On Memorial Day, 1937, the American Legion Post #540 and the Brookline Americanism Committee, headed by Mary E. Laitta, dedicated a flag pole. In preparation for Memorial Day, 1938, the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works laid a concrete pad and erected metal fencing around the memorial, as well as providing new landscaping and other improvements.




The Original Cannon (1935-1942)

The present-day Cannon is actually the second rendition of the monument. The granite memorial bench itself is also a replacement. The original cannon was a surplus World War I American field artillery piece. It's official designation was 4.7 inch Gun M1906.

An American 4.7 inch Gun M1906.
An American howitzer, the 4.7 inch Gun M1906, is shown here on May 21, 1939
at the Brookline Veteran's Memorial in Triangle Park.

The original howitzer, dedicated in 1935, stood for eight years, until another global conflict called it back into service. This time, the cannon was not headed for the front lines in Europe. It was, instead, heading to Jones and Laughlin Steel. The World War I artillery piece was donated by the American Legion to the J&L Mill in Hazelwood to be melted down during a scrap metal drive for World War II.

The original Cannon in 1942.
American Legion Post #540 members stand by Brookline's original Cannon.

It happened on October 13, 1942, when John Renner, a foreman at the J&L 16-inch roller, and George Winslow, superintendent of the mill's Hazelwood polishing plant and senior vice-commander of the Brookline Legion Post 540, held a small ceremony before the 4.7 inch cannon was again carted off to war, this time against the empire of Japan. The cannon was inscribed "To Japan via U.S. Armed Forces."

The Brookline Monument heads back to war in 1942.
Brookline's original Cannon being hauled away for scrap metal on October 13, 1942.

After World War II, an Army surplus howitzer was obtained as a replacement for the original cannon. The current model 1917 Schneider 155mm Howitzer was installed and the park re-dedicated in 1946. The aging white marble Veteran's memorial bench was replaced with the present-day polished pink granite and bronze memorial bench in 1995, a few years after the conclusion of the first Persian Gulf War.

The Cannon - December 29, 2012.
Brookline's snow-covered cannon on December 29, 2012.




Old Soldiers

Brookline's Veteran's Memorial Park has always been popular gathering place. Several generations of Brookliners have uttered the words, "I'll meet you at the cannon."

Sometimes the park benches are just a nice place to sit down and enjoy a relaxing moment, either alone or with friends.

Old Soldiers - Print by Bob Daley.

For the three gentlemen captured in this Robert Daley print, entitled "Old Soldiers," this meeting at the park was something of a casual reunion of Veteran's. On a crisp fall morning, the old soldiers have gathered near the cannon to chat about the day's events.

The average pedestrian would pass them by without much thought, not realizing what sacrifices these brave men had made so many years ago on the battlefields of far away places. They had been to hell and back, an experience that only a veteran can understand. They share a common bond, one that is forged in the cauldron of war.

These fine men were part of our Greatest Generation and oh, what stories they could tell.




New Flags Installed - 2014

On April 27, 2014, new flags were installed at the Brookline Veteran's Park. The flags were hung by American Legion Post #540 members Dan McKeever and Joe Nellis. McKeever, a U.S. Navy Vietnam Veteran obtained the POW/MIA Flag, emblazened with the words "Gone But Not Forgotten," solely with the profits from aluminum recycling. The American Flag was provided by former State Representative Erin Molchany. Additional support was provided by Nathan Mallory, former Chamber of Commerce President, curator of the memorial grounds.

Brookline Boulevard, 1910    Brookline Boulevard, 1913
Joe Nellis and Dan McKeever were instrumental in getting new flags for the Veteran's Memorial Park.

The Community of Brookline has always been supportive of our proud veterans, who have served our country over the years with dedication and devotion. Brookline also honors the sacrifices of our young men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in times of war, and supports the ongoing efforts of veteran's organizations to account for those soldiers who remain unaccounted for, still listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

The Brookline Veteran's Memorial.




Port Authority Bus Crashes Into Veteran's Memorial

On July 8, 2017, the calm summer morning was interrupted with the sudden crash of an out-of-control PAT bus into the Brookline Veteran's Memorial. The bus didn't just wreck into the memorial, it drove right through it, then went over the embankment and smashed into the wall and railing across the street on Chelton Avenue.

The bus had made its' usual left turn off of Queensboro Avenue and then lost control. It continued into a full U-turn, collided with two parked cars then barreled through the memorial, hitting the 100-year old Cannon and dragging it along until coming to a complete stop.

By the grace of God, no one was in the normally busy park at the time, and there were no serious injuries to report among the passengers on the bus. When the wild ride ended, it appeared that the bus actually faired worse than the vintage French-built howitzer, which sustained only minor damage.

In addition to the cannon, other damage in the park included a couple crushed benches and a fence which was mangled and torn from its' foundation. Once police and paramedics cleared the area and the chaos died down, a crew from McGann and Chester loaded the wounded cannon onto a flatbed and delivered it to the Port Authority garage, where repairs could be made.

It took a while to negotiate the bureaucratic red tape to determine how to proceed with the cannon repairs. Still the property of the Department of the Interior, special care had to be taken during its' restoration to meet their strict guidelines and procedures.

By October, the Port Authority had made good on it's promise to repair the iconic Brookline landmark, and on the fifth of that month, a PAT maintenance crew returned the cannon to the Veteran's Memorial and placed it back on it's concrete pad. The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works had already repaired the benches and fencing.

To the astonishment of Brookline residents, the cannon looked brand new. The restoration went much better than expected. Years of rust, weathering and neglect were repaired. New tires were installed and the howitzer was painted in traditional Army green. For all intents and purposes it looked brand new!

It is amazing how some things work out. For several years a coalition of concerned veterans and citizens had been trying to get the cannon restored. Their efforts were always thwarted by government red tape and other frustrations.

In the end, it took a near tragedy to provide the urgency and lifting of restrictions necessary to effect the proper repairs and ensure that this community landmark, first brought to Brookline in 1946, is now in a condition to last another 100 years.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.    Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
It was a chaotic scene as the bus smashed through the small park and came to rest on Chelton Street.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.    Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
The Cannon's tow hook and recoil brace got lodged in the bus' window frame and was pulled along.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
The park fence and benches were mangled by the out-of-control vehicle as it smashed it's way through.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.    Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
McGann and Chester were called to remove the cannon and bus and take them to a Port Authority repair facility.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.    Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
The park looked a bit out-of-sorts for a couple months while repairs were being made.

Bus Wrecks Into Veteran's Memorial - July 8, 2017.
The damaged Cannon at the Port Authority maintenance yard awaiting restoration.

Cannon Returned To Veteran's Memorial - October 5, 2017.    Cannon Returned To Veteran's Memorial - October 5, 2017.
In early October the restored cannon was ready to be returned to it's location in the park.

Cannon Returned To Veteran's Memorial - October 5, 2017.    Cannon Returned To Veteran's Memorial - October 5, 2017.
After three months away from home, Brookline's cannon is back where it belongs, honoring our local veterans.

Cannon Returned To Veteran's Memorial - October 5, 2017.
Brookline's historic landmark French Model 1917 Schneider 155mm Howitzer hasn't looked this good in years.




The Annual Memorial Day Parade

Every Memorial Day, beginning in 1934, the South Hills Memorial Day Parade Association hosts the annual Memorial Day Parade. The event begins at the Brookline Veterans Memorial with the opening ceremony. The parade then follows a 2.2 mile route from the Brookline Boulevard Triangle Park along Brookline Boulevard, Pioneer Avenue and West Liberty Avenue. The procession ends at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, where a closing ceremony is held. The parade is a fun, yet somber event honoring local soldiers who gave their lives in the service of our country.

Memorial Day 1960
Brookliners gather at the Veteran's Memorial for the Memorial Day ceremony before the parade in May 1960.

At the Memorial Day Parade in 2010, I was struck by the fact that nobody could recite the names of Brookline's fallen heroes, those whose sacrifice was being celebrated that day. My curiosity led me on fruitless searches to the local American Legion, nearby VFW and the Brookline library. It seemed so wrong that our proud community, unlike others like Beechview, Carrick, Dormont and Mount Lebanon, had no record of the native sons that died in war.

Frank F. DeBor laying wreath at the
 Brookline War Memorial    Bronze Memorial Plaque and wreath.
Frank F. DeBor, the owner of DeBor Funeral Home and Commander of the American Legion Post #540 lays a wreath
on the memorial bench in Triangle Park prior to the start of the 1954 Memorial Day Parade.

With this in mind, Doug Brendel and myself took it upon ourselves to research this topic and learn the names. We scoured the casulty lists of old archived Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mount Washington Times and Brookline Journal editions. It took a few months, but in the end we had identified the names of fifty Brookline natives who perished during the WWI, WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars.

A young boy salutes the memorial wreath
outside the Brookline American Legion Hall.
A young boy salutes the memorial wreath outside the Brookline American Legion Hall in 2012.

