Hero Profiles

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

The Afghanistan / Iraq "War on Terror"

Levi Gaylord

Rank and Organization: Sergeant, Company A, 29th Massachusetts Infantry.
Entered Service in the US Army from Boston, MA
Place and Date: Fort Stedman, VA 25 March 1865.
Birth: September 23, 1840 at Boston, MA
Date of Issue: 22 June 1896
Died: December 06, 1900 at the age of 60

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Civil War For heroism March 25, 1865 at Fort Stedman, VA. Voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy’s advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank.

Cohasset is no stranger to heroes. Many of its residents have answered the call of duty, serving in the various branches of the armed forces during wartime. To make sure their sacrifice is never forgotten, the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee has been working hard to commemorate Cohasset soldiers from many wars who have served the town and country well.

However, there is one Cohasset soldier who will be remembered not only for his service, but as Cohasset’s only recipient of the nation’s highest award for bravery. Levi Gaylord was a sergeant in Company A of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. On March 25, 1865, while on the road to Richmond, Va. Gaylord manned a gun under heavy fire during the Battle of Fort Stedman. According to civilwar.com, the battle was a last attempt by Gen. Robert E.Lee to break through Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Petersburg defenses and threaten his supply depot at City Point. The Confederate attack was a pre-dawn assault, and was met by a killing crossfire. “He held them off until other Union troops came up and counter attacked,” said local historian David Wadsworth.

In total there were 3,850 casualties that day, and more than 1,900 Confederate soldiers were captured. The battle was declared a Union victory, and on June 22, 1896, Gaylord was presented with a medal of honor for valor in action. The Medal of Honor is the highest award a soldier can receive for valor in action against enemy forces, and because it is usually presented to the recipient by the President of the United States in the name of Congress,it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor. According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Web site, the first Medal of Honor was given March 25, 1863 to Private Jacob Parrott and five other soldiers. Since then there have been 3,459 Medals of Honor awarded.

Today there are 130 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. Gaylord passed away Dec. 6, 1900 at the age of 60. He is buried in the Gaylord family plot in Cohasset’s Central Cemetery. Wadsworth said his tombstone is very special, as it is made of white marble with some gold leaf flecks. The National Medal of Honor Society provided the tombstone a few years ago to commemorate Gaylord’s life. “I remember when it was given, I gave a short talk at the ceremony,” Wadsworth said. For more information on Gaylord or any other Cohasset veterans, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

Pvt. Herman E. Daley

Hero Profile - WWI
Date of Sacrifice: October 14, 1918 - Age 23

Veterans honored every day of the year
Daley’s sacrifice is remembered
Byline: By Samantha Brown
SAMBROWN@CNC.COM

As Veterans Day approaches, people throughout the country will once again formally show their appreciation for those who have given of themselves to ensure the freedom of this nation. In Cohasset, a ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park to mark the occasion, but looking closely around town, it is plain to see, Cohasset honors its heroes daily. Through various memorial squares, dedicated to those Cohasset natives who have paid the ultimate price, local veterans can be remembered every day as residents drive past. One of those veterans, Herman Edward Daley, whose date of sacrifice anniversary was Oct. 14, is remembered by a memorial square, located at the corner of Jerusalem Road and North Main Street.

Daley was born June 29, 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. Bartholemew Daley of Pleasant Street. One of six children, Daley had three sisters and two brothers. He attended Cohasset schools, and after graduating from high school, worked as a painter for Harry Lincoln. He later worked with the Adams Express, and at the Naval Magazine in Hingham, currently known as the Ammunition Depot on Fort Hill Street.

On July 30, 1917, Daley enlisted in the 101st Engineers- 1st Corps Cadets-and qualified for the service from there. He trained in Boston at the Wentworth Institute of Technology until Sept. 24, 1917 and left for France the next day.

Daley was a member of Company A in the 101 Infantry during World War I. He was described by his friends as being a “genial lad, a good story teller, and jolly.” He had many friends and was well liked by the other men in his regiment.

In addition to fighting in battle, there were many personal obstacles Daley needed to overcome. Daley suffered from a fractured ankle as well as scarlet fever which put him in the hospital and off the front lines for approximately two months. Daley was discharged from the hospital in January 1918. Daley kept a personal journal while overseas, and on Oct. 13, 1918 – the day before he died – he wrote that he had attended church in the morning and had heard the Germans had accepted President Woodrow Wilson’s peace terms and were beginning to retreat. However, Daley’s hopes for an end to the fighting ended the following day when he was struck in the neck with a piece of shrapnel and died in Fauburg Pave, France at just 23 years of age. On the day of his death, one of Daley’s friends, a fellow soldier, made the last entry into the book writing Daley had been “Mortally wounded by shrapnel and died before he reached the field hospital.” Daley’s body was buried first at Romague Cemetery, and was later returned to the United States and buried at Woodside Cemetery in Cohasset on Aug. 28, 1921.

Daley was the fifth and last man from Cohasset to sacrifice his life for freedom during World War I. His death was preceded by George H. Mealy, Lawrence B. Williams, John W. Sidney, and Joseph A. Gonsalves.

Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Herman Edward Daley or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

Pvt. Joseph A. Gonsalves

Hero Profile - WWI
Address when enlisted - 63 Church Street
Date of Sacrifice - October 6, 1918 - Age 20

Private Joseph A Gonsalves died in action on October 6, 1918.

