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The first story is what touched off the World War 2 project. it concerns what we referred to as the "June Festival," which featured students from the four Solvay schools — Boyd and Prospect elementary, Intermediate and Solvay High. Students would march to the festival from the various schools to participate in a program that, as the story mentions, included many special numbers. The 1945 festival was special — it honored those who had been killed while serving their country. The war in Germany had ended, but the fighting continued in the Pacific against Japan. Solvay's death toll would grow before World War 2 finally ended in August.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 7, 1945
A memorial service for 44 boys from Solvay High School killed in the war will feature the 25th annual music festival in the Solvay schools tonight.

Centered in the open space in Woods Road Park where the festival is to be held, a huge cross of roses and greenery, with a gold cross in the center, will be completed as high school boys place a rose as each boy's name is called. The ceremony will be accompanied by muffled roll of drums.

Preceding the ceremony, the entire school will march to the festival field singing "Onward Christian Soldiers," and 300 voices will sing "The Lord's Prayer." "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" will be sung by the massed choruses with band accompaniment.

The regular festival program includes a band concert, songs and dances by groups. Boy and Girl Scout special numbers and drill and manual of arms by high school boys.

The 44 casualties from Solvay High School is considered a high percentage of loss, and the entire village has joined in the memorial.

The list of Solvay boys who have given their lives includes:

William Albring
Henry Armani
Angelo Aureli
Lloyd Bentley
Jack Bergner

James Bethka
Victor Bieganowski
Richard Birks
Arthur Campagnoni
Peter Cimini

Patsy Daddario
Anthony Dannibale
Rinaldo F. Del Prata
James DeLucia
Frank DeSantis

William DeSpirito
Benjamin Fabrizio
Albert Figueriedo
Mario Furletti
Dalton Hardy

William Hergenhan
Fred Herring

Joseph Kolceski
George Komrowski
John Kotas
John Kotash
Joseph Kotyra

James Lawton
Edgar Martin
Leonard Mascette
Morris McGraw
Frank Messere

Anthony Milano
Hilton Moore
Vincent Paci
Eddie Pucello
George Rivette

Carl Shetler
Paul Smorol
Stephen Styrzo
Stanley Surowicz
John V. Terzolo

Harold Wilbur
John Zulberti

 


* What follows are stories I found on the deaths of the men listed above, plus others whose deaths occurred or were revealed after the June Festival ceremony.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, October 1, 1944
Pfc. Joseph J. Addabbo, 20, a member of a mechanized cavalry unit, has been missing in action in France since Sept. 5, according to word received by his parents from the War Department.

He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Addabbo of 1004 Cogswell Avenue, Solvay. He enlisted March 20, 1943 and trained at Camp Gordon, Georgia. He went overseas July 1 of this year. Before entering the service, Pvt. Addabbo attended Solvay High School and was employed at Frazer and Jones Company.

A brother, Frank, S2/C USNR, is training as an aviation radioman at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

The War Department would later report that Joseph J. Addabbo had been killed.
 

Sgt. Stanley J. Adydan, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Adydan of 406 Chemung Street, was killed in action in Germany on February 28, 1945.

A native and life resident of Syracuse, Sgt. Adydan entered the Army in February, 1942, receiving his training at Fort Jackson, Mississippi. In February, 1944, he left for overseas, where he spent 13 months. He participated in the D-Day invasion.

Sergeant Adydan was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroic achievement against the enemy. He returned to duty after five months hospitalization for wounds suffered in the earlier fighting.

Before entry into the service, he was employed by the Oberdorfer Foundries and the U. S. Hoffman Machinery Corporation. He was a graduate of Sacred Heart School and Vocational High School. He also was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church.

Surviving besides his parents are three brothers, Edward, Chester and Pfc. Eugene Adydan, now station with the Army in Biloxi, Mississippi; two sisters, Mrs. John Bourg and Mrs. John Smith, two nieces and a nephew.

Sgt. Adydan did not live in Solvay, but his home was well within what we considered the Solvay zone — between Charles Avenue and the Twin Trees Restaurant, a block away on Avery Avenue. You can't get any more Solvay than that (though I don't think Twin Trees opened until a few years after the war).
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 16, 1943
Lieut. William C. Albring, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Albring of Stanton Road, Solvay, was killed yesterday in a plane crash in San Antonio, Texas. He was a student in the central instructors’ school at Randolph Field and was in a basic training plane when the crash occurred. His passenger was Second Lieut. Roger W. Armbrister, San Diego, who also was killed.

Lieut. Albring was married April 24 to Eloise Whedon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Whedon, Fairmount, in a ceremony which took place in Greenwood, Mississippi.

He was graduated from Solvay High School in 1941, and while there was a member of the track team as a pole vaulter. He entered the Air Corps in the fall of 1942 and recently completed his advanced training at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. He was to have left Texas in a few days to become an instructor in a Georgia camp.

Lieut. Albring is survived by his wife, who is living with her parents in Fairmount, having returned home when her husband was transferred from Alabama to Randolph Field. Other survivors include his parents and two brothers, Paul, who is in the Coast Guard, and Raymond. His father is a veteran of the last war.

 

Pfc. Henry N. Armani of the 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division, was killed in action in Italy on October 9, 1944. He was the son of Giacinto and Amelia Armani of 405 Woods Road, Solvay. His brother, Edward L. Armani, was a second lieutenant in the Army. Henry Armani is buried in Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, Toscana, Italy.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 6, 1945
Pfc. Angelo Aureli, 19, one of four brothers in the Army, was killed in action in Germany December 16, 1944, according to a War Department telegram received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Florindo Aureli of 318 Charles Avenue, Solvay.

Pfc. Aureli was previously listed as missing in action on that date. He enlisted March 4, 1944, in the infantry. Before entering service he was a student at Solvay High School. He was graduated in January, 1944, and was voted the most popular member of his class.

His three brothers in service are Pfc. Enito L. Aureli, who has been seriously wounded in action in Germany; Staff Sgt. Roland J. Aureli, who was wounded on D-Day and has now returned to duty in France, and Corp. Geno F. Aureli, 22, with the Air Corps Engineers somewhere in Europe. He has another brother, Joseph, at home.