Along with these fifty brave souls, we also learned of many Brookliners who suffered wounds and many others who were held as Prisoner of War. It is with pride that we present these names below in the casualty section of this webpage. These are the names of those that are celebrated on Memorial Day, and may their sacrifices never be forgotten by the generations of Brookliners who live under the blanket of freedom they helped to provide.




Brookline Military Casualty Lists

<World War I>      <World War II>      <Korean War>      <Vietnam War>

<The War on Terror>

This section is a work in progress. We are still gathering information.

Listed below are many of the sons of Brookline who gave their
lives to preserve freedom and contain aggression during
World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”
General George S. Patton
 

United States Army (1775-present)  United States Army Air Services (1917-1947)  United States Navy (1775-present)  United States Marine Corps (1775-present)  United States Coast Guards (1790-present)  United States Air Force (1947-present)

World War I (1917-1919)

Percy Digby

Digby, Percy
Mayville Avenue
Army

Raymond P. Cronin

Cronin, Raymond P.
Berkshire Avenue
USMC

Charles Luppe

Luppe, Charles
Ferncliffe Avenue
Army


 History of Pittsburgh and Western PA Soldiers in World War I 

For a listing of World War I fatalities from Pennsylvania:
The Carnegie Library - Soldiers of the Great War

For a listing of World War I fatalities from Pittsburgh:
Soldiers of the Great War - Volume III

WW1 Memorial - Washington D.C.
The World War I Memorial - Washington D.C.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

World War II (1941-1945)


Alm William H.
Pioneer Avenue
Army


Arensberg, Roy T.
Fernhill Avenue
Army


Brickley, Edward G.
Woodward Avenue
Army


Bruni, Lawrence A.
Berkshire Avenue
Army


Capogreca, James J.
Bellaire Avenue
Navy


Copeland, Clarence R.
Creedmoor Avenue
Navy


Cullison, Thomas J.
Birtley Avenue
Army


Dempsey, Howard F.
Berkshire Avenue
Army


Dempsey, Walter F.
Milan Avenue
Navy


Diegelman, Edward R. Jr
Norwich Avenue
Army


Dornetto, Frank P.
Jacob Street
Navy


Fagan, Gerald B.
Woodbourne Avenue
Army


Falk, Harold E.
Pioneer Avenue
Army


Fehring, Robert M.
Fernhill Avenue
Army


Hynes, Richard E.
Waddington Avenue
Army


Jackson, Robert E.
Brookline
Army


Kestler, Paul C.
Creedmoor Avenue
Navy


Ketters, Robert C.
Berkshire Avenue
Army


Mahoney, Michael J.
Oakridge Street
Army


Majestic, Arthur B.
Starkamp Avenue
Army


Mayberry, Alexander G.
Breining Street
Army


Mazza, John
Alwyn Street
Army


McCann, Robert F.
Edgebrook Avenue
Navy


McFarland, Hugh R.
McNeilly Road
Army


Miller, William J.
Norwich Avenue
Army


Napier, Edward J.
Brookline Boulevard
Army


Nicholson, John D.
Woodbourne Avenue
Army


O'Day, John R.
Creedmoor Avenue
Navy


Orient, Andrew D.
Fordham Avenue
Army


Pisiecki, Raymond A.
Wolford Avenue
Army


Reeves, Alfred M.
Brookline Boulevard
Army


Reitmeyer, John P.
Bellaire Avenue
Navy


Rhing, Vern M.
Norwich Avenue
Army


Shannon, Harry C.
Midland Street
Army


Shannon, Jack E.
Midland Street
USMC


Simpson, James D.
Woodbourne Avenue
Army


Spack, Harry
Linial Avenue
Army


Vierling, Howard F.
Fordham Avenue
Army


Wagner, Ralph G.
Shawhan Avenue
Army


Wentz, Walter L. Jr
Woodbourne Avenue
Army


Zeiler, Harold V.
West Liberty Avenue
Army


For a listing of World War II fatalities from Pennsylvania:
The National Archives
Army and Army Air Corps
Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard

For a listing of US Army World War II fatalities from Allegheny County:
The Carnegie Library

WW2 Memorial - Washington D.C.
The World War II Memorial - Washington D.C.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Korean War (1950-1953)

Patrick Gallagher

Gallagher, Patrick J.
Bodkin Street
Army

Details

James Gormley

Gormley, James W.
Brookline Boulevard
Army

Details

Gerald Hilliard

Hilliard, Gerald G.
Edgebrook Avenue
Army

Details

James McKenna

McKenna, James E.
Bellaire Place
Army

Details


For a detailed listing of all Korean War fatalities from Pennsylvania:
The Korean War Project

Korean War Memorial - Washington D.C.
Korean War Memorial - Washington D.C.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Vietnam War (1965-1973)

James Robert Bodish

Bodish, James R.
Plainview Avenue
Army

Virtual Wall
Additional Details

James Gilbert Collins

Collins, James G.
Dunster Street
Army

Virtual Wall
Additional Details

James Charles Wonn

Wonn, James C.
Mayville Avenue
Navy

Virtual Wall
Additional Details


Note: For some time we listed Sgt. Richard J. Lacey as one of Brookline's fallen soldiers.
Richard was actually from Mount Lebanon. We apologize for the misinterpretation.


For a listing of all Vietnam War fatalities from Allegheny County:
Pennsylvania Geneology Trails

Vietnam War Memorial - Washington D.C.
Vietnam War Memorial - Washington D.C.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The War on Terror (2001-present)

There have been no fallen Brookline soldiers in the Persian Gulf War (1991),
the War in Iraq (2003-2011), or the War in Afghansitan (2001-present).

 Pittsburgh Casualties in The War on Terror 

For a complete, sortable listing of Coalition fatalities in the War on Terror:
Operation Iraqi Freedom       Operation Enduring Freedom

US Army soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan
United States Army soldiers resupplying in the mountains of Afghanistan.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Editor's Note: These casualty lists were compiled from archived issues of the Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette (March, 1917 - March, 1919), the Mount Washington Times (December 1941 - July 1946), the Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (December 1941 - July 1946), the Brookline Journal (1950-1954) and the Carnegie Library and Ancestry.com online resources. All names listed have been verified as casualties through the National Archives or the Defense POW/Missing Persons Office online resource. The home of record is listed as the address of the soldier's next-of-kin.

As for our World War I and World War II research, we've made every attempt to be as accurate and thorough as possible. There were many missing newspaper editions and not all daily casualty lists were available. These daily published lists were the only consistant resource available for the Army and Navy's World War I and World War II records containing street addresses. Hence, it is likely that we have omitted names that should be present on this record. It is also inevitable that Brookline natives who moved to another city or state may not be identified as being from Pennsylvania. These names would be impossible to locate using the resources available at the present time.

A Work In Progress

This page is an ongoing work in progress. If anyone has any information to add to this page, or notes any errors, please email us at memorial@brooklineconnection.com. With your help we can continue the evolution of this casualty list. Our goal is to present this record of Brookline's fallen servicemen with the admiration, respect and honor befitting their sacrifice.

Special thanks to Doug Brendel, John Rudiak, Carol Anthony, David Wonn,
Jason Viglietta and Rosario Scumaci for their research assistance.

Standing Guard
The National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota on a June morning.
Photo from the Minneapolis Star/Tribune - 2012.

Additional World War II Information

Our research into World War II casualty lists also uncovered several postings regarding local soldiers that were wounded, missing or held as prisoners. The following is a recap of information regarding Brookline veterans wounded in action, missing in action, or held as prisoner of war. This is not to be considered a complete account. These names were culled from the Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, subject to the limitation of missing editions. Our research is ongoing ...

Wounded: Aaron Paul S Jr - Starkamp Street, Bauer Richard A - Berkshire Avenue, Bishop William R - Rossmore Avenue, Bogart Larry - Breining Street, Bower Richard A - Creedmoor Avenue, Brown James R - Jacob Street, Brunk Carl A - Pioneer Avenue, Carrigan Joseph W - Brookline Boulevard, Copeland William M - Creedmoor Avenue, Cunningham Edward J - Brookline Boulevard, Czech George B - Bellaire Place, Dudics George Jr - Fernhill Avenue, Dunbar Frank - Woodward Avenue, Dunn Robert K - Woodbourne Avenue, Dye Charles L - Fordham Avenue, Elstner Francis L - Rossmore Avenue, Frediani Lawrence F - Merrick Avenue, Frew Jack R - Wedgemere Avenue, Gorski John F - Pioneer Avenue, Green Elmer D - Lynnbrooke Avenue, Gregg Paul - Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Hagel Robert L - Gallion Avenue, Haggerty Francis L - Chelton Avenue, Heck Richard N - Bayridge Avenue, Henry Robert P - Plainview Avenue, Herrle Harold J - Kenilworth Street, Hogan James T - Bellaire Place, Hogel Joseph A - Milan Avenue, Klaus Francis - Hobson Street Kuntz William J - Brookline Boulevard, Land, William - Berkshire Avenue, Lang Charles H - Whited Street, Lutton James L - Brookline Boulevard, Mahoney David R - Berkshire Avenue, McKelvey Gene B - Bellaire Avenue, Moses William A - Fordham Avenue, Orth William J - Bayridge Avenue, Oswant John E - LaMarido Street, Quallich Robert P - Fortuna Street, Ruane Timothy F - Berkshire Avenue, Schilling Thomas M - Rossmore Avenue, Smith Harry A - Berkshire Avenue, Stull John R - Sageman Avenue, Sturm Jesse J - Edgebrook Avenue, Thom Albert - Timberland Avenue, Trimble Arthur P - Bayridge Avenue, Troppman Daniel A - Chelton Avenue, Weber George - Norwich Avenue, Whetsell John W - Castlegate Avenue, Ziegler Maurice S - Woodbourne Avenue.