Sgt. George H. Mealy

Hero Profile - WWI
Address when enlisted - 39 Beechwood St.
Date of Sacrifice July 17, 1918 - Age 28

Sargent George H Mealy , of company K the Massachusetts National Guard 26th division was killed at Fismes France on July 17,1918, two days before the Cohasset soldier Lawrence B Williams.

Pvt. John W. Sidney

Hero Profile - WWI
Address when enlisted - Stockbridge Street
Date of Sacrifice - August 17, 1918 - Age 21

Pfc John W. Sidney a member of the Battery C 108 th field artillery of the 28th Division. was killed on August 17,1918. He was the third Cohasset man killed within a month.

Cpl. Lawrence B. Williams

Hero Profile - WWI
Address when enlisted - 266 South Main Street
Date of Sacrifice July 19, 1918 - Age 25

Corporal Lawrence B Williams was a member of A battery 101 st field artillery and was killed in action on the Marne July 19, 1918. Two days after Sgt. George H. Mealey.

MM Allen A. Buffum

Hero Profile - WWII
Date of Sacrifice: April 9, 1942 - Age 43
Address When Enlisted: 291 South Main St.

Allen A. Buffum the first Cohasset casualty of WWII lost his life when the oil tanker E. Van Rensselaer was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Brazil, on April 9, 1942. he was a member of the merchant marine and in WWI had served as a member of the field hospital unit with fifteen months over seas duty.

Howard R. Gleason

Address when enlisted - 38 Atlantic Avenue
Date of Sacrifice March 27, 1945 - Age 22

Ltjg Howard Gleason ., the communications and commissary officer aboard the US Submarine Trigger. Gleason had been assigned to the Trigger in Nov 1944 and had served as its officer captain of its gun crew, before being promoted in Feb 1945. The vessel was presumed lost with all hands about March 27, 1945.

Navy veteran lived life on the water
Byline: By Samantha Brown SAMBROWN@CNC.COM

Howard Gleason was always a man of the sea. Growing up in Cohasset surrounded by ocean, he spent many happy summer days sailing with his friends and taking part in water activities at the Cohasset Yacht Club. While coasting along the shores of his hometown, Gleason gained the experience that would one day lead him to pursue a career in the United States Navy, where he served as a lieutenant during World War II. Gleason was born in 1922 to parents Hollis and Emily Gleason. One of four children, he lived at 38 Atlantic Ave. with brothers Edward and Herbert and sister Eleanor.

Eleanor remembers how her brother always had an affinity for the ocean. She recalled the year her brother, along with boyhood pals David Place, Dave Ketchum, and Bill Binnian bought an old 34-foot sloop for $400, which they spent the entire summer refurbishing. She recalled how proud they were of the boat, and how they used it constantly. Place said he remembers when the boat was finished, the three sailed it all the way down to Mt. Desert Island in Maine.

But when summer was over, Gleason was a student at Derby Academy in Hingham, as was Place. The two would sometimes ride their bikes up the newly constructed Route 3A to school, which Pace recalls was quite an adventure for elementary school boys. Eleanor remembers she would take the train from Cohasset station to Derby every day.

When the snow started to fall, Pace said Gleason could always be found skiing. Even in the 1930s, before Mt. Washington had a ski lift, Gleason could always be found on the slopes.

During his high school years, Gleason attended boarding school at the Kent School in Connecticut. Although he was many miles away, distance couldn’t quell the love he felt for his high school sweetheart Betty Stearns, who grew up on Jerusalem Road.

After graduating from high school, Gleason went on to study at Harvard College, where he participated in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program. Gleason enjoyed his naval training tremendously and sped up his courses to enable him to graduate early and enter the Navy. However, after graduation, he made his love for Stearns official, when they were married in October 1943.

While at Harvard, Gleason had an experience that would forever change his life, when a Naval Submarine Corps recruiter spoke to the cadets, sparking his interest in underwater submersion. After enlisting, Gleason was assigned to the USS Submarine “Trigger” in November 1944. Gleason began his career aboard the submarine as the Officer Captain of the gun crew. He then received a promotion and became the Communications and Commissary Officer in February 1945. However, on its second to last mission, while on patrol near the Ryukyu Archipelago in the South Pacific, Trigger was presumed lost after a lengthy lapse in communication. Gleason and 88 fellow crewmates paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom March 27, 1945. Gleason was just 22 years old.

Eleanor remembers it was well into the spring before the Navy notified the family Gleason and his submarine were missing. Her two other brothers and her husband, John Bleakie, were also away at war, and she had moved back home to Atlantic Avenue to be with her parents.

Eleanor said she remembers sitting in the gardens with her mother one afternoon when a telegram arrived with the news of Howard. Fearful it would aid the “Japanese propaganda machine”, the family was forbidden from telling anyone the submarine was lost.

On Memorial Day 1948, the town of Cohasset dedicated the extension of Margin Street to Gleason, calling it Howard Gleason Road. He was the last Cohasset man to die during World War II. Shortly after the war ended, Norman Todd died from the effects of radiation exposure from the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. His was among the first Marine units to enter the city.

Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Howard Gleason or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

Robert E. Jason

Hero Profile - WWII
Address when enlisted - 49 Cushing Rd.
Date of Sacrifice January 7, 1944 - Age 27

MM1c Robert E Jason lost his life on January 7,1944 in the sinking of the USS St. Augustine off the coast of New Jersey. He had enlisted in the navy on November 6,1940 and in April 1941 was assigned to the St Augustine, a patrol boat performing convoy duty from the north Atlantic to the west Indies. Jan. 6, 1944 was a cold and stormy night in Cohasset. As waves crashed along the dark and rocky shoreline, Civilian Coast Watch warden Herb Jason, out on his rounds, stopped along the Jerusalem Road coast and remembers thinking, “what a terrible night to be on the ocean.”

Reprinted from the Cohasset Mariner:

Standing alone looking out at the tumultuous seas, Herb had no idea his cousin, Robert E. Jason, an MM1c (Machinist’s Mate First Class) on the Naval ship the USS St. Augustine was fighting for his life in the waters off Cape May, NJ. It was a routine trip that ended in disaster, as he and 115 other brave crew members serving during World War II lost their lives that night. Today marks the sixty-first anniversary of his date of sacrifice.

Robert, who was known around town as Bobby, grew up at 49 Cushing Road. He attended Cohasset schools, and his cousin, Betty Maree remembers Bobby’s childhood pet, a talking parrot of which he was very proud.

In 1934, Bobby graduated from Cohasset High School, and six years later on Nov. 6, 1940, the handsome and strapping 6-foot-6-inch tall Bobby enlisted in the Navy at the age of 22. In April 1941, he was assigned to the USS St Augustine, a patrol boat performing convoy duty from the north Atlantic to the west Indies.

The St. Augustine, a 272-foot long patrol gunboat, was originally built in 1929 for heiress to the FW Woolworth fortune Barbara Hutton. It was built at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., in Newport News, Va. as the steel-hulled yacht “Viking.” It was later sold and renamed “Noparo” before being purchased by the US Navy in December 1940. The ship was then retrofitted and renamed St. Augustine on Jan. 9, 1941, and commissioned USS St. Augustine (PG-54) on Jan. 16, 1941.

The USS St. Augustine got underway from New York on Jan. 6, 1944 leading a convoy of ships bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Late that evening, just southeast of Cape May, NJ, she was struck hard amidships by the merchant tanker Camas Meadows splitting her seams in the collision. In only five minutes, the boat sank into the Atlantic, the rough wintry seas claiming 115 of her crew, including Bobby. Only 30 crew members survived.

Although the accident which claimed Bobby’s life took place Jan. 6, he was pronounced deceased on Jan. 7, the day his body was found. Once recovered, the Navy sent his body back home in a casket sealed with a glass cover. Due to his height, the oversized casket could only be brought into the family home for viewing after workmen removed the front parlor window.

Bobby’s mother Helen Jason was so distraught with the lack of details the Navy provided her regarding her son’s death, that she called upon longtime Cohasset resident and Navy Captain Herbert Grassie to see if he could press the Navy for more details. Friends say Helen was once a vibrant and community-minded woman who nearly went into seclusion at her home for the rest of her life after her son gave his for the country.

Nearly 400 Cohasset men and women answered the country’s call during World War II. For eight families like the Jason’s, the price of freedom was high. Bobby was the third Cohasset serviceman to die during World War II, and the first of three to die during 1944. Prior to Bobby, Merchant Sailor Allen Buffum and Navy Lt. Perry H. Johnson gave their lives in the name of freedom.

The town of Cohasset will never forget the sacrifice Bobby made for his country, and to ensure his memory lives on in the hearts of the town’s residents, in 1947, the town renamed and dedicated the road at the south end of the common, Robert E. Jason Road.

Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Robert E. Jason or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

Link to MM1c Robert E. Jason’s ship web page
Link to the 2nd web page of MM1c Robert E. Jason’s ship

Perry Higginson Johnson

Hero Profile - WWII
Address when enlisted - 149 Atlantic Avenue
Date of Sacrifice February 25, 1943 - Age 27

Perry Higginson Johnson enlisted in the navy on Pearl Harbor day and lost his life, Feb 1 1943 while serving aboard the USS De Haven I, a destroyer attached to the pacific fleet in the Solomon Islands.

Link to Lt. Perry Higginson Johnson’s Ship (USS De Haven I) web page
Link to another USS De Haven I webpage 

Naval officer loved life
By Samantha Brown
sambrown@cnc.com

Lt. Perry Higginson Johnson was always a hopeless romantic. When he met his wife Jan Pierce in 1940, knowing she was someone he couldn’t and wouldn’t let go, he immediately began to woo her, sending her one dozen roses the very next day. The two were married in April, 1941, and their connection continued to grow, until Johnson shipped out on a mission with the Navy reserves which would separate him too soon from the love of his life. As was the calling of many Cohasset residents during World War II, Johnson enlisted in the service. Perhaps as a reaction to the events of the day, Johnson signed up to serve on Dec. 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor Day. Johnson had graduated in 1938 from Harvard College, and then went to work for his father until the Navy called the reserves to active duty in late summer 1942. Although he grew up on Beacon Hill in Boston, Johnson’s family has a long history in Cohasset and it is a town they all deeply loved. Every summer, he and his three younger brothers and two younger sisters would stay at their grandfather’s house on Quarry Point, next to Sandy Cove. Johnson’s grandfather Fredrick Higginson’s house was located at 149 Atlantic Ave., and Higginson had come back to Cohasset every year since the 1880s. On Sundays during the summer, Johnson’s youngest sister Rosmond Cross remembers how their father Howard Johnson, affectionately known as “Mr. J” would take Perry, along with his sister Kathy and brother Howard, to Sunday school at the Unitarian Church. The elder Howard would drop the children off, and would then play a round of golf. The three children would walk home from the service together, and the first one home would be allowed to lick the ice cream churn. Cross said without fail, Perry was always ahead of the rest.