Besides his parents and brothers, Pfc. Aureli is survived by two sisters, the Misses Ida and Lola Aureli.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, August 2, 1944
The War Department has notified Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Bentley of 308 Lionel Avenue, Solvay, that their son, T/Sgt. Lloyd E. Bentley, 21, has been missing in action since June 25, when a Flying Fortress crashed in France. He was aerial gunner and engineer on the Fortress.

Sgt. Bentley, a graduate of Solvay High School, enlisted in the Air Forces immediately after Pearl Harbor. He had been stationed in England since last December. He was awarded the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters. His wife lives in Los Angeles and Sgt. Bentley had expected to come home on furlough in July.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, August 15, 1944
Reported missing in action in France June 25, T/Sgt. Lloyd E. Bentley, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Bentley of 308 Lionel Avenue, Solvay, is now officially reported dead. His wife, the former Miss Virginia Petterson of Los Angeles, has just been notified of his death. The report was received through the International Red Cross from the German government.

Sgt. Bentley, aerial gunner and engineer of a Flying Fortress, had received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. The presentation was made by Major James Stewart, moving picture star. Sgt. Bentley was to have come home on furlough in July.

A graduate of Solvay High School, he enlisted a week after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He went overseas in December, 1943.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, August 1, 1944
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Bergner, 700 Third Street, Solvay, have been notified that their son, Pfc. Jack Bergner, 19, was killed in action in France, July 6.

Pfc. Bergner entered the Army August 31, 1943, training at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. He arrived in England in April, 1944, and went with the Army to France. Before joining the Army he attended Solvay High School.

Besides his parents, he leaves two sisters and one brother, Mrs. Richard Eicks and Mrs. Clancy Guinup of Solvay, and Gordon Bergner.

His parents received a letter from him recently dated about two weeks before he was killed.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, September 1, 1944
Lieut. James W. Bethka, 28, son of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Bethka of Marion Avenue, Fairmount, and husband of Mrs. Eleanor Gronau Bethka, was killed in an airplane crash in St. Louis yesterday.

A second officer, Lt. Vivian A. Lynn, 23, of Columbia, South Carolina, also was killed when their plane crashed in the backyard of a rooming house. Details of the accident were not available, but a report said that Lieut. Bethka acted with bravery and courage.

A veteran flier, Lieut. Bethka was chief test pilot at Scott Field, Illinois. He had been stationed at Scott Field for the last six months and before that had been an instructor at Gunter Field, Montgomery, Alabama.

The Syracusan learned to fly at Syracuse Airport under Richard L. Botsford, and was among the pilots from the airport who entered the Royal Canadian Air Force as an instructor in October, 1940. He had sought to enter the United States Air Corps, but was turned down because he did not have a college education. After Pearl Harbor he again tried for the U. S Air Force and this time was accepted.

Lieut. Bethka was a graduate of Solvay High School where he was a widely known athlete. He was a former member of the 104th Infantry and was about to reenlist when the Canadian government accepted him as an instructor in flying.

Lieut. Bethka and his wife were married July 5, 1941, and a son, Norman Bethka, was born to them five months ago. His wife and child were with him at Scott Field.

Surviving besides his wife, son and parents are two brothers, Sgt. Edwin Bethka, now at Hamilton Field, California, and Pvt. Albert Bethka, who just received his wings as aerial gunner at Lowry Field, Colorado, and is home on a 10-day furlough.

 

S/Sgt. Victor A. Bieganowski, son of George Bieganowski, died in action in 1945 with the 25th Infantry Division of the U. S. Army. He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. His older brother, Chester Bieganowski, also served in World War II. Victor Bieganowski was an outstanding athlete at Solvay High School.

 

Richard Birks was a native of Canada whose family moved to the town of Geddes when he was a boy. Soon after Birks graduated from Solvay High School in 1939, his family returned to Canada where he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. I found this story about him in a Canadian newspaper:

Oshawa Times-Gazette, April 24, 1943
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Birks, 215 King Street East, have received word from Ottawa that their son, Flight Sergeant Richard Salisbury Birks, is missing on active service after air operations overseas. Mr. and Mrs. Birks came to Oshawa from Cornwall about one year ago. Flight Sergeant Birks was not a resident of Oshawa.

He was the first person in Cornwall to enlist in the RCAF. His mother informed the Times Gazette that he was waiting for the recruiting station to open at 8 o’clock that he might get into the Air Force and do his part for his country. That was in 1941. He completed his training before his nineteenth birthday and presentation of wings was delayed for two weeks until he was nineteen years of age.

The missing pilot sailed for overseas in January 1942. A few days out, the transport was a victim of submarine warfare and the troops were returned to Canada. Richard Birks spent two weeks with his parents here and then sailed for overseas on February 9, 1942. In England he became a Sgt. Pilot and then made an instructor.

In May 1942 he gave up his position as an instructor and rejoined the fighting units. When his mother expressed fear of his safety and wished he had remained an instructor, he replied, “If you could see the smiles on the faces of the Dutch when one of our planes flies over. They stand up on wagons and cheer us.” He felt he could not remain inactive while the people of the occupied countries remained under Nazi domination.

Mr. and Mrs. Birks received a cable from their son, who had been named Flight Sergeant about three months ago, and he informed them that he was in London on leave. He had received a letter from the Admiralty and was to call there. That was the last word his parents received form him and they have not yet been informed of the reason for the call from the Admiralty.

Flight Sergeant Birks was born in Cornwall twenty years ago. He was educated in Syracuse and Cornwall. He was an outstanding athlete and established the Upper New York State championship for sprinting, which still stands. He had received a number of medals for sprinting and was an excellent basketball and football player.

[Note: I have found no articles in late 1930s editions of the Syracuse Herald-Journal that mention Birks in connection with with sports. An item on December 12, 1941, which announced a promotion in the Royal Canadian Air Force, said Birks ran the 100-yard dash in 9.9 while a student at Solvay High. Anther article from the 1940s claims the Onondaga County record for the event was 10.5 seconds.]