Missing: Benninger Robert J - Woodbourne Avenue, Brickley Edward G - Woodward Avenue, Burkley Joseph A - Whited Street, Kost William C - Linial Avenue, Linke Walter A - Ferncliff Avenue.

Prisoner of War (Germany): Butterworth Norman - Norwich Avenue, Courtney Samuel E - Greencrest Drive, Drexler Daniel T - Bellaire Avenue, Dudics Edward - Fernhill Avenue, Fluke Richard C - Woodbourne Avenue, Flynn William J - Woodbourne Avenue, Jordano Frank A - Fernhill Avenue, Kosinski Raymond J - Woodward Avenue, Kost Peter - Linial Avenue, Manners Christ D - Brookline Boulevard, Streicher Frederick E - Bellaire Place, Theis Richard C - Fordham Avenue, Trunzo Anthony F - Plainview Avenue, Walker Raymond L - Plainview Avenue, Watkins David A - Fordham Avenue, Welsh Richard J - Merrick Avenue.

Prisoner of War (Japan): Arcuri Louis - Bellaire Place.

NOTE: None of the soldiers listed above as Missing-In-Action have been found on military death rolls. All of the Prisoners-Of-War listed above were repatriated. Source - www.ancestry.com.

Additional World War I Information

Wounded: Boecking Guido C - Brookline Boulevard Hamilton A W - Plainview Avenue, Knowlson Roscoe T - Berkshire Avenue.

Prisoner of War (Germany): Sheridan James L - Fordham Street.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Standing Guard
A soldier of the Old Guard stands watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Photo taken during Hurricane Sandy - October 2012.




The Brookline Monument. Veteran's Memorial Park and The Cannon.




Remembrances

Joseph P. Caldwell
Raymond P. Cronin
Louis Arcuri
John P. Reitmeyer
Ralph W. Reitmeyer
Leo J. Reitmeyer
Vincent J. Reitmeyer
Tom Reitmeyer
Peter Reitmeyer
Joseph Reitmeyer
Roy T. Arensberg
Clarence R. Copeland
Howard F. Dempsey
Walter F. Dempsey
Edward R. Diegelman
Robert C. Ketters
Arthur B. Majestic
Edward J. Napier
Raymond A. Pisiecki
Vern M. Rhing
Harry C. Shannon
Jack E. Shannon

Alexander G. Mayberry
Edward G. Brickley
Lawrence A. Bruni
James J. Capogreca
Gerald B. Fagan
Harold E. Falk
Robert M. Fehring
Richard E. Hynes
John D. Nicholson
Michael J. Mahoney
Robert F. McCann
Hugh R. McFarland
William J. Miller
John R. O'Day
Alfred M. Reeves
Howard F. Vierling
Frank P. Dornetto
Salvatore J. Bondi
Richard A. Bauer
Carroll B. Westfall
Frederick E. Streicher
Joseph Conway
Richard J. Welsh
Joseph F. Loy

William H. Alm
Paul C. Kestler
John Mazza
Andrew D. Orient
James D. Simpson
Harry Spack
Walter L. Wentz
Harold V. Zeiler
Jack E. Foley
Thomas J. Cullison
Ernest Galko
Pete Patterson
Bruno P. Riccardi
Charles F. Roland
James E. McKenna
Patrick J. Gallagher
James W. Gormley
Gerald G. Hilliard
James R. Bodish
James G. Collins
James C. Wonn
Richard J. Lacey

The bronze plaque honoring all American Veterans
on the Brookline Veteran's Memorial.




Joseph P. Caldwell - Grand Army of the Republic
Dedication of Honor Roll - September, 1943

United States Army (1775-present)

Echoes of Three Wars punctuated the ceremony yesterday when an honor roll was dedicated in Brookline. The tablet bearing the names of 1500 men and women in military service, sponsored by Post #540 of the American Legion, was unveiled on ground adjoining the Post home on Brookline Boulevard. Joseph P. Caldwell, 96-year old Civil War veteran, watched the ceremony with Colonel John H. Shenkel, post commander, beside him. Reprinted from the Pittsburgh Press - September 27, 1943.

Joseph P. Caldwell, 96-year
old Civil War Veteran.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Joseph Caldwell was born November 13, 1847, in Allegheny City (presently the North Side). When he passed away in 1946, at age 98, Caldwell was the final surviving member of the last Pittsburgh-area post, McPherson Post 117, of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Caldwell was sixteen when he enlisted as a private in the third version of Captain Joseph M. Knap's Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery Battery, organized in Pittsburgh. Members of the battery were on a 100-day emergency enlistment. The battery was ordered to Washington, D.C. and attached to 3rd Brigade, Hardin's Division, 22nd Corps, Dept. of Washington, then 1st Brigade, Hardin's Division, 22nd Corps for garrison duty in the defenses of Washington north of the Potomac. Private Caldwell served from May 19, 1864 until September 15, 1864.

Captain Joseph Knap's Independent
Pennsylvania Light Artillery Battery
Joseph M. Knap's Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery

The Pennsylvania Artillery of Hardin's Division was involved in the Battle of Fort Stevens on July 11-12, 1864. The skirmishes were part of the Confederacy's final invasion of the north, led by General Jubal Early of the Army of Northern Virginia. President Abraham Lincoln rode out from Washington to observe the artillery duels between the opposing forces. The President stood on the parapets at Fort Stevens, in the line of fire of the Confederate guns.

The Grand Army of the Republic was a Union veteran's society, with membership limited to Civil War veterans only. Posts continued until the last surviving member died. McPherson Post 117 became a bygone part of Pittsburgh's military tradition on August 30, 1946.

GAR Ribbon McPherson Post

After the war ended in 1865, Caldwell worked as a contractor in Butler County, where he owned a farm. He retired in 1928 and moved to Pittsburgh, settling in the community of Brookline. Joseph Caldwell spent the next seventeen years in Brookline. His final year was spent at the home of his son in Overbrook.

For eighty years, Civil War veteran Joseph Caldwell never missed a Memorial Day Parade. He was in attendance at every South Hills Memorial Association parade in Brookline until failing health kept him at home in 1946. That year, Major General Manton S. Eddy came to visit Caldwell and made a short speech at his bedside.

Joseph P. Caldwell

Joseph P. Caldwell was the last man surviving out of a total of 25,930 residents of Allegheny County who served with the Union Army during the Civil War. Of those soldiers, approximately 3,000 were killed or wounded during the conflict.




Petty Officer Louis Arcuri
United States Navy (1933-1945)

United States Navy (1775-present)

Louis Arcuri was born on March 7, 1910 in Pittsburgh. A sheet metal worker by trade, he was a six-year Navy veteran who returned to active duty on May 15, 1940, as a Radioman 1st Class. Louis lived with his brother Michael and sister Carmela at 1431 Bellaire Place.

When the Japanese attack on Luzon began, on December 8, 1941, Arcuri was stationed at a Communications Center in Manila. He retreated along with the rest of the Allied forces to the Bataan Peninsula, then to Corregidor, where the Battle for the Phillipines came to an end with the American and Phillipino surrender.

Radioman 1st Class

On May, 6, 1942, P.O. Louis Arcuri became a prisoner of the Japanese Empire. He survived the Bataan Death March, and in December of 1942, Arcuri wrote a letter home to his brother, Michael Arcuri of 1431 Bellaire Place. The letter arrived in July, 1943. The following article is reprinted from the Pittsburgh Press dated July 21, 1943.

Brookline Man Held In Japan Writes Parents

One of the first communications received in the district directly from a prisoner of war in Japan was received yesterday by a Brookline family.

The postcard, handled through the International Red Cross at Geneva, Switzerland, was from Petty Officer Louis Arcuri to his brother, Michael Arcuri, 1431 Bellaire Place.

Louis Arcuri

"I am well and safe in Japan," the card read. "My health is usual. I have had no news of the family since November 1941. How are you and the family, especially father. Remember me to father. Love. Louis."

The printed card was dated December 22, 1942. It bore a Japanese censor stamp and was forwarded from Prisoners Information Bureau, of the Office of the Provost General in Washington.

Petty Officer Arcuri, 33, was reported missing after the fall of Corregidor. He was reported a prisoner last January 4. A veteran of six years previous service, he returned to active duty in 1939, and served as a radio man. He was stationed in Manila.