After Johnson was married, he and his wife would spend the summers together in Cohasset. Jan said she remembers spending summer days by the “cocktail bar,” a special flat area in the granite side of Sandy Cove. Johnson’s father would set out two long planks and roast 20 to 30 lobsters at a time, but dinner came at a price. He wouldn’t dish them out until one could prove they were able to split their own lobster. Jan said she can still split a lobster. Johnson’s cousin Charlie Higginson, although much younger, remembers fondly looking up to his older relative. Higginson said he remembers the older cousins playing noisy games of softball on Quarry Point. Higginson said he also remembers the large fishing parties from the dock on the elder Howard’s motor boat, “The Loon.” Those looking for a big catch would use long bamboo poles with green fiddler crabs for bait. Higginson said although he was too young to go, he remembers catching the green fiddler crabs for those venturing out onto the high seas.

When Johnson shipped out, he was stationed on the USS DeHaven I (DD-469), a destroyer escort built at the Bath, Maine shipyard that was attached to the Pacific Fleet in the Solomon Islands. The ship was operating near Salvo on Feb. 25, 1943 when her air support missed her and she was attacked by Japanese kamikazes. Johnson, as second in command, was at that time a deck officer. Rushing to the aid of a comrade, he had just carried a wounded sailor into the ward room for medical attention when the destroyer was hit.

The ship did not sink immediately, but in the end roughly 38 were wounded and 167 men were lost. Among those who did not return home was Johnson, whose body was never recovered. Johnson was only 27 years old. Johnson is remembered by many for his service to the country. His name is on a plaque, located at the Memorial Chapel at Harvard College, which was dedicated to the members of the Harvard University Class of 1938 who gave their lives for their country. Fellow Cohasset resident Howard Gleason is also memorialized in the chapel.

In addition, Cohasset residents are reminded of Johnson’s sacrifice every day as they pass by the memorial square dedicated in his memory at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Beach Street, just down the road from his grandfather’s house, where he spent so many memorable summers.

Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Perry Higginson Johnson or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

William B. Long

Hero Profile - WWII
Address when enlisted - 90 Beach Street
Date of Sacrifice August 26, 1944 - Age 26

Lt William B Long, a member of the headquarters battalion, 28 th Infantry, an element of Patton’s command lost his life in Brest France on August 26, 1944. Ironically the same day that General Patton had jubilantly informed his superior officer” Dear Ike: Today I spat in the Seine!”

David H. Parker

Hero Profile - WWII
Address when enlisted - 339 Beechwood St.
Date of Sacrifice February 1, 1945 - Age 20

Pfc. David Parker a member of the 311th Infantry Regiment 78 th Division was killed in Kesternich Germany , on February 1 1945. David had taken command of his squad after the squad leader became a casualty. A mortar shell dropped near him killing him instantly. David was awarded the bronze star posthumously for his action.

Sgt. Everett F. Studley

Hero Profile - WWII
Date of Sacrifice November 28, 1944 - Age 26

Sergeant Everett F. Studley one of four brothers in the service, a member of Company K 101 infantry, 26 th division, in which he enlisted in September 1940, was killed on November 28 1944, while successfully leading his men in an attack across open ground.

1st Lt. Norman M. Todd

Hero Profile - WWII
Address when enlisted - 354 Jerusalem Rd.
Date of Sacrifice August 7, 1947 - Age 25

Lieutenant Norman M Todd USMCR, died in 1947 as a result of exposure to radiation. “Mac” was among the first marine unit to enter Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was exploded.

The whites and pinks of flowering plants and trees used to provide a splash of color on every side of Norman Todd Park. Statues used to graced the garden, and the park used to be seen as a memorial fitting a World War II veteran. However, over the years a lack of maintenance enabled weeds to take root, crowding out the plantings of the past, and crowding out the pride felt by the town for one of its veterans. But members of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee couldn’t sit idly by and watch a living memorial become overgrown and the sacrifice of a soldier forgotten, which is why they teamed up with the Cohasset DPW, Water Department, and the garden clubs to rejuvenate the park, which now reflects the beauty of the original garden, which was first dedicated in 1948.