Birks is among those listed at the Air Forces Memorial, or Runnymede Memorial, in Englefield Green, near Egham, Surrey, England. This memorial is dedicated to 20,456 men and women from the British Empire who were lost in operations from World War 2. None has a known grave anywhere in the world; many were lost without a trace. Their names are engraved in the stone walls of the memorial, according to country and squadron.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, May 29, 1945
Reported missing in action: Frank Burns Blake Jr., aviation machinist’s mate 2/c, USNR, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Burns Blake Sr., 326 First Street, Solvay.

Blake was killed in action; no details are available. He rests, in spirit, at Honolulu Memorial Cemetery where the date of his death is listed as March 9, 1945.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, January 3, 1945
Pvt. Arthur D. Campagnoni, 18, serving with an infantry battalion, has been reported as missing in action somewhere in Germany, according to a War Department telegram received Sunday by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Campagnoni, 102 Gillis Street, Solvay.

Pvt. Campagnoni was inducted into the armed forces in March, 1943, and received his training at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, and Camp Pickett, Virginia. He was sent overseas in September and has been in combat duty since arriving in Europe.

He attended Solvay High School and prior to his induction was employed at the Army Air Base at the State Fairgrounds. He has three brothers in service — Pvt. Alfred Campagnoni, at Camp Clovis, New Mexico; Pvt. Ernest Campagnoni, serving somewhere in England, and Pvt. Robert Campagnoni, at a camp in Texas.

Two sisters, Erma Campagnoni and Rose Campagnoni, and a brother, William, reside at home.

The War Department would later report that Arthur D. Campagnoni had been killed.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 19, 1944
Word that Pvt. Peter J. Cimini, previously reported missing, was killed in action in France November 20, has been received from the War Department by his mother, Mrs. Antoinette Cimini of 102 Boyd Avenue, Solvay.

Pvt. Cimini was one of four brothers to enlist. He entered the service on February 13, 1942. Attached to the 137th Infantry, he trained at Camp Wolters, Texas, and Camp Rucker, Alabama. Since April, 1944, he has been with the Third Army.

Besides his mother, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. Angie Kosakowski; three brothers, Corp. Albert Cimini, with the Air Corps in Belgium; Pfc. Louis Cimini, with the Signal Corps in Italy, and Pvt. Samuel Cimini, with the Amphibious Engineers in New Britain, and two nieces.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 27, 1944
Pfc. Pasquale Daddario, son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Daddario of Armstrong Road, Lakeland, was killed in action in the infantry in France, June 30, according to a telegram to his family from the War Department.

Pfc. Daddario, 21, was born in Syracuse, attended Solvay High School and later was employed at the Halcomb Steel plant. He joined the Army in January, 1943, training at Fort McClellan, Alabama; Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, and Fort George Meade in Maryland. He was sent overseas late in April, this year

Besides his parents he leaves a sister, Miss Josephine Daddario and a brother, Isadore Daddario, both at home.

Memorial high mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Wednesday in St. Peter’s Church.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 2, 1942
News of the death of Anthony Dannibale, 21, in action in the South Pacific has been received from the United States Marine Corps by his father, Joseph Dannibale of 103 Cogswell Avenue, Solvay.

Mr. Dannibale was sent the following telegram by Lieutenant General Holcomb, commandant, USMC:

“Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Pfc. Antonio Dannibale, was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country. To prevent possible aid to our enemies, please do not divulge the name of his ship or station.”

Private Dannibale enlisted in Syracuse last January 13 and trained at Parris Island, South Carolina, and at New River, North Carolina. Six months after he was sent overseas and he wrote his father from the Solomon Islands war zone: “Make me some homemade spaghetti, and I’ll be home along about 1946.”

A former Solvay High School student, Dannibale attended St. Cecilia’s Church, Solvay, and was a member of the Syracuse Boys’ Club. Prior to enlistment he was employed by Pass & Seymour and by the Halcomb plant of the Crucible Steel Company of America.

Surviving are his father; three brothers, Louis, Mariano and Phillip, all of Solvay, and three sisters, Mrs. Frank Spenzerio of Albany and the Misses Josephine and Mary Dannibale of Solvay.

 

Pvt. Rinaldo F. Del Prato, son of Mrs. Anna Del Prato, 1147 Milton Avenue, was killed in action in the European theater of operation on June 12, 1944. He served in the Eighth Infantry, Fourth Infantry Division. He is buried at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, New York.

 

It was on October 20, 1944 that the Syracuse Herald-Journal published an announcement from the War Department that James Michael De Lucia Jr., fireman 1/c,, Naval Reserve, was missing in action. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Michael De Lucia of 513 Second Street, Solvay. Almost three months later his status was changed to killed in action.

According to Dee Dee King, certified genealogist with the Forensic Genealogy Services and contract genealogist, U. S. Navy Casualty, POW/MIA branch, DeLucia was assigned to the USS YMS-19, a mine sweeper, mined and sunk southeast of Angaur, Palau Islands on September 24, 1944. De Lucia’s body was never recovered.

Many thanks to Ms. King for taking the time to notify me. JACK MAJOR.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, October 12, 1944
Pfc. Frank A. DeSantis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nick DeSantis of 205 Cogswell Avenue, Solvay, was killed in action at Aachen, September 15, his parents have learned. He was in action in Normandy and Holland.

He had taken special training in commando tactics and had been awarded medals for accurate marksmanship with the Browning automatic gun at several gunnery schools in the United States.

Pfc. DeSantis was 24 and was graduated from Solvay High School at the age of 17. He was employed by the Solvay Process Company before entering service.

Besides his parents he leaves a brother, Corp. Lawrence F. DeSantis, and three sisters, Fannie, Rosemary and Bette DeSantis.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 30, 1945
Corp. William M. DeSpirito, 21, was killed in combat on Iwo Jima February 19 while serving with the Marine Corps, according to word received by his mother, Mrs. Olive Hall, formerly Mrs. Olive DeSpirito of 113 Boyd Avenue, Solvay.

Corp. DeSpirito before he enlisted in the Marine Corps in December, 1942, had lived with his mother at that address. He was a graduate of Solvay High School and had been employed by Frazer & Jones. He trained at Parris Island, South Carolina. He served in the Marshall Islands at Tinian and elsewhere with the Marines.

Besides his mother he leaves two sisters, Mrs. Mary Napoli and Miss Frances DeSpirito, and a twin brother, Benjamin DeSpirito.