Allied command center inside Malinta Tunnel.
Allied Command Center located in the Malinta Tunnel - Corregidor - May 1942

After the war, Petty Officer Louis Arcuri was repatriated and returned to the United States after nearly 3 1/2 years in captivity. He had spent time in POW camps in the Phillipines, Formosa, and Japan. The last camp where he was held was Tokyo POW Camp Branch #2 (Kawasaki) Tokyo Bay Area 35-139.




Lt. Richard A. Bauer
United States Army (1942/1945

United States Army (1775-present)

The following is an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, dated September 14, 1945, detailing the return home of First Lieutenant Richard A. Bauer of Berkshire Avenue. Lt. Bauer, a tank company officer, fought in the War in Africa and Europe, from the initial Allied invasion on the beaches of North Africa in 1942, to the mountains of Austria in 1945. After nearly three years at war, Richard Bauer of Brookline was finally home.

Officer, Wounded Five Times, Back At Home Again

Five times his wife and mother endured the agony of reading War Department telegrams that First Lieutenant Richard A. Bauer had been wounded - but last night they held him, hale and hearty, in their arms.

No crowds lined Brookline Boulevard as a motor caravan bearing the lieutenant home sped past. The war was over, and people no longer became excited about parades - and dinners were cooking in many a kitchen. Then, too, many other mothers were thinking of sons not yet returned.

But once the husky, quiet-spoken lieutenant reached the modest frame house at 1207 Berkshire Avenue, it immediately became the mecca for hundreds of relatives, friends and clamoring children to whom soldiering is still just play.

It hadn't been play for Lieutenant Bauer. The Purple Heart with four Oak Leaf Clusters on his chest testified to that. And it was just one ribbon on two solid rows that decorated his tunic.

Tears rimmed the eyes of his mother, Mrs. Margaret Bauer, and his wife, pretty, chestnut-haired Mary Bauer, as they hurried down the platform at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station to meet the lieutenant. His wife had met the lieutenant in Harrisburg, but his mother had yet to see her son.

Lt. Richard A Bauer, center, gets a
welcome home kiss from his mother and wife.
Lieutenant Bauer gets a welcome home kiss
from his mother and his wife Mary.

A broad-shouldered, clean-cut soldier in a smart uniform moved toward them, his eyes eager and searching. "It's him," whispered Mrs. Bauer, "it's my boy." The lieutenant saw her and quickened his pace.

Without a word he crushed his mother into his arms. His wife stood by, crying happily. When he finally lifted his face, the lieutenant's cheeks were set with tears, and this time they were his own.

Then the mob of welcomers enveloped Lieutenant Bauer. "This is the worst battle I was ever in," he said, wiping smudges of lipstick from his face.

The party walked past a train-bound group of inductees who waved at Lieutenant Bauer without knowing who he was. They saw the five gold stripes on his sleeves and the ribbons that splashed his tunic with color.

At his home on Berkshire Avenue, First Lieutenant Richard Bauer was mobbed by neighborhood children. Two-year old Brian Fornear tugged at the soldier's legs until he was picked up. Then little Brian, frightened by the noise, began to cry.

Curly-haired Mary Lou Cuddyre, 4, was next. She kissed the lieutenant. He chuckled. "I'm glad you're too young for lipstick," he said.

Everyone went to the basement in the Bauer home, where an uncle, former Sergeant Edward R. O'Keefe, had built a bar and festooned it with the approved forms of GI art. One sign read:

"There will be no need to dig garbage pits or slit trenches tonight. By order of First Lieutenant Bauer."

Lieutenant Bauer had a few beers while he waited for his mother's chicken and spaghetti dinner. He didn't talk about himself. He talked about his buddies in Company A of the Seventieth Tank Battalion.

"They made it possible for me to be here," he said.

Lieutenant Bauer, 26, who has amassed 148 points, expects to be discharged from the Army on Sunday. Formerly a clerk, he said he will enter the University of Pittsburgh as a freshman.

The basement walls were covered with German trophies he had sent home. Kids peered through the windows, fascinated both by the trophies and by the man who won them.

For First Lieutenant Richard Bauer, a decorated war veteran, a soldier that had fought from the sands of North Africa to the heart of the Nazi menace in Germany, the war is over, and it's time to prepare for civilian life.

It will be quite a lifestyle change after the battlefields of Europe, that of a student rather than a soldier. A welcome change, and one that will surely be surrounded by plenty of family and friends.

70th Tank Battalion Shoulder Patch.

Notes on Company A, 70th Tank Battalion

The 70th Tank Battalion was formed as an independent medium tank battalion in June 1940, equipped with M2A2 light tanks. The Battalion began training for amphibious operations immediately. It received M3 Stuart light tanks in 1941, and was redesignated the 70th Light Tank Battalion.

The unit sailed with the 1st Infantry Division, on January 9, 1942, for the French island of Martinique in the West Indies. It was the only U.S. tank battalion combat ready for an amphibious operation. Company A was detached from the battalion and landed in North Africa as part of Operation Torch, attached to the 39th Regimental Combat Team.

M3 Stuart Light Tank - 1942
The M3 Stuart Light Tank was the main battle tank of the
U.S. Tank Corps before the arrival of the M4 Sherman.

After the allied victory in North Africa, the battalion landed in Sicily as part of Operation Husky, in July 1943. After the Battle of Sicily, in November 1943, it was withdrawn to England, where it was re-equipped as a standard tank battalion with M4 Shermans.

The battalion suffered some casualties when, during Exercise Tiger on the morning of April 28, 1944. During a D-Day training mission, German E-boats on patrol from Cherbourg spotted a convoy of eight LSTs carrying vehicles and combat engineers of the 1st Engineer Special Brigade in Lyme Bay and attacked. Several LST's were damaged or sunk, and 638 casualties, both Army and Navy, were reported.

M4 Sherman Tank of the 70th Tank Battalion in
Normandy passes GIs and a wagon-load of German POWs.
M4 Sherman of Company A 70th Tank Battalion passes a squad of GIs
guarding several German POWs in Normandy, France.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the battalion landed on Utah Beach as part of the 4th Infantry Division, supporting the 8th Infantry Regiment led by General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.; For Operation Overlord, Companies A and B were equipped with amphibious DD Sherman tanks. Company A fought in the northward drive to Cherbourg, and in the breakout from Saint Lo. It battled it's way through France and into Belgium, entering Germany on September 13, 1944.

Company A fought in the Hurtgen Forest in November 1944, and moved to the Ardennes a month later. They fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and on March 29, 1945, crossed the Rhine River. The Battalion moved quickly through Germany, reaching the Danube River on April 25. Company A of the Seventieth Tank Battalion ended the war near the Austrian border.




Pvt. Carroll B. Westfall
United States Army (1944-1945)

United States Army (1775-present)

The following article and photos about Brookline resident Carroll Westfall, written by
Patricia Sheridan, appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 30, 2014:

Carroll Westfall Continues To Restore Artwork Into His Ninth Decade

The soul of an artist, the heart of a warrior. That best describes Carroll Westfall, a decorated World War II veteran who used his talent as an artist to help him cope with the violence he witnessed.

"I wasn't drafted. I enlisted because I heard about the bad things the Nazis were doing," he recalls.

At age ninety, he continues to work but says the memories of those long-ago battles are "as fresh as if they happened yesterday." His work as an artist and art restoration expert gives him an opportunity to escape the memories.

"You have to concentrate. You get lost in the detail and if you are restoring you must learn to imitate the artist. It has been very helpful," he says.

As an infantry scout in the Army, he went ahead of the unit, spending most of his time behind enemy lines trying to ensure safe passage.

Carroll B. Westfall

"A lot of times the enemy would let me move ahead unharmed. I remember walking us into an ambush. At the last second, I saw a glint of metal coming from a tank hidden in the trees. I fired to let the troops know. The next thing I know, the nearest officer to me is hit by a shell. He was there and then he was completely gone."

The Germans may have gotten the best of him that time, but it was his skills that usually won out. He singlehandedly took out three machine gun nests at different times and captured fifteen German soldiers. Reluctant to talk about the war, he continued with his story after some persuading.

"We were pinned down behind an embankment and the SS were dug in on the other side of the ridge. Everyone who tried to move was shot. After two days I had all I could take so I charged the machine gun nest. They shot the rifle out of my hands so I threw a grenade," he says.

Mr. Westfall fought throughout Europe and in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He says he once eliminated a machine gun position on a knoll when he surprised fifteen sleeping German soldiers.

"They had dug a slit trench and were so exhausted they didn't even hear the gunfire. I woke them up and was holding a grenade. I pulled the pin and said if anyone moves we all die."

He held that grenade for more than fifteen minutes waiting for his unit to reach his position.

"He killed many of them during the war," interjects his wife, Deborah, who has worked side by side with him for thirty-one years. She is also an artist.

"It bothers me more now than it used to," he confesses.