Located at the intersection of Beechwood Street and Norman Todd Road, Norman Todd Park was given to the residents of Cohasset as a gift from the Todd Family, in memory of their son, Norman MacIntosh Todd. Known by his family and friends as “Mac,” Norman Todd was a Marine Lieutenant who died from radiation exposure during World War II. Growing up, Todd spent his summers living at 354 Jerusalem Road, also known as “Greystone Lodge.” During the winter, the Todd family lived at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston where they had four rooms on the third floor. Todd’s father Albert, who was an avid golfer and played every Sunday morning at the Cohasset Golf Club, was the president of United Shoe Machinery Company in Boston. The company was founded by George Brown of Beverly, who was married to Albert Todd’s sister. While attending Cornell University, Norman Todd met his future wife Mary Jo in 1942. Todd graduated from Cornell the following year, and was commissioned as a Marine Lieutenant in 1944. In October 1944 he married Mary Jo, and seven months later in May of 1945, he was deployed to the Pacific Theater. Todd’s was among the first United States Marine units to enter the Japanese city of Nagasaki after the atomic bomb was dropped on August 9, 1945. Like many Marines, he became sick from radiation exposure, and was sent to a hospital in California. His family was not given any information about his ailment, and was not told when Todd would be able to return to Cohasset. When Todd did return to his hometown, his family was told there was no cure for his illness. Albert Todd, spared no expense on medical exams and treatments for his son. During Norman’s illness, the Todd family’s nanny Dee Dee Granville cared for Norman. On August 7, 1947, two years after being exposed to the radiation, Norman passed away at his Cohasset home at 119 North Main St., with his wife Mary Jo by his side. He was only 25 years old.

Many Cohasset residents do not remember the days when Norman Todd Park was in pristine condition. For years, local resident Ralph Enos was paid $1.67 per hour by the town to take care of the park. During the years after Enos retired, the park was not maintained and became just another public place with overgrown grass and shrubs. In 2000, Mary Jo and her daughter came to see the park and were both disappointed and surprised to see its condition. Mary Jo in turn sent photos of the original plantings to the Veteran’s Memorial Committee, and its members promised her the park would be restored to its original beauty. The committee requested funding at the fall Special Town Meeting in 2003, and the article passed. With the help of landscape designer and architect Ginny Norman, a planting plan was developed based on the original photographs. Irrigation sprinklers were installed, plants were added to the landscape, and a new memorial plaque was cast for the park, replacing the original plaque that was lost over time. Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Norman “Mac” Todd or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

 

Cpl. C. David Strout

Hero Profile - Korea
Address when enlisted - 353 South Main St.
Date of Sacrifice February 6, 1952 - Age 23
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. My name is Merle Brown and I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the Clifford David Strout Memorial Square.

Reverend Gary Ritts of the Second Congregational Church will now give the benediction.

Private First Class Clifford David Strout enlisted in the United States Army November 8, 1950 and was killed in action February 6, 1952 in Korea.

He was the only serviceman to leave Cohasset for Korea and not return.

We feel it has become significant to remember David today, because time has not been kind to his memory in the forty-five years since his death.

His friends and contemporaries cannot be found… his parents are gone and with them, hopes of tracing relatives who could share today’s thoughts. We have encountered a number of Strout families from Maine to Arizona, but David seems this day to be now, part of OUR family and forever in our hearts.

Thank you David.

The American flag was presented to Ralph Perroncello Commander VFW Post 9437, on behalf of the Strout family.

T Sgt. Peter J. Albiani, Jr.

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Date of Sacrifice: February 7, 1970 - Age 21
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentleman, good afternoon. My name is Bruce Butman and I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the Peter J. Albiani Jr. Memorial Square.

Reverend Gary Ritts of the Second Congregational Church will now give the benediction.

We gather at this time to dedicate this square to Peter J. Albiani Jr.

Peter was born on April 27, 1948. He attended old farms High School in Avon, Connecticut, Class of 1967.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force from Port Charlotte, Florida on May 31, 1967. After Basic Training, he attended Eastern European Language School at Syracuse University in New York. He graduated May 29, 1968. He then was stationed at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas until 1969, and then to the US Air Force Security Service assigned to the United States Logistics Group, Detachment 204.

We lost Peter February 7, 1970.

Therefore, we remember Peter today with this plaque and this dedication a friend, a neighbor, a brother, and a son to never be forgotten in our hearts.

Pfc. Peter Cogill

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Date of Sacrifice: February 25, 1967 - Age 20
Address when Enlisted: 71 Church St.
Member of The Cohasset High School Class of 1966
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentleman, good afternoon. My name is Cliff Jones and I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the Peter Cogill Memorial Square.

Reverend Dr. Bert White will now give the benediction.

Private First Class Peter Cogill was born in Cohasset on January 8, 1947. He attended Ripley Road School, Deer Hill School, and was a member of the Class of 1966 at Cohasset High School.

Peter loved working for Tony Sestito and loved the town of Cohasset, but longed to join the Army, which he did on July 26, 1966.

He completed Basic and volunteered to attend parachute training. He ultimately earned his jump wings.

He then joined Able Company 326 Engineering Battalion, 101 Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam.

On February 25, 1967, after two months in the country, Peter was on patrol against hostile enemy forces. Peter was killed in action on that date while attempting to diffuse a mine.

Peter had many friends and family here in Cohasset. But as time passes by, so do friends and family. By the dedication of this Memorial Square we keep his memory alive in our hearts. Private First Class Peter Cogill, fallen hero, never to be forgotten.

Peter Cogill, Private First Class United States Airborne, a loving son, a trusting brother, a classmate, a friend, a man and a fallen American hero, never to be forgotten.