 

Syracuse Herald-American, June 24, 1945
T/Sgt. John E. Doyle Jr., 24, was killed in a plane crash near Oopsurg, Holland, on May 31, after V-E Day.

The son of John E. Doyle of Camillus, RD-1, he died in the crash of a bomber on which he was engineer-gunner. The plane was on a gunnery mission off the coast of Holland when it crashed out of control, according to a letter received by Mr. Doyle from the commanding officer, Brig. Gen. Richard C. Sanders.

The soldier was buried in Knokke, Belgium, with religious services and full military honors.

Doyle had been in the European theater for 10 months and was based in France at the time of his death. He enlisted in 1940 and served two years in Alaska before going to Europe. He was a Solvay High School graduate.

 

Syracuse Herald-American, May 6, 1945
One of three brothers who have served in this war, Pvt. Benjamin J. Fabrizio, 28, of 505 Cogswell Avenue, Solvay, was killed in action in Germany April 9.

Pvt. Fabrizio was a member of an infantry unit serving with the Seventh Army. He had been overseas 10 months and in service for four years. He was a Solvay High School graduate and had been employed at the Sanderson Works of the Crucible Steel Company before entering service.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Filomena Fabrizio of the Cogswell Avenue address; three brothers, Anthony, who was recently discharged after serving 22 months with the Army in the South Pacific; Frank, who has been discharged from the Navy Seabees, and Dominic Fabrizio; two sisters, Sister Donata of South Carolina, and Miss Rose Fabrizio of Solvay, and several nieces and nephews.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, November 5, 1943
Albert A. Figueiredo of Solvay, signalman third class, U. S. Naval Reserve, reported missing in the June 23 casualty list, is now reported by the Navy Department as dead. He was a son of Anthony Figueiredo, 112-1/2 Hazard Street, Solvay.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 8, 1944
Corp. Mario J. Furletti of 109 Freeman Avenue, Solvay, is listed among 504 United States soldiers killed in the sinking of a ship in the Mediterranean, announced by the War Department May 1. The list of killed has just been made public.

Corp. Furletti was a son of Mrs. Daria Furletti of 208 William Street, Solvay. In May, 1942, he married Miss Anne Santorum, and Mrs. Furletti now lives at the Freeman Avenue address.

Born in 1919, Furletti attended Solvay High School and before joining the Army was employed by the Camillus Cutlery Company. Besides his wife and mother, he leaves a brother, Pvt. Leopold Furletti, and two sisters, Esther and Yolanda Furletti.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 4, 1945
Lieut. Clarence E. Haaf, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Haaf of 305 Montrose Avenue, Solvay, has been killed in action on Okinawa.

Lieut. Haaf was inducted February 3, 1942, and was sent to the Pacific with the infantry 26 months ago. He was a graduate of Solvay High School.

Besides his parents, Lieut. Haaf is survived by two brothers, James A. Haaf and Arnold Haaf, and four sisters, Miss Doris Haaf, Miss Eva Haaf, Mrs. Marian Hooper and Mrs. Laura Richert of Rochester.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, January 9, 1942
Lieut. Dalton R. Hardy, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Hardy of 406 Center Street, Solvay, was one of two victims of a fatal crash late yesterday at Cochrane Field, Macon, Georgia, according to word received from the Army Field Public Relations Office.

The other victim was Kenneth N. Thomson, 27, of Edinburgh, Scotland, Royal Air Force cadet, who trained previously at Americus, Georgia.

A Syracuse University graduate and an instructor in the Army Air Corps, Hardy was killed in a training ship that was returning from a routine flight.

He was one of 11 cadets who enlisted in Syracuse last February 10. He was awarded his wings at Maxwell Field last November and, following a brief furlough in Solvay, was assigned to Cochrane Field as a primary training instructor.

He had received a telegram yesterday from a close friend, Wendell Morris, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wendell C. Morris of 326 Hall Avenue, Solvay, arranging for a meeting at Maxwell Field, where Morris is to start training as an air cadet following his enrollment this week.

Hardy was a graduate of Solvay High School and a member of the class of 1939 at Syracuse University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business administration and journalism. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Following graduation he entered the employ of Lincoln National Bank and Trust Company as a teller. He was a graduate of the CAA Pilot Training School here, having received his private pilot’s license in September, 1940. He was known to his friends by the nicknames “Tim” and “Jack.”

Surviving members of the family include his parents, who last night received a telegram from the War Department notifying them of their son’s death, and a brother, Sgt. Edwin C. Hardy, stationed with the ROTC at Syracuse University.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 15, 1943
Air cadet Jack Haynes of Solvay, having completed Army Pre-Flight School at Maxwell Field, Alabama, is stationed now at Riddle Aeronautical Institute, Union City, Tennessee, for primary flight training. Haynes’ wife visited him at Maxwell for the graduation dance and parade.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, January 12, 1945
Lieut. Jack A. Haynes, 25, a B-26 bomber pilot, is reported missing in action over Germany since December 23. His wife, the former Miss Helen Brown of 249 West Corning Avenue, has just been notified by the War Department.

Lieut. Haynes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Haynes of 119 Power Street, Solvay, has been overseas since last June. He is a graduate of Solvay High School and enlisted in the Air Corps in February, 1943.

He won his wings as pilot and his commission as second lieutenant at Blytheville, Arkansas, December 5, 1943. On December 21, he wrote that he had been made a first pilot. Lieut. and Mrs. Haynes have a daughter, Marcia Lyn, aged 2-1/2 years.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, October 12, 1945
Memorial services for Second Lieutenant Jack A. Haynes of Solvay, a pilot in the air force, who had been reported missing last December 23, and is now said to have been killed in action on that day over Wittlich, Germany, will be conducted Sunday at the Asbury Methodist Church. The Rev. John W. Faust will officiate.

Lieut. Haynes had been awarded the Air Medal and six Oak Leaf Clusters, the Presidential Citation and the Purple Heart Medal.