He only did one painting from his war years titled "Unburied." It depicted a friend of his who was shot while trying to advance over barbed wire.

"It was bought by a naval officer, but I didn't want to sell it for a long time," he says.

"It was very strong and the eyes followed you," his wife says.

Mr. Westfall's bravery in battle earned him the Bronze Star, two Silver Stars and several combat infantry medals. He suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. "Sudden noises are a problem," says Mrs. Westfall.

It is his art, his work, that has delivered him from the horrors of war, he says. Not long after returning from Europe, Mr. Westfall turned to art restoration, specializing in Old Masters. He continues to do restoration and his own work today.

Carroll Westfall in his workshop.
World War II veteran Carroll Westfall and the tools of his trade, at his Brookline restoration workshop.

"I enjoy working and have been doing it nearly sixty years," he says, sitting at the easel in his home studio in Brookline. "I remember starting to draw and paint when I was twelve."

A pen-and-ink drawing he did in 1938 sold at Dargate Auction Galleries earlier this month, inspiring a bidding war. At the same auction, several other paintings he did and some he restored were also sold.

He began his professional artistic career while still stationed overseas, attending the Wharton Technical School in Wharton, England. He worked in London as an artist before moving to the French Riviera, where he painted street portraits for a living in Nice and Cannes. Finally he moved back to his hometown in Clarksburg WV, and in 1959 he made the move to Pittsburgh.

At one point, he had studios here and in Manhattan, where he did restoration work with the big auction houses, Christies and Sotheby's. He brings a portrait painter's eye for detail to his restoration work. The oldest painting he has restored was one of Christ that had been carbon-dated to the 1300s.

"I never felt intimidated by a work of art I had to restore," he says. "Challenged and responsible, but never intimidated."

Carroll Westfall - WWII Veteran
and Restoration Artist.    Carroll Westfall - WWII Veteran
and Restoration Artist.
Carroll Westfall works on a restoration (left) while another artwork sits half completed.

Over the years his clientele have included PNC Bank, Pittsburgh Field Club, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, U.S. Steel and the Duquesne Club.

"When you are restoring a work, you feel an immense responsibility to represent the piece as the artist intended it to be seen."

He takes that same tack with the portraits he paints:

"A portrait is a very intimate undertaking. You have much more of an opportunity to bring out the personality than with a photograph."

"I prefer doing my own painting, particularly portraits, but art restoration pays the bills."

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

Booklet Cover of 100th Infantry Division History.

A Short History Of The 100th Infantry Division in World War II

Carroll B. Westfall was born in 1923, the son of the Reverends Homer and Esther Westfall, of Sago, West Virginia, in Kanawha County. He enlisted in the Army on July 5, 1943. After training he was assigned to Company C, 1st Batallion, 398th Regiment of the 100th Infantry Division, known as the Century Division.

The 100th Division embarked from New York harbor on October 6, 1944, bound for the shores of France. After a short time in Marseilles, the Division entered the front line on November 1, 1944, near Baccarat, France, relieving the 45th Division.

The Division's baptism of fire came only days later. Assigned as part of the U.S. Seventh Army’s VI Corps, their mission was to penetrate the German Winter Line in the High Vosges Mountains, on the edge of the oft-disputed province of Alsace.

The Vosges terrain was formidable and the severe winter weather added hundreds of casualties to those inflicted by the tenacious German defenders. Nevertheless, the 100th Division led the attack through the Vosges Mountains.

Men of 398th Regiment advancing along
a roadway in eastern France.
Men of 398th Regiment advancing along a roadway in eastern France.

For the first time in history, an army succeeded in penetrating that vaunted terrain barrier to the Rhine Plain and Germany. Within the first month of combat, the German Army Group G Chief of Staff, General von Mellenthin, referred to the 100th as “a crack assault division with daring and flexible leadership.”

While falling back toward Germany, the enemy bitterly defended the modern Maginot fortifications around the ancient fortress city of Bitche. After reducing these intimidating defenses, in the last hour of 1944, the Division was attacked by elements of three German divisions, including a full-strength SS-panzergrenadier division, heavily supported by armor, in Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive on the Western front.

As the units on the left and right gave ground, the men of the 100th stood fast and the Division quickly became the only unit in the Seventh Army to hold its sector in the face of the massive enemy onslaught.

In the brutal fighting which ensued, the Division stubbornly resisted all attempts at envelopment, and despite heavy casualties the 100th completely disrupted the German offensive.

Ultimately, the Division captured the Citadel of Bitche in March 1945, and passed through the Siegfried Line into Germany. The 100th Division was the first fighting force in 250 years to capture the imposing Citadel, earning the victorious soldiers the title "The Sons of Bitche."

The Sons of Bitche.

The Division’s last major battle was the attack on Heilbronn in April 1945, which required an assault crossing of the Neckar River in small boats. This was done in full view of several German artillery pieces which laid fierce direct fire upon the crossing site.

In over a week of savage urban combat, the Division defeated elements of several German Army and Waffen-SS divisions, seized the key industrial city, and pursued the beaten foe through Swabia toward Stuttgart.

Pvt. Carroll B. Westfall saw action throughout the entire 100th Division campaign. During the last Allied drive, pursuing the enemy in the days before the German capitulation, Westfall was awarded a Silver Star for heroism during the advance on the town of Willsbach, Germany.

Century Division Patch             198th Regiment Coat Of Arms

In combat for six months from November 1944 to May 1945, the Century Division advanced 186 miles, liberated dozens of towns and cities, captured 13,351 enemy soldiers, and decisively beat elements of five German divisions. In the process, the Division lost 916 dead, and sustained 3,656 wounded and 180 missing in action.

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

Carroll Westfall passed away on February 5, 2016, after a brief period in the
Shock Trauma Unit at Allegheny General Hospital following an accident.




Lt. Frederick E. Streicher - U.S. Army Air Corps
Prisoner of War in Germany - 1944/1945

United States Army Air Services (1917-1947)

Lieutenant Frederick E. Streicher was a pilot in the Army Air Corps that was shot down over Austria on April 2, 1944 and listed as missing in action on the May 16, 1944 casualty lists. He became a prisoner of war in Germany. While a prisoner he lost a leg due to wounds suffered during his capture.

Lt. Streicher was freed in February 1945. He returned home to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick E. Streicher of 2637 Pioneer Avenue, in March 1945. Below is an article reprinted from the Pittsburgh Press, dated March 4, 1945.

Freed Prisoner Home Minus Leg
Brookline Pilot Keeps Promise Pals Made

He didn't think he'd ever get back after his capture by the Nazis, but Lt. Fred Streicher was at home with his parents in Brookline today.

His right leg missing, Lt. Streicher was one of nine repatriated Pittsburgh prisoners of was who returned last week aboard the Swedish Exchange Liner Gripsholm. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick E. Streicher of 2637 Pioneer Avenue.

Shot down when he was on a mission over Steyr, Austria, last April 2, Lt. Streicher was hidden by the Austrian underground until April 18 when he was captured as the Germans raided the town where he and ten fellow airmen were hiding.

B17 Flying Fortress
B17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber

He had sprained both ankles when he baled out. They were still painful when the Germans took the town and caught him when he made an effort to escape. He was shot through the thigh. Nazi bullets snuffed out the life of his co-pilot who was with him.

He related yesterday how a German soldier had beaten him with the butt of his rifle, although he was bleeding excessively from the leg wound. "Three of my ribs were broken," he said.

Carried back behind the lines by the Germans, Lt. Streicher was placed on a pile of straw in a stable where his right leg was amputated without benefit of an anesthetic, he said.

Later after he had been moved to a German prisoner camp, Lt. Streicher underwent two more operations. He described, too, how he and fellow prisoners had to live on potato soup for two months and were dying of starvation when the first precious Red Cross boxes of food began to arrive.

"Ten of us made a promise," said Lt. Streicher, "that if we ever got out alive we'd make a contribution to the Red Cross."

Lt. Frederick E. Streicher, left,
makes a donation to Red Cross.
Lt. Streicher makes his donation
to the American Red Cross.

And that was one of the first things on his itinerary when he arrived in Pittsburgh yesterday. He went to the Dravo Corp., where he worked as an electrical wireman before the war, and there presented $100 in cash to Mrs. W. J. Neuenschwander, a member of the Red Cross Board of Speakers' Bureau.

After a thirty-day leave Lt. Streicher will enter convalescence at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.




Corporal Joseph Conway
United States Marine Corps - (1942-1945)

United States Marine Corps (1775-present)

The USS Bunker Hill (CV/CVA/CVS-17, AVT-9) was one of twenty-four Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was commissioned in May 1943, and served in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning eleven battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation.

On May 11, 1945, off the coast of Okinawa, the ship was crippled by Japanese kamikaze attacks, suffering the loss of 346 men killed, 43 missing, and 264 wounded. The USS Bunker Hill was one of the most heavily damaged carriers of the war.