No greater sacrifice can a man make than to lay down his life for his country.

Peter’s military awards include:

  • Bronze Star Medal “V” for valor.
  • Purple Heart Medal
  • Military Merit Medal
  • National Defense Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Combat Infantry Badge

and other numerous campaign and unit awards.

And now to say a few words on the behalf of Peter’s mother, I would like to introduce to Kimberly Beale, Peter’s niece.

Wanted to be a soldier
Peter Cogill’s life remembered
Byline: By Samantha Brown
SAMBROWN@CNC.COM

It has been said there is a hero in all of us, but in reality only some are brave enough to risk it all on behalf of our country. It takes a special person to answer the call of duty and join the ranks of our armed forces, and Cohasset resident Peter Cogill answered that call gladly.

In July 1966, fulfilling his dream of one day becoming a soldier, Cogill enlisted in the army at just 19 years old. Leaving many friends and family behind, he bravely set off to serve in the Vietnam War, not knowing he would never return home to the town he loved.

Cogill was born on Jan. 8, 1947. He attended the Ripley Road School, Deer Hill School, and was a member of the Class of 1966 at Cohasset High School. While living at 71 Church St., he enjoyed landscaping for Tony Sestito. But serving in the military was something he had always wanted to do, and he served well as a Private First Class. It seems the patriotic spirit that lived in Cogill was a family trait, as four of Cogill’s brothers and one of his sisters also served during Vietnam.

Cogill completed basic training and volunteered to attend parachute training. He ultimately earned his jump wings and soon joined Able Company 326 Engineering Battalion, 101 Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam. After two months in the country, Cogill was on patrol when he came against hostile enemy forces. On Feb. 25, 1967, while attempting to diffuse a mine, his young life was cut short when he was killed in action. Cogill was the second Cohasset man to die during Vietnam, and the first of three young men from the Cohasset High School Class of 1966 to sacrifice his life. He died just seven months after graduation.

Vietnam took a heavy toll on the town, as eight men were killed, including Peter J. Albiani, Jr., Allen F. Keating, William C. Laidlaw, John Paul Lyon, Edward R. Maree, Craig M. Simeone, and Dennis J. Reardon. Cohasset lost the same number of soldiers during World War II. The worst eight months of Vietnam were in 1969, when the town lost five men, four at six-week intervals.

For his service in the war, Cogill was honored with many military awards including the Bronze Star Medal “V” for valor, the Purple Heart medal, the Military Merit medal, the National Defense medal, the Vietnam Service medal, the Vietnam Campaign medal, a parachutist badge, a combat infantry badge, and numerous other campaign and unit awards.

To ensure his memory is never forgotten, a memorial square has been dedicated in his honor, which residents drive by every day. Located in a fitting spot, Cogill’s memorial square can be found at the intersection of Church and Doane Streets in the Beechwood area of town, just down the street from his family home.

Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee Glenn Pratt provided the Mariner with the information for this article. For more information on Peter Cogill or any of the Cohasset veterans who have paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom, please visit the Cohasset Veterans Memorial Committee Web site at www.cohassetveteransmemorial.com.

 

SP4 Allen F. Keating

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 514 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy.
Date of Sacrifice October 19, 1969 - Age 21
Member of The Cohasset High School Class of 1966
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Good afternoon, I am LTC Joe McElroy, US Army (Ret), and I would like to welcome family members and friends to the dedication of the Allen Francis Keating Memorial Square.

The Reverend John Mulvehill will now give the benediction.

Specialist Fourth Class Allen Keating was born August 1, 1948, and graduated from Cohasset High School, Class of 1966. Allen was the football team’s quarterback and an All-Scholastic. He was Captain of the High School Baseball team and participated in a wide variety of community and school activities.

Allen went to Arizona State University from which he was drafted into the Army. After basic and advanced training; he came home for Christmas leave, 1968. He left for a tour of duty in Vietnam the first of January 1969. After nine months of combat, he took a week’s leave in Hawaii where he married his fiancée, Anne Noonan. Following an all too brief honeymoon, he returned to his Unit, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.

Allen died October 19, 1969, while leading his Squad and its Armored Personnel Carrier. He was cited for conspicuous valor and awarded the third highest decoration this country can bestow: the Silver Star as well as two Purple Hearts and other numerous awards.

Years ago, my father-in-law paid tribute to Allen and all the young guardians of our Nation’s freedom who made the ultimate sacrifice:

Forever

Forever is not just today.
But all the years he gave away,
That bright our land might stand stay.
Forever in the minds of men,
The memory of his valor then,
Shall lift the heart, again, again—
Forever.

Forever foremost in our pride,
His starlit deeds have glorified
The deathless things for which he died-
Forever

Therefore, we remember Allen today, with the dedication of this Memorial Square. A friend, neighbor, brother, son, and husband, to never be forgotten in our hearts.

Link to SP4 Allen F. Keating’s unit home page

Warren Gallion’s Vietnam 1969

L. Cpl. William C. Laidlaw

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 508A Beechwood Street
Date of Sacrifice August 18, 1965 - Age 21
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentleman, good afternoon. My name is John Morgan and I would like to welcome you the dedication of the Corporal William Laidlaw Memorial Square.

Reverend Dr. Bert White will now give the benediction.