Surviving are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Haynes of 119 Power Street, Solvay; his wife, Mrs. Jack A. Haynes of 249 West Corning Avenue, and a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

 

AC William N. Hergenhan, son of Mrs. Joseph Hergenhan of Solvay, has reported to Dorr Field, Arcadia, Florida, where he will receive one phase of his pilot training leading to wings. (6/12/43)

William N. Hergenhan was killed in action over the Netherlands on October 12, 1944. He is buried at Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Limburg.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 17, 1942
The crash of an Army bomber on a routine training flight yesterday cost the life of Staff Sgt. Fred W. Herring Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Herring of Camillus, the Associated Press reports. The accident occurred near Post Falls, Idaho. All five of the crew were killed.

The report from Geiger Field, near Spokane, Washington, gives the other casualties as follows: Lieut. William P. Marsh Jr., no address listed; Second Lieut. James H. Briggs, Gary, Indiana; Sgt. Robert H. O’Brien, Buffalo, and Pvt. Raymond J. Luettgen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Herring was graduated from Solvay High School in 1937 and attended a Syracuse business school before entering the employment of Dun & Bradstreet, with whom he served three years.

He enlisted in the Air Corps in September, 1940, and served at a number of fields in various parts of the country before he was sent to Spokane. He was a specialist in aviation motors.

 

Lieut. Joseph P. Kolceski grew up in Lakeland at 852 State Fair Boulevard, graduated from Solvay High School and was a plater at the Brown-Lipe-Chapin Company before he entered the Army in December, 1942. He graduated from the Army Air Forces Pilot School at George Field, Illinois, where he was commissioned and received his wings.

He was the co-pilot on a B-17 bomber in a crew headed by pilot Lieut. William J. Condon. They arrived in Polebrook, England as a replacement crew with the 351st Bomb Group and they flew their first mission on May 11, attacking a railroad yard in Luxembourg. A week later they bombed Berlin. On May 28 they took off on their fifth mission. The target was the railroad yards at Ludwishafen, Germany. However, they were intercepted by German fighters and shot down, crashing near Waldau, Germany. Lieutenants Condon and Kolceski were killed, as were four other members of the nine-man crew. Three survived the crash, but were captured by German soldiers.

What happened to them is included in a book, “Mission 376: Battle Over the Reich, 28 May 1944,” by Ivo de Jong (2004).

Lieut. Kolceski was survived by his wife, Mrs. Inez St. Denis Kolceski; their two-year-old daughter; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kolceski; two sisters, Julia and Mary, and six brothers, Alphonse, Edward, Thomas, George (“Bill”), Raymond and Stanley, all of whom served in the Army or Navy during World War II. — JACK MAJOR

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 30, 1944
Mr. and Mrs. August C. Komrowski of 212 Scott Avenue, Fairmount, have been notified that their son, Pfc. George A. Komrowski, Marine Corps, has died of wounds in the South Pacific area.

They were informed last week that he had been wounded, and later came word he had died as a result of those wounds.

Last December Mr. and Mrs. Komrowski’s daughter, Esther, was killed in a coasting accident.

Pfc. Komrowski also leaves his wife, the former Miss Frances Botz, of 250 Richmond Avenue, who is in war work. They were married about three years ago. Other survivors are six brothers, Charles, John, Harold, Harry, Royall and August Jr., and a sister, Ethel Komrowski. Harry and Harold are twins; Harold is in service in Australia.

George attended Solvay High School. He was 27 and had been in service with the Marines about 18 months.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, September 8, 1943
Two days after Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Kotas, 119 Alice Avenue, Solvay, received his Purple Heart Medal from their son, Pfc. John Kotas, 24, “somewhere in Sicily,” they received a telegram from the War Department with the news that he had been “killed in action in the African area,” Mrs. Kotas said today.

“His Order of the Purple Heart came to us Saturday in a package that we believed was addressed by our son,” said Mrs. Kotas. “It seemed to be in his handwriting.

“Then, on Monday, we received a telegram from the War Department tell us he was killed in action. We don’t want to believe it. We hope it is a mistake. We hope he was only wounded. The telegram said a letter with fuller explanation will follow and we are waiting for the letter to explain it further.”

Mrs. Kotas said a card from her son July 29 listed his whereabouts as “Somewhere in Sicily.” According to the telegram, he died August 5, she said.

“He took part in the African campaign,” Mrs. Kotas added, “and we believe he went to Sicily when it was invaded by the Allies.”

Jack, as young Kotas was known to scores of friends in Solvay, enlisted in the Army January 31, 1941. Earlier he had served in the Civilian Conservation Corps a year and a half. He was born in Solvay and lived there with his family up to the time he entered the Army, attending Solvay High School.

A brother, Raymond C. Kotas, is an Air Cadet in training with the Army at Courtland, Alabama.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, May 2, 1944
Pfc. John Kotash, 35, U. S. Army, city singles champion bowler in 1942, was killed in action at the Anzio beachhead in Italy on March 18, according to War Department information received by his sister, Mrs. Howard Kranz, 346 Belle Isle Road, Solvay.

Mrs. Kranz had received her brother’s last letter early in April, dated March 17, one day before he was killed.

Pfc. Kotash received his infantry training at Fort Meade, Maryland, after being inducted in June, 1942. Sent overseas 15 months ago, he participated in the Tunisian campaign in North Africa and the invasion of Sicily before landing at Anzio.

A graduate of Solvay schools, Kotash was an active athlete in high school. He won the $100 first prize as handicap champion of the Syracuse Herald-American, Herald-Journal Bowling Tournament at the Syracuse Bowling Center in May, 1942.

Besides Mrs. Kranz, Pfc. Kotash is survived by two other sisters, Miss Anna Kotash of Solvay and Mrs. Helen Cherry of Boston, Massachusetts; three brothers, Corp. Walter Kotash of Camp Hann, California; Pfc. Joseph Kotash of Kelly Field, Texas, and Louis Kotash of Solvay.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, April 24, 1945
Corp. Joseph Kotyra, USMCR, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Kotyra, 124 Gere’s Lock, Solvay, was killed in action, according to a War Department announcement today.

Corp. Kotyra died at Iwo Jima; he is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 14, 1944
Mrs. Myrtle Laing of Brewerton, RD-1, has received a War Department telegram advising her that her son, Pfc. Charles E. Laing, was killed in action in Italy November 19.