Cpl Joseph Conway

Marine Corporal Joseph Conway, of 1504 Chelton Avenue, a member of the original crew since the date of the ship's commissioning, manned an anti-aircraft gun. Corporal Conway was at his station when the ship was attacked. The following article is reprinted from the Pittsburgh Press, dated June 28, 1945.

Brookline Marine On Carrier Only Survivor Of Gun Crew

Marine Corporal Joseph Conway, "plank-owner" on the Bunker Hill, was the only man in his gun crew to escape death when two Jap suicide planes smashed into the giant carrier.

Corporal Conway, 23, a "plank-owner" because he has been with the Bunker Hill since her commissioning, was one of at least eleven district men aboard the carrier, flagship for the famed Task Force 58. Presently, two of the eleven are listed as missing.

The Marine, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Conway, of 1504 Chelton Avenue, Brookline, is now in San Diego, California, waiting for the furlough which will permit him to go to Tennessee to marry the girl he met when he was a prep student there.

USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)

Knocked Down

"I was the only man in my gun crew, maybe even on my side of the ship, that wasn't killed or badly hurt when they hit us," the Corporal wrote his brother Jim.

He said he was knocked down, and when he scrambled to his feet he found himself in a welter of death and destruction.

"I ran to my locker and that steel locker was melted right down. We had to use blow torches to cut the lockers open."

In Marines Three Years

Corporal Conway enlisted in the Marines three years ago.

Another Brookline man on the Bunker Hill, Seaman Paul Kestler, 18, of 1700 Creedmoor Avenue, is reported missing in action. He has two brothers in service, Corporal Edward and Private Albert Kestler.

USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)    USS Bunker Hill (Cv-17)
The USS Bunker Hill on May 11, 1945 after being struck by two Japanese kamikaze planes.

Corporal Joseph Conway, of Chelton Avenue, survived the Bunker Hill tragedy uninjured and made it home to marry his sweetheart from Tennessee. Seaman Paul Kestler, whose family lived a mere two blocks away on Creedmoor Avenue, was not so fortunate. Seaman Kestler was reported as Killed In Action a week after the above article was published, on July 5, 1945.

Other district natives aboard the Bunker Hill on May 11, 1945 included: Seaman Harvey Toms (KIA) of Mount Washington, Commander Joseph Frauenheim (Wounded) and Petty Officer Peter Chergotis of East Liberty, Seaman John Stevenson of Greenfield, Seaman James Seifert (Wounded) of Castle Shannon, Lieutenant Andrew Miklausen and Petty Officer Jacob Guzelle of Imperial, Seaman G. F. Weisner of Coraopolis, Petty Officer Charles Costello of Jeanette and Petty Officer Joseph Corea of Butler.




Staff Sgt. Richard J. Welsh
United States Army Air Corps (1943-1945)

United States Army Air Services (1917-1947)

Staff Sgt. Richard J. Welsh was a radio operator in the Army Air Corps serving in a medium bomber group in the North African Theatre of Operations. During the opening stages of the Italian Campaign, on September 29, 1943, Sgt. Welsh, a veteran of nearly ten missions, was on a bombing run near Benvenuto, Italy, when his plane was hit and seen plunging downward. A lone parachute was reported to emerge from the stricken bomber before it crashed.

No one could have known at the time, but it was the radio man, Sgt. Richard J. Welsh, of 1133 Merrick Avenue, that had escaped the doomed aircraft. The following article is reprinted from the Pittsburgh Press, dated November 8, 1943.

Sgt Richard Welsh

One Of Two Crash Survivors
Is Deserted By Lady Luck

Two 20-year old Pittsburgh district Army fliers who survived a crash landing in Sicily recently have been parted by the fortunes of war.

One of them is still flying, but the other is now reported missing in action after another crash landing.

The Army told of the crash landing which ended safely for Lt. Ivor P. Evans of Aliquippa and Staff Sgt. Richard J. Welsh, of 1133 Merrick Avenue, Brookline, but it remained for their mothers to tell the sequel.

Missing - All Right

"My boy is now missing in action," said Mrs. James W. Welsh.

"My son is still all right", reported Mrs. Samuel Evans. "We had a letter from him last week."

Lt. Evans, a navigator, and Sgt. Welsh, a radio operator were members of the crew of "Old Shadrach," a Mitchell bomber assigned to raid a target near Rome, the Army reported.

While almost directly over the target, flak "conked out" one engine, and the planed dropped out of formation.

"We threw everything we could overboard," the Army quoted crew members. "We even joked about throwing our bombardier over because he weighed 200 pounds."

Steadily the plane lost altitude until it was a bare 5000 feet over the fog shrouded mountains of Italy.

"Dick Welsh kept in touch with the American Air Sea Rescue Service at Palermo," the Army dispatch continued. "The told us they were sending two Spitfire fighters to guide us in. Then Dick threw the radio out the hatch to relieve the bomber of the weight."

B25 Mitchell Bomber
B25 Mitchell Bomber

Make Crash Landing

"As we prayed, the Spitfires appeared and led the crippled bomber to an airfield at Palermo. The pilot was compelled to crash land the ship, but all crew members got out safely," the Army story said.

"Dick wrote us of that escape." his mother said. "We were very happy."

But last week a letter came from the Adjutant General's office to confirm a telegram which reported Dick missing in action near Benvenuto, Italy, September 29.

" ... your son's plane was seen to crash to the earth," the letter said. " ... a lone parachute was seen to leave the plane as it plunged downward ... you will be notified immediately when further information is received ..."

For Mrs. Evans, wife of a Jones & Laughlin Corp. steel worker, word of Sgt. Welsh's fate magnified still further her own son's "charmed life."

"This is the fourth time he's escaped," she said. "A plane he was in crash landed last January in South Carolina and he escaped."

"Shortly after he reached Tunisia last summer he escaped death again when he was the only soldier to come out uninjured after their army truck was sideswiped by a big civilian truck."

Brothers in Army

Sgt. Welsh, son of a general contractor, is one of two brothers in the Army. His older brother, Lt. William Welsh, 30, is a flight instructor in Oklahoma. A 17-year old brother, James, is now trying to persuade his parents to permit him to enlist in the Navy, Mrs. Welsh said.

Sgt. Welsh graduated from South Hills High School several years ago and worked as a surveyor for the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Co. prior to enlisting October 13, 1942. He went overseas last July 21.

Lt. Evans graduated from Aliquippa High School in 1941, and worked in the mill before enlisting in January, 1942. He went overseas last June, and has two brothers in the Army, Pvt. William P. Evans, a paratrooper in England, and Corp. Gomer Evans, in Ordnance at Philadelphia.

Sgt. Richard J. Welsh, the lone survivor of the B25 Mitchell bomber that crashed near Benvenuto, was taken prisoner by the Germans. At the time he was liberated in 1945, Sgt. Welsh was being held at German POW Camp #091. Two other Brookline natives of the Army Air Corps, also held as prisoners-of-war by the Germans, were liberated from the same camp; Staff Sgt. Peter Kost of 424 Linial Avenue and Staff Sgt. David A. Watkins of 500 Fordham Avenue.

It seems that Sgt. Richard J. Welsh of Brookline wasn't deserted by "Lady Luck" after all.

Lt. Ivor P. Evans of Aliquippa, Sgt. Welsh's crew mate from "Old Shadrach", also survived the war.




Gunners Mate Ernest M. Galko
U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Navy (1941-1947)

United States Merchant Marine (1775-present)    United States Navy (1775-present)

Born on June 22, 1922, Brookline resident Ernie Galko was just twenty years old when World War II started. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor he joined the Merchant Marines. His first sea duty was on a Liberty Ship that was sailing back to port in the Gulf of Mexico. It suddenly was torpedoed and sunk by a German Submarine.

Sinking ship in the crosshairs
of a German periscope.

"It happened so fast, and without warning, that there was no time to put down the life boats. The guys in the engine room were lost. We managed to get some wooden rafts into the water and we hung on them for three days before we were rescued."

After that experience, Galko concluded that sailing on an unarmed Merchant Marine Vessel wasn’t for him, so he enlisted in the Navy. He went to Boot Camp in Newport, Rhode Island and then to New York for Gunnery School. The Navy, ironically, put him on another Liberty Ship, the USS John Brown. This time, he and ninteen other Gunners Mates manned three inch, four inch and 20mm anti-aircraft guns. All Liberty ships were Merchant Marine so Ernie was technically back where he started.

Ernest M. Galko
Ernest Galko

His home port was Baltimore and each time he returned, he was assigned to a new Liberty Ship. He went on to serve on the USS Joshua Chamberlain, the USS B. F. Shaw, and the USS Sublette. His service took him through the Panama Canal several times, down the coast of South America to Cape Town, to ports in England, Russia, and the Middle East, dropping off war materials and supplies along the way. He delivered tanks and ammunition to Normandy several days after the D-Day Europe invasion and recalls going ashore, standing atop the cliffs and looking out at the amazing display of ships and equipment on the beach.

A Liberty Ship of the US Merchant Marine.
US Merchant Marine Liberty Ship in 1945.