November 10th, 221 years ago one of the greatest fighting forces and brotherhoods known to man, The United States Marine Corp., was born. Today we gather to honor one who belonged, fought and died as a member of this brotherhood Corporal William Laidlaw. I did not know William but he is my brother, a Marine. One hundred years from now we will all be gone and almost forgotten, but because of what we are doing today and what William did for this country he will remain in the hearts and minds of every Marine and the people of Cohasset. Corporal Laidlaw was awarded by the Department of the Navy, the United States Marine’s and the United States of America the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star with a Combat V, for his actions in the Republic of Vietnam.

Thank you Corporal Laidlaw, Semper Fi.

At this time I would like to introduce Kenneth Laidlaw, the brother of Corporal Laidlaw.

Operation Starlight Article

Cpt. John P. Lyon

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 45 Joy Place
Date of Sacrifice April 18, 1969 - Age 25
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, my name is Glenn Pratt, welcome to the dedication of John Paul Lyon Square.

The Reverend John Mulvehill of St. Anthony’s Parish will now give the benediction.

My first personal experience with John the leader was in 1959 as a member of his patrol in Boy Scout Troup 28, he was an aggressive leader and a mentor to the young scouts. His graduating class at Cohasset High School voted him Most Talented and most noted for his smile. After graduating CHS in 1962, John attended Northeastern University, then transferred to Norwich, there John found his calling; the military. A 1966 graduate of Norwich John began his military career at Fort Knox, KY, in September, 1966.

Captain Lyon served as an instructor at the Allied Offices Training Center, Fort Knox, KY. He trained there for eleven months before his August 1967 assignment as a Brigade Adjutant 2nd Brigade 2nd Infantry at Panmuajom, South Korea. On his departure from that assignment John received a letter of appreciation from the Korean Army headquarters Lesion Officers Group Commander. Anxious to move his military career ahead John volunteered for a tour in Vietnam. In September, 1968 he took a command in Troop B, 7th Squadron, 1st Air CAV, 164 TH AVN GP in Vietnam. During his eight months in Vietnam John was awarded:

  • The Bronze Star with “V” for Valor for his heroism in ground combat
  • The Bronze Star First Oak leaf Cluster
  • The Bronze Star Second Leaf Cluster
  • The Air Medal for meterious achievement in aerial flight
  • And the Purple Heart.

On the morning of April 18, 1969, during a renaissance mission in Northwestern Kan Throng Province, while moving to organize and give guidance to his troops, after entering an enemy mine, field, John was killed. Two weeks after his 25th birthday.

We dedicate this place today, near John’s boyhood home and final resting place, as John Paul Lyon Square, we should reflect for a moment on the quote John printed in his high school yearbook “Peace be within thy walls.”

At this time I would like to introduce John’s brother Jim, who would like to say a few words for the family.

BT3 R. Edward Maree

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 31 Parker Ave.
Date of Sacrifice July 11, 1969 - Age 20

Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon. My name is Joe Hamilton and I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the R. Edward Maree Memorial Landing.

The Reverend John R. Mulvehill will now give the benediction.

As friends and family we are here this afternoon to dedicate this landing to R. Edward Maree. Eddie was born August 26, 1948, attended Cohasset High School and left our community in the service of his country with the United States Navy on September 16, 1965. Eddie served two tours in Vietnam – shore duty in My Tho and in the Gulf of Tonkin aboard the USS John King.

We lost Eddie July 11, 1969 as with all the veterans we remember this time, and we embrace his memory. It is fitting that this landing become Eddie because he loved the harbor. He had a boat, and he spent much time with it. Therefore, with this dedication we will always remember Eddie as a son, a brother, a friend and a neighbor never to be forgotten in our hearts.

Thank you Eddie.

1st Lt. Dennis J. Reardon

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 84 Elm St.
Date of Sacrifice November 29, 1969 - Age 24
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. My name is Wayne Harrington and I welcome you to the dedication of the Dennis Joesph Reardon Memorial Square.

The Reverend John Mulvehill will now give the benediction.

First Lieutenant Dennis Joseph Reardon grew up in Cohasset. He lived three houses down from this spot at 84 Elm Street. He attended the old Ripley Road School, the Deer Hill School, and graduated from Cohasset High School.

While at Cohasset High School he was selected Co-Captain of the football team, as well as the Co-Captain of the Mayshore league team. His coaches and the football writers of the Quincy Patriot Ledger chose him to be a member of the Patriot Ledger All Scholastic Team.

In 1963 he graduated from Cohasset High School, and went to Boston College. Majoring in finance, he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi fraternity and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduating, Dennis volunteered for service in the United States Marine Corps. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on November 1, 1967.

He attended Flight school at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, earning his wings as a naval aviator on April 25, 1969. In September of 1969, Dennis received orders assigning him to HMM-364, a helicopter squadron located at Marble Mountain, in Vietnam.

On November 29, 1969 Dennis’s mission was to evacuate combat causalities from a location in the Que San Mountains, twenty miles south of Da Nang. While co-pilot during this med-evac mission, his CH-46 helicopter exploded in flight killing Dennis (age 24) and his entire flight crew. For his heroism in Vietnam, Dennis was awarded the Bronze Star medal with Combat “V”, the Air Medal with Numeral 7, the Purple Heart, and the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor medal.