A letter from his chaplain says he was killed instantly by artillery fire while serving in a radio division of the infantry. He wrote a letter the day before he was killed, saying he had received a Christmas gift of a pen and pencil set from the New York Central system, his employers before he joined the Army in May, 1942.

Pfc. Laing was born in Geneva and attended schools at Seneca Falls and Geneva before coming to Syracuse about 14 years ago and attending school at Solvay. He had been overseas a year, serving in North Africa and Italy.

Beside his mother he leaves a sister, Miss Ella M. Laing; two brothers, Francis W. and Leo T. Laing of Syracuse; a niece and nephew, and his grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Laing of Geneva. His uncles, Frederick Laing of the Seabees and Pvt. Raymond Laing are in service. His father died soon after Pfc. Laing joined the Army.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 15, 1944
Pfc. Charles E. Laing, 24, a son of Mrs. Myrtle Laing of RD-1, Brewerton, was killed in action during the intense fight in Italy November 19.

Mrs. Laing announced the death of her son following receipt of a letter from Captain Anthony F. Wojtecki, regimental chaplain. She had been notified by the War Department December 7.

In his letter to Mrs. Laing, Captain Wojtecki wrote in part:

“It is with the deepest of sorrow that we add to the War Department’s notice to you concerning the death of your beloved son, Pfc. Charles E. Laing.

“We have managed to find out that he was killed in action on November 19, 1944. He was serving as a radio and wire man in his company at the time of the tragic occurrence. He was killed by enemy fire and his death was almost instantaneous. He was buried with military and religious honors in Central Italy.

“Pfc. Laing was well liked and respected by his superior officers and men of his company. He was conscientious and dependable in his work and ever willing to do his part. He attended mass and devotions whenever possible.

“The commanding officer joins with me in an expression of sorrow. May your faith in God enable you to see and abide by His will. I will remember him in my masses and prayers, along with all soldiers who have given their lives so that others might live.”

Pfc. Laing served with an infantry unit. He entered military service May 9, 1942, and trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and at camps in Arizona and California before going overseas in December of last year. He served on foreign soil, first in North Africa and then Italy.

He attended Solvay High School and at the time he left to serve his country was employed as a helper by the New York Central Railroad. He received a Christmas gift from his fellow workers on the railroad the day before his death.

Surviving are his mother; a sister, Miss Ella M. Laing; two brothers, Francis W. and Lee T. Laing; his grandmother, Mrs. Martin Laing of Geneva, and several nieces and nephews. Two uncles are in military service, Frederick Laing, with the Navy’s Seabees, and Raymond Laing, with the Medical Corps in France.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 15, 1944
Pfc. James J. Lawton, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Lawton, 831 State Fair Boulevard, was killed in action in Italy September 17, according to word received by his parents from the War Department.

Pfc. Lawton served with the infantry and had been in the Army since August, 1943. He went overseas in March, 1944. He trained at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma. He was a wearer of the Purple Heart for wounds suffered May 15 in Italy and was in a hospital for a month before returning to combat duty.

Pfc. Lawton attended Lakeland and Solvay schools. Surviving besides his parents are one brother, Sgt. Clarence Lawton Jr., who is serving in France, and three sisters, Mrs. Henry Galante, Misses Betty and Mildred Lawton.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 1, 1944
Lt. Edgar B. Martin Jr., graduate of Solvay High School and a son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar B. Martin Sr., 133 Furman Street, Syracuse, was killed Thursday night when a Liberator bomber crashed six miles west of Boise, Idaho.

Seven other crewmen perished in the crash, while three parachuted to safety, according to Col. John R. Kane, commandant at Gowen Field. The plane crashed at Floating Feather Auxiliary Airport and fire from the burning wreckage destroyed three small planes, two automobiles, a hangar and a storage shed, and started grass fires which burned over 1,000 acres of land. Nine other aircraft were pushed to safety.

Lt. Martin attended Syracuse University prior to his enlistment in the Army Air Corps two years ago. He was commissioned last April and following his graduation was married to Miss Anna Rita Lynn of Solvay, in St. Cecilia’s Church. His wife resided with him in Boise.

Surviving also are two brothers Pvt. Joseph E. Martin of Coral Gables, Florida, and Charles Martin, and three sisters the Misses Marion, Marjorie and Norma Martin.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 27, 1944
With the 28th Infantry Division in Germany — T/5 Leonard J. Mascette, 26, of Solvay, has been awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action against the enemy in France on August 11.

Mascette, radio operator for his battalion commander, was at a forward observation point with his commander when the officer left to lead one of his companies in an advance upon the Nazi positions. In the advance, the battalion commander was seriously wounded.

Suddenly the enemy launched a counterattack toward Mascette’s position. Alone, he ignored the mortar and artillery shells that were bursting near him and, acting as battalion commander, he directed the two remaining companies into position to meet the attack. As a result of his refusal to withdraw from his position even though the enemy was at one time less than 75 yards away, Mascette’s battalion was able to repulse the attack and then make a successful advance.

Mascette’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mascette, live at 333 First Street, Solvay.

Tragically, Mascette was dead by the time the medal was awarded. He had been killed in action on November 8.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 11, 1944
Pfc. John D. P. McChesney, 19, son of Col. Donald N. McChesney and Mrs. McChesney, Orchard Road, Solvay, was killed in action on November 26 while fighting with Gen. Patton’s Third Army in Germany, according to a War Department message received by his maternal grandmother, Mrs. J. D. Pennock of Scarboro Drive, Westvale. She in turn notified the boy’s parents in Orlando, Florida, where Col. McChesney is on duty with the Army Air Force.

Pfc. McChesney was a student at Andover School when he joined the Army a year and a half ago. He went overseas in August. He had attended Pebble Hill School.

 

Morris M. (“Mike”) McGraw was an outstanding track and cross country star for Solvay High School and in 1938 set the Onondaga County League record for the mile (four minutes, 40 seconds) in the annual meet at Griffin Field in Liverpool, won by Solvay for the fourth year in a row. McGraw also anchored the relay team that won the meet. (In 1937 the Solvay relay team set what was then the record — three minutes and 48 seconds; the 1938 team was just four-tenth’s of a second slower.)