Galko also served in the South Pacific, delivering supplies to Australia, the Philippines and several island destinations. With the Japanese vigorously defending the approaches to their homeland, Galko and his crewmates saw plenty of action.

He recalls, "We got to fire the guns a lot with all the Japanese aircraft we saw."

Still active in the Pacific Theatre when the atomic bombs were deployed, his thought was, "I gave President Truman credit for having the guts to use them. Otherwise, we would have lost hundreds of thousands of our boys invading mainland Japan."

USS Tarawa (CV-40) - 1946
The aircraft carrier USS Tarawa (CV-40) underway shortly after commissioning
in early 1946. Planes of Carrier Air Group 4 are visible on deck.

His final assignment was on the aircraft carrier USS Tarawa. Discharged in 1947, Ernie returned to Brookline, married the girl across the street, and raised his family here. He still lives in the house on Edgebrook Avenue that his parents bought when he was fifteen years old. He is retired from the Brookline Journal, where he worked as a linotype operator.

Galko's only regret is that the crews of the Merchant Marines have never received proper credit for their sacrifices and bravery during the War.

"Without them the war would have been lost. This country owes them a lot."

* Information obtained from The Brookline newsletter, January 2011 issue *

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

Ernest M. Galko

Ernest M. Galko passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Husband of the late
Pauline; father of Donna Conneely (John) of Etna, Joanne Galko-Unrath (Bob) of
Denver, CO, and the late Mary Audry; caring grandfather of Patrick Conneely
(Sarah), Sean Conneely and Brian Conneely; devoted brother of Louise
Hogel and seven other deceased brothers and sisters.




Sgt. Pete Patterson
U.S. Army Air Corps (1942-1945)

United States Army Air Services (1917-1947)

Imagine being in the nose of an unheated B-24 bomber, flying at 21,000 feet over Romania, a most dangerous place to be in May of 1944. The temperature in the aircraft is twenty-five degrees below zero, and the only protection from the elements is a sheet of Plexiglas, a thin layer of aluminum and an electrically heated flying suit.

Breathing oxygen through a rubber mask and wearing goggles, movement is hindered by the cramped space, thick flight suit, and the bulky 50-caliber machine guns pointing menacingly towards the horizon. As anti-aircraft shells burst all around, the threat of enemy fighter planes has the crew's nerves on a frenzied edge.

This is what it was like for Brookline's Pete Patterson, a nose gunner flying a mission against the heavily defended Ploesti oil fields on May 18, 1944. It was Pete's first mission, and as he steadied his nerves, a bitter reality set in. If he survived, there were forty-nine such missions to go before he could "Go Home."

The crew of the B24 Liberator 'Worry Bird'.
The crew of the B24 Liberator "Worry Bird." Pete Patterson is top row, second from the left.

Pete Patterson was born on October 10, 1922. His family lived on the lower side of Edgebrook Avenue until his teen years, then moved to Plateau Street in Carrick. After high school, Pete worked at A.M. Byers Company, a pipe mill on the South Side.

Along with his brother and a few friends, Pete signed up for the Marines shortly after the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7, 1941. While waiting to be “called up”, he was drafted into the Army instead, and left for duty in December 1942.

After boot camp, Pete was selected for the Army Air Corps and sent to Texas for Aircraft Engine Maintenance School. While there, he was chosen for Aerial Gunnery School and assigned to Tyndall Field in Florida for training. Eventually he was assigned to an aircraft crew as a nose gunner.

Their plane was a B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber that they christened “Worry Bird.” They flew to an airfield near Foggia, Italy, in April 1944, to become part of the 15th Air Force. The tour would last six months, until October 4, 1944.

The 15th Air Force was responsible for bombing railway networks in southeast Europe in support of Soviet military operations in Romania. Throughout the summer of 1944, Austrian aircraft manufacturing centers at Wiener Neustadt were bombed and oil producing centers were attacked. The 15th also attacked targets in preparation for Operation Anvil, the invasion of Southern France.

B24 Liberator Heavy Bomber
A B24 Liberator Heavy Bomber.

Pete recalls how poor the Italians were, and how the retreating Germans had destroyed the villages and took most of the food with them. His crew helped a young boy by having him do errands while they supplied food and clothing for his family.

While on a seven-day break, after twenty missions, he went to the Isle of Capri and had a picture of his “sweetheart” (later to be his wife) painted on the back of his leather flight jacket. It cost $20 and six Hershey bars.

During his tour in Italy, Pete kept a log called “A GUNNERS LIFE,” where he recorded his feelings and some facts on each mission. From May 18, 1944 until October 4, 1944, Pete spent 240 tense hours in the air flying a total of forty-two missions, which equaled fifty because several “highly dangerous sorties” counted as double missions.

These were flights over places deep in Germany like Munich and Friedrichshafen, and four bombing runs over the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania, which had a huge concentration of anti-aircraft weapons and large formations of fighters as protection. The dangers were enormous.

Some large-scale missions involved over 800 bombers doing formation bombing. If a plane was hit and went out of control, it risked flying into another bomber and they would both go down. Sometimes the bombers would receive a direct hit on their munitions and blow up like a “puff of confetti.”

Others drifted out of control and went downward in tight spirals until they hit the ground. Pete and his crew members would watch these aircraft go down and try to count the parachutes to determine who managed to “get out”

Meanwhile enemy fighters were attacking “out of the sun” and in a flash would riddle their aircraft with bullets. An alarming number of bombers were lost. By staying in formation, some safety was afforded from enemy fighters, but if a bomber lost an engine and fell behind, the German fighters would pick them apart.

B24 Liberator Heavy Bombers over Ploesti.
B24 Liberator Heavy Bombers in formation over Ploesti, Romania.

Pete is not sure how he managed to survive while others were lost. He had some narrow escapes, and still keeps a jagged piece of metal as a reminder. The flack shrapnel came through his position and knocked his headset off it's resting place.

In his log, he writes, “If my head was turned the other way, I wouldn’t be here to write this.” Twice his aircraft was so badly damaged they had to throw everything they could out the door to get the weight down so they would stay in the air.

Each time they landed, they would count the holes in the airplane and make “nervous jokes” about surviving the mission. Still, some crews were killed on their very last mission, and that fact haunted everyone as they counted down to their final one.

After receiving fifty mission credits, Pete wrote, “I’m about the happiest guy in the Air Force. What a feeling to know that I am all through. Boy, I could jump up and down, I think I will!”

Pete’s jubilation was short lived, for the war was not yet over. He was sent to a training base in Colorado to prepare for the Invasion of Japan. Pete recalls driving his 1941 Oldsmobile, for fun, up Pike's Peak.

Luckily, the War in the East ended and Pete Patterson was discharged on September 26, 1945. During his career in the Army Air Corps, Pete earned quite a collection of medals, commendations and Campaign Ribbons.

A stronger, more aware, and determined Pete returned home to marry his Brookline sweetheart, Cecelia Mancuso. The newlyweds bought a house on Creedmoor Avenue and raised two children, Kathy and Michael. Pete has led a busy life working at “The Mill,” doing painting and maintenance work, and golfing. Pete Patterson still makes his home in Brookline.

* Information obtained from The Brookline newsletter, May 2012 issue *




Sgt. Bruno P. Riccardi
U.S. Army Air Corps (1941-1946)

United States Army Air Services (1917-1947)

Bruno P. Riccardi was a long-time resident of Brookline and a Pittsburgh softball legend who spent twenty-five years as a truck driver for the Pittsburgh Press. Those who knew him best called him "Spot."

What many did not know was that "Spot" Riccardi was also a highly-decorated veteran of the World War II air campaign over Europe, and an honored recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross for "extraordinary achievement."

Tommy Cullison - 1941
Bruno Riccardi

Bruno Riccardi was born in Mingo Junction, Ohio. His family moved to Pittsburgh and he grew up in the Hill District, attending Duquesne Prep High School. While in high school, he lettered in three sports, playing football with Tom Rooney, brother of Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney. During his senior year, Bruno was the school's boxing instructor. He later won the AAU 126-pound boxing championship as a member of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement team.

Riccardi later played center for St. Peter's Preps in 1039-1940 against football teams the likes of the Beechview Olsons, Etna Sycamores, Millvale Amicis, Butler Cubs and E.L. McNamaras.

In 1941, Riccardi joined the Army Air Corps and was assigned as a B26 Marauder tail gunner. On April 22, 1944, Riccardi's B26, named "Geronimo," had just completed a bombing run over a rocket installation near Cherbourg, France, and was returning to England.

B26 Marauder
A B26 Marauder over Europe in 1943.

The plane had been badly damaged and the crew was forced to ditch in the English Channel. All of the crew, except the pilot, Captain Austin R. Jordan, managed to escape the stricken plane and return safely to England. For his actions on that day, Riccardi was cited for his extraordinary valor and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Bruno Riccardi's plane 'Geronimo.'
The nose art on Bruno Riccardi's B26 Marauder, called "Geronimo."