On December 8, 1969 Lieutenant Colonel C.R. Dunbaugh, Dennis’s Commanding Officer, wrote to his parents, Mary and Norbert, and his five brothers and sisters, informing him of his death. He wrote, “Even though Dennis had been with this squadron for a short period of time, he quickly made friends and leaves us with lasting memories. He was extremely conscientious and devoted to his duties and immediately gained the respect of his fellow Marines. We will miss him a great deal and hope that you find some comfort knowing this”.

Today, Cohasset remembers and honors Dennis Reardon. Most of us here knew him, his quick smile, and his irresistible sense of humor. We might have known him as “The Duck”. We might have seen him at the Cove or riding his motorcycle up Jerusalem Road. For this memorial stands to remind us all of that little boy who lived up the street, played football at the high school field, swam at Sandy Beach, was an Alter Boy at St. Anthony’s Church…this boy gave his life for his town, for his country. This memorial seeks to keep his spirit here… and forever with us.

https://www.hmm-364.org/name-index/reardon-dj-index.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20211207152834/http://hmm-364.org/

Pfc Craig M. Simeone

Hero Profile - Vietnam
Address when enlisted - 34 Bancroft Rd.
Date of Sacrifice May 30, 1969 - Age 21
Member of The Cohasset High School Class of 1966
Text of Memorial Dedication on November 11, 1996

Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. My name is Captain Robert Jackson, United States Naval Reserve. I would like to welcome you to the dedication of the Craig Michael Simeone Memorial Square.

The Reverend John R. Mulvehill will now give the benediction.

We gather at this time to dedicate this Square to Craig Michael Simeone. Craig Simeone was born March 7, 1948. After graduation, from Cohasset High School of 1966, Craig was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.

Private First Class Craig Michael Simeone gave his life while in service to his country on Memorial Day, May 30, 1969 in the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. Private First Class Simeone’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with V for valor, with the Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of his second award, the Purple Heart Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Parachutists Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, along with numerous other campaign and unit awards.

I will now read from citation, which speaks more eloquently than I ever could, to the measure of the man we honor here today.

Reading of the citation:

 

Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for another. Therefore, we remember Craig today, with his Memorial Dedication, as a son, brother, friend, classmate, neighbor, and fellow veteran, never to be forgotten in our hearts.

 

Department of the Army
Headquarters 101st Airborne Division
APO San Francisco 96383

General Orders
19 July 1969
Number 9058

AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR WITH “V” DEVICE (FIRST OAK LEAF CLUSTER) (POSTHUMOUS)


1. TC 320. The following award is announced.
Simeone, Craig M. 026-38-4607 PRIVATE FIRST CLASS Company B 2d Battalion (Airborne) 501st Infantry APO San Francisco 96383
Awarded: The Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device (First Oak Leaf Cluster)

Post humorous)
Effective Date: NA
Date Action: 30 May 1969

Theater: The Republic of Vietnam

Reason: For heroism in ground combat against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 May 1969. Private Simeone distinguished himself while serving as a grounder in Company B 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry. Company B was conducting ambush patrols near Dong Ap Bia Mountain, on the western border of the A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam. Private Simeone’s platoon moved into an ambush site along a trail and began to wait for possible enemy troops that might move along the trail at night. At approximately 2215 hours on the cited date, several North Vietnamse were spotted moving towards the platoon’s position. When they were in range, Claymore mines were detonated, killing four of the hostile troops. Several troopers were sent out to ascertain the result of the ambush and were immediately were taken under fire by the other enemy troops that had survived the ambush, killing several friendly troops and wounding several others. Private Simeone volunteered to attempt to reach the other wounded men, who were unprotected from enemy fire. He and his platoon leader crawled forward to aid the stricken men but were observed by the enemy force. Private Simeone was mortally wounded as he neared the casualties. Private Simeone’s personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Authority: by direction of the President of the United States under the provisions of Executive Order 11046.


FOR THE COMMANDER:
Dale H. Hayes
LTC, AGC
Adjutant General

M.H. Hurley
Colonel, GS
Chief of Staff

DISTRUBUTION:

D-Plus
5-CO, B/2/501st Inf
13-AVDG-AG-B
5-Co, 2/501st Inf
5-AVDG-IN
5-CO, 2d Bde
2-AVDG-AG-R
SPECIAL DISTRUBUTION: 1-TAGO ATTN: AGPB-AC

CPO Michael Thomas Ernst

Rank and Organization: Chief Special Warfare Operator, Navy
Entered Service in the US Navy
Date: August, 2009.
Birth:February 25th, 1986 at Cohasset, MA
Died: February 19th, 2023 at the age of 36

Michael was a native of Cohasset, Massachusetts, and attended Thayer Academy in Braintree before graduating from Denison University in Ohio.

Embarking on a distinguished military career, Michael enlisted in the United States Navy in 2009. Within three years, he earned the elite title of Navy SEAL. Among his numerous commendations was the prestigious Silver Star, a decoration bestowed for exceptional valor in combat situations.

In addition to the Silver Star, Michael’s exemplary service was recognized through a myriad of military awards. These included the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He also received the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Good Conduct Medal. Recognizing his contributions in various campaigns, Michael was awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. His extensive service also earned him three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and the NATO Medal.

Photo courtesy of Dan Lahey