McGraw’s younger brother, James W., was also on the track team. In March, 1943, the McGraw brothers and 18 friends who had gone to Solvay High, enlisted in the military. They called themselves “The Montrose Gang,” because they all lived on or near Montrose Avenue. The Syracuse Herald-Journal (March 13, 1943) published a photo of the last seven to leave the city. Unfortunately, that photo is just a black smudge on a computer screen, but I was able to read the names, each of which came complete with a nickname:

Tony “Slivers” Slivinski, John “Ace” Bryan, Robert “Dink” Pearson, Morris “Mike” McGraw, Jim “Mugsy” McGraw, John “Stretch” Henderson and Robert “Blimp” Himpler.

“The Montrose Gang” pretty much went off in separate directions in the service. The last thing I found on Morris McGraw, except for his name being on the list of those Solvay boys who were killed during the World War II, was this item from 1944:

Syracuse Herald-Journal, March 17, 1944
Pvt. Morris M. McGraw and James McGraw, RM 3/c, are sons of Mr. and Mrs. M. W. McGraw of 146 Benham Avenue, serving with the armed forces.

Pvt. McGraw has been transferred to the Air Corps and is attending the University of Florida at Gainesville, Florida, after completing his basic training at Camp Davis, North Carolina.

RM 3/c McGraw was promoted to petty officer third class after completing a course in radio at Bedford Springs Radio School. He is now stationed at Monterey, California.

How, when and where Morris McGraw was killed I have been unable to find. His brother, James, returned home, worked at Carrier, moved to Marcellus, then Florida, and died in 1992. The other five in the photo also returned, I believe, though I can’t account for the rest of “The Montrose Gang” because the newspaper neglected to list the other 13 names in that 1943 article.

 

Pfc. Frank Messere was killed in action in France on February 25, 1945. Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Messere of 103 Sixth Street, he attended Solvay schools and entered service in January, 1942. He trained at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and went overseas in June, 1943, fighting in North Africa, Italy and France.

Besides his parents, he was survived by two sisters, Misses Rose and Marie Messere of Solvay, and four brothers, Lieut. Domenic Messere, in Luxembourg at the time; 1st Sgt. Angelo Messere in England; T/Sgt. Jack Messere in Texas, and Rocco Messere at home.

This was put together from two small items located online.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 18, 1944
Aviation Cadet Anthony W. Milano, 23, son of Mrs. Grace Milano of Camillus, was killed in the crash of an airplane at Minter Field, Bakersfield, California. Mrs. Milano was notified of the death of her son yesterday by a telegram from the commanding officer of the base at which her son was stationed.

When he joined the Army early in 1943, he studied aviation mechanics at the Army Air Forces Technical Training School at Amarillo Army Air Field in Texas. Then he went to the University of Nebraska for a course of Army Air Forces instruction prior to his appointment as an aviation cadet.

Besides his mother, AC Milano is survived by two brothers, Pfc. Joseph Milano of Homestead, Florida, and S/1c Vito Milano overseas; two sisters, Mrs. Louis Flask and Mrs. Anthony Fiorito of Camillus, an uncle and several nieces and nephews.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, November 14, 1944
Lieut. Hilton O. Moore, 29, wounded in action and decorated for gallantry, was killed in action in France in August, according to information received by his mother, Mrs. Ida M. Moore, of 503 Third Street, Solvay.

Lieut. Moore held the Silver Star for gallantry as well as the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster. He entered service January 31, 1941, and had been serving overseas 22 months.

Lieut. Moore was a graduate of Solvay High School and was employed by the Halcomb plant of the Crucible Steel Company of America before entering service.

Besides his mother, Lieut. Moore is survived by a brother, William, serving with the Navy overseas, and a sister.

 

All war is tragic, but there are degrees of tragedy. And the event that claimed the life of Pvt. Vincent Paci and almost 800 other American soldiers was particularly cruel. It happened on Christmas Eve, 1944, when a German submarine torpedoed the Belgian ship SS Leopoldville that was being used by the Allies as a troop carrier across the English channel.

The 2,200 troops aboard were ill-prepared for such a disaster. That more than half of them survived is a bit of a miracle. The incident was considered such an embarrassing blunder that survivors were ordered not to discuss the sinking — not even after they were discharged, under threat of losing their GI benefits.

This is probably why there was no notice of Paci's death in the newspaper. That he was honored in Solvay on that evening in June, 1945, means he must have been a Solvay High School student at one time.

The 1940 census lists Vincent Paci as a 14-year-0ld resident of Syracuse, living with his father, Carmen, and his younger sister, Mary. His mother, Mina, appears in the 1930 census, but died shortly thereafter.

The sinking of the Leopoldville is the subject of the books, "Leopoldville: A Tragedy Too Long Secret," by Allan Andrade, znc "A Night Before Christmas," by Jacquin Sanders, and was a special project for author Clive Cussler, who dedicated his 1986 book, "Cyclops," to the men aboard the troop ship when it went down. At least two television specials have since been done on the tragedy.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, April 20, 1944
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Ensign Carmon F. Pirro, USNR, 207 King Avenue, Solvay, has been awarded the silver medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as officer in charge of a scout boat during an amphibious assault on the west coast of Italy.

Ensign Pirro is listed as missing in action. His wife, Mrs. Evelyn F. Pirro, lives in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Ensign Pirro is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Pirro. He is a former Solvay athlete and was intramural sports director at Catholic University, Washington.

He starred in football and basketball at Solvay and was a member of the varsity football team at Catholic University from 1938 to 1940. He was graduated in 1940. He enlisted in the Navy in October, 1942, and was commissioned in January, 1943, after studying at Notre Dame University. He went overseas in March.

Two brothers, Rocco and John, widely known athletes at Solvay and Catholic University, are also in service with the Navy, Rocco as ensign and John a midshipman.

Eventually Carmon Pirro, whose first name often appears as Carmen, was declared dead, lost at sea during the Allied assault on Anzio.
 

Syracuse Herald-American, February 7, 1943
Pfc. Edward Pucello, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pucello of 104 Trump Street, Solvay, has been resting at a secret place with other Marines removed from Guadalcanal, following occupation of the island by the Army. Pucello was among the first Marines to land on Guadalcanal.