A year later, in 1945, Riccardi's squadron was awarded a Unit Citation by President Harry Truman for "helping bring about the total defeat of the enemy." The unit also received meritorious citations from General Hap Arnold, commander of the Army Air Force, and from the Caterpillar Club.

In addition to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Riccardi, a veteran of fifty-six missions, was awarded a pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon and the Air Medal with eight Oak-Leaf Clusters and four Battle Stars.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Bruno returned home to Pittsburgh in 1946. Nine years later, in 1955, he married Irma Jean Augustine and settled in Brookline to start a family. He was employed for twenty-five years as a driver for the Pittsburgh Press and was a member of Teamsters Local 211. Bruno and Irma Jean raised three children: Mark, Bruno and Gina.

An accomplished player and manager in slow-pitch softball, his Skip & Hogan team won an ASA National Championship in 1962, defeating a team from Toledo by the score of 5-4. For his contributions to the sport of softball, Bruno Riccardi was a Dapper Dan Award winner.

Bruno Riccardi and his 1985 Brookline softball team.
Bruno Riccardi (front-right) and his 1985 Brookline softball team.

Then, in 1969, he was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. This was followed up in 1992 when Bruno was granted a spot in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame - Western Chapter.

In 1972, Bruno was honored locally for his military achievements by the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial, located in Oakland. Riccardi's photograph and the story of his medal-winning heroics are memorialized in the Hall of Valor.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Oakland.
The Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial in Oakland.

Bruno P. "Spot" Riccardi passed away on February 9, 2004, at the age of eighty-four.




A Letter Home From Charles F. Roland Jr.
United States Army (1949-1952)

United States Army (1775-present)

Charles F. "Red" Roland Jr. joined the Army in January of 1949. He was sent to Japan in July of 1949, and moved into Korea in July of 1950. His Battalion was in battle continuously, fighting Northward all the way to Unsan, where they were caught in a trap. On November 2, 1950, during the Battle of Unsan Roland was wounded. From a hospital in Tokyo, Japan, he wrote the following letter home to his father, C. F. Roland Sr. of 832 Gallion Avenue. The letter was published in the Brookline Journal edition dated November 24, 1950.

Charles F. Roland Jr.

Toyko, Japan
November 9, 1950

Dear Dad:

Everything's under control! The Doc says it's a clean wound and will heal in good shape. My leg is plenty stiff right now, and it's too early to tell if any muscles were fouled up. There is a possibility that I may walk with a very slight limp.

It was pretty rough, pop. I got hit trying to break through a roadblock. You probably read of the 1st Cav. Battalion that was surrounded near Unsan. It was my battalion. That was a night of terror. I was the most surprised person in the world when I got hit. I was running when I got it, and it knocked me sprawling. I was up right away and managed to get the one who had shot me, and I guarantee he'll never shoot another G.I.

The Chinese were right on our heels, and it looked to me at the time that they were trying to take prisoners. Anyhow, I couldn't run anymore, so I fell into a small defilade and then I played dead. The damn place had water in it. The whole action took place alongside the river. Dad, I never prayed so hard in my life as I did the hour I laid there, every moment expecting a bayonet in the back or a bullet through the head. They were all around me. I could hear them moving and talking and they ran so close to me that they kicked sand into my face. All the while bugles kept blowing.

The enemy were on the high ground with automatic weapons and the force attacking where I was hit was the maneuvering element. They kept hitting us and then withdrawing. In the intervals when they were withdrawn, those on the high ground just raked the whole area. I don't know, that fire was what had bothered me the most up until the time I was hit. That's the reason I fell into the defilade.

Map of The Unsan Engagement, 1-2 Nov 1950
The Unsan Engagement, 1-2 November 1950.

Anyhow, for some reason, their fire lifted and those where I was withdrew across the river. I was lying about 100 yards from the road and when I heard some of our vehicles trying to make a run for it, I somehow managed to stumble to the road without getting shot again. I got aboard, but we only got a little way before they hit us again, so there was no other way but the hills. How we ever got through without running into more of them I'll never know.

The moon was at it's full brightness, and we could hear the shouting all around us. We had to wade the river. It was the coldest water I've ever been in. All this time I was getting weaker and weaker, through loss of blood, and my leg just wouldn't hold me anymore. I never would have made it if two guys whom I don't even know, hadn't half-carried me, half-dragged me up that last hill. I was out most of the way up. Anyhow, we rested about an hour on top, and I was finally able to put a dressing on my wound. Then with some help, I got down the hill and was picked up by a ROK jeep which carried me to the aid station.

Dad, I consider myself the luckiest guy alive. You can certainly thank St. Joseph for without Him and some others whom I asked, I wouldn't be here now. I never knew I had two holes in me until I got to the Med. Clr. Stations.

Take it easy ... Chuck

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

After service in the Korean War, in which he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge, Charles Roland worked as a Quality Control Engineer. In this profession, he worked for US Steel at Westinghouse Atomic Power, where he was assigned to the development of the USS Nautilus. He also worked at Knox Glass in Industrial and Quality Engineering posts.

Roland moved to Cranston, Rhode Island in 1966 while with Knox Glass and joined Corning Glass Works in Central Falls as a Quality Control Supervisor in 1967. He traveled to and lived in Venezuela, Hungary and the USSR representing Corning quality interests. After GTE took over the Central Falls plant he retired in 1987.

Charles F. Roland

A graduate of the Providence Diocese Ministry Institute, he then took a staff position at St. Mark Parish in Garden City. He moved to Warwick, Rhode Island in 1999, where he was a communicant of SS Rose and Clement Parish.

Charles F. Roland, age 83, passed away on July 9, 2013, at his home in Warwick. He was the beloved husband of Joan E. (Bradley) Roland for sixty years, and was son of the late Charles F. Roland, Sr. and Wilhelmina (Snefsky) Roland. He was the beloved father of Charles J. Roland and his wife Diane, Richard M. Roland and his wife Barbara, Paul G. Roland and his wife Kathleen, and Barbara E. Fournier and her husband Peter. Loving grandfather of Kristen, Kristina, Andrew and Nicholas Roland and Daniel and Matthew Fournier. Cherished brother of John M. Roland, Sr. of Valencia, PA and the late Ronald W. Roland.




The Invasion of Guam




American Legion Post #540
World War II Honor Roll

American Legion Post #540
World War II Honor Roll.
Click on image for a clearer view of the names.




The 4.7 inch M1906

The original cannon that was on display at the Brookline Veteran's Memorial was officially known as a 4.7 inch Gun M1906. The gun was produced between 1906 and 1919. Of the 960 guns ordered, only 209 were produced. Some of these saw action during the 1916 Mexican Border Campaign and in France during World War I.

Not many of the guns have survived the test of time. Three of these are still on display here in Allegheny County. There are two standing in South Park at the intersection of Corrigan Drive and Brownsville Road. One other is on display in North Park.

An American 4.7 inch Gun M1906.
An American 4.7 inch Gun M1906 was chosen to be the first cannon displayed at Brookline's Veteran's Memorial.

4.7 inch Gun M1906    4.7 inch Gun M1906
The two 4.7 inch M1906 guns on display in South Park at the corner of Corrigan Drive and Brownsville Road.

An American 4.7 inch Gun M1906.
An American 4.7 inch Gun M1906 being fired in Texas during the 1916 Mexican Border Campaign.




The 155mm Schneider Howitzer

The Cannon on display at the Brookline Veteran's Memorial is officially known as a Canon de 155 C modele 1917 Schneider. The 155mm heavy field howitzers were made in France and used by the Allies in World War I. The weapons remained in the U.S. arsenal for many years as training guns. These howitzers also saw action in World War II, used by France, Finland, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Yugoslavia.

155mm Schneider in action - 1918    155mm Schneider in action - 1918
The 155mm Schneider howitzer was one of the most common field guns used by the Americans in World War 1.

155mm Schneider in action - 1918    155mm Schneider in action - 1943
Left - An American battery equipped with 155mm Schneiders at Varennes in the Argonne, 1918;
Right - Live fire training by the 4th Infantry Division at Camp Carson, 1943.

155mm Schneider - 1919    155mm Schneider - 1940
Left - 155mm Schneiders after WWI in 1919; Right - U.S. artillery training in 1940.




The Brookline Monument - The Cannon

The Brookline Monument.
Brookline's 155mm Schneider howitzer watches over the Commercial District from Veteran's Memorial Park.

The Brookline Monument.
The Brookline Cannon stands silhouetted against a colorful sky in the Spring of 2013.




Brookline Veteran's Memorial Park - April 2014

Brookline Veteran's Park - April 26, 2014.




Decorated For The Holiday Season - December 2017

Veteran's Park Decorated For Christmas - 2017    The Cannon on December 31, 2017
Brookline's Cannon and the Veteran's Memorial decorated for the Holiday Season in 2017.




Under A Fresh Coat Of Snow - January 2015

Brookline Veteran's Park - April 26, 2014.

<Brookline Boulevard> <> <Brookline History>