I found no mention in the Herald-Journal or Herald-American of Edward Pucello’s death. He had a younger brother, Joseph, who also served in World War II, and another brother, James, who was only 10 years old when the war ended.

On August 13, 2014, I received this email from someone who succeeded in finding more information:

"I found your website when I was searching for information about Edward Pucello, one of the Solvay boys who was killed in WWII. I had come across his grave stone in St. Agnes' Cemetery, but like you I was at first unable to find out what had happened to him. I kept digging, though, and finally found the muster rolls showing that Eddie had been a machine gunner in the Marines 1st Division. He was killed in action on September 20, 1944 on Peleliu. The grave marker and other records show his first name was actually Eddio. Best wishes, Michele"

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 6, 1943
Seaman Second Class Richard Raymond, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melbourne Raymond of 223 William Street, Solvay, finished basic training at Sampson, enjoyed a seven-day furlough and is now receiving radio technician training at the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station.

In September, 1945, the War Department announced that Richard James Raymond was missing in action. Details continue to elude me, but the status of Aviation Radioman third class Raymond would later be changed to "lost at sea." His spirit is honored and his name inscribed at the Honolulu Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
 

Syracuse Herald-American, May 6, 1945
Corp. George W. Rivette, son of Mr. and Mrs. George F. Rivette of 100 Caroline Avenue, Solvay, was killed in Action April 10 in France, the War Department has advised his parents.

Corp. Rivette, serving with a medical unit, joined the Army before the Pearl Harbor attack and served 10 months on Christmas Island in the South Pacific.

He returned to the United States last year and while at Fort Dix volunteered for overseas duty, going to France last November.

The last letter from him was dated March 31 and arrived with several others.

Corp. Rivette attended Solvay High School and was employed by Crucible Steel Company before joining the Army. Last June, while home on furlough, he became a member of Stanley B. Pennock Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which his father, a World War I veteran, is a charter member.

Besides his parents, he is survived by two brothers, Francis Patrick and Gerard Rivette, and a sister, Mrs. Helen Rivette.

George Rivette entered the Army in late May, 1941. Rivette was an adventurous boy whose behavior while growing up occasionally attracted newspaper attention. His mother died when he was young. His father's remarriage, to attorney Helen McCarthy, connected young George to one of Solvay's most notorious families.
 

Syracuse Herald-American, February 18, 1945
Capt. Carl J. Shetler Jr., 25, formerly of Solvay, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Shetler of Lake Charles, Louisiana, was killed in action in Germany January 14.

Capt. Shetler, an infantryman, had been overseas since last July. He attended Solvay schools and was graduated from Christian Brothers Academy about nine years ago. After moving to Lake Charles he was graduated in 1941 from Louisiana State University and completed one year of law at that school before entering service on June 6, 1942. With four years of ROTC training, he was promoted to the rank of captain seven months after joining the Army.

Besides his parents, he leaves a brother, Pfc. Donald Shetler, now at Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas; his maternal grandmother, Mrs. James Boyle of 114 Patterson Avenue, Syracuse; his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Henry Raucher of Rochester, and several aunts in Syracuse.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 15, 1943
Paul Peter Smorol, 18, of 119 Nelson Street, is believed to have been aboard the submarine Amberjack when that ship was lost in Pacific waters as announced by the Navy Department on Saturday.

Smorol, who enlisted the day following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Smorol. They last heard from him on January 13, at which time he was ashore in Australia. On March 23 they received word from the Navy Department that he was “reported missing.” He was a member of the Amberjack crew.

The Amberjack, a 1,525-ton sub, 307 feet in length, was launched in March, 1942, and carried a complement of 60 men, all of whom are believed lost with the vessel. It was in command of Lieut. Cmdr. John A. Bole Jr. of Wallkill, New York. The Navy at the same time announced the loss of the submarine Grampus with 60 men.

In this letter to his family last January, young Smorol wrote that he was thoroughly enjoying his service in the Australian theater of war. He told of a cruise the Amberjack just completed in which he said the Japanese “must be out of merchant ships. We didn’t sight any, only little boats.”

“But,” he added, “we got depth charged every other day.”

Smorol, a second class fireman on the sub, left Solvay High School the day after the Pearl Harbor attack and enlisted in the Navy at the recruiting office in the Federal Building here. He was sent to New London, Connecticut, for training. He was last home in May, 1942, but only for a weekend.

He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Smorol, whose other children are Sophie, 21, and Barbara Jean, 8. Peter Paul’s 19th birthday is June 29. Mr. Smorol is an employee of Lipe-Rollway, Inc.

Mrs. Smorol said yesterday that her son had told her another Syracusan, by the name of [James Albert] Ranger, also was a member of the Amberjack crew.

Paul Peter Smorol, his shipmates and the Amberjack have never been found.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, January 8, 1945
Surrounded by citations of her husband who paid the supreme sacrifice, Mrs. Pauline Styrzo, 515 East Adams Street, lives among her memories while the five service brothers of the late Pfc. Stephen Styrzo carry on in his cause. They are sons of Mrs. Jennie Styrzo, 103 Gere’s Lock, Solvay.

Pfc. Styrzo, 25, who participated in the D-Day invasion, died of wounds June 11, in France. Hanging on the walls of his young widow’s home are the Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart Citation, and the Gold State Citation, the latter presented by American Legion Post 41. She also has his Purple Heart Medal. Word of her husband’s death reached her July 26.

Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Sosnowski of the East Adams Street address, she married Pfc. Styrzo January 19, 1942, at Dewitt. Inducted February 24, 1942, he trained at five camps before going overseas last January. Prior to entering service he was a Halcomb Steel Company employee.

President Roosevelt’s citation reads: “In grateful memory of Pfc. Stephen Styrzo, who died June 11, 1944, in France. He stands in an unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives, in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men."

Besides his wife and mother, Pfc. Styrzo's survivors included a sister, Miss Jennie Styrzo; a brother at home, Nicholas Stryzo, and five brothers in the service — Sgt. John Styrzo in Italy, Michael Styrzo and Alex Styrzo in the Army, Theodore Styrzo in the Navy, and Walter Styrzo in the Marine Corps.

 

Syracuse Herald-American, October 12, 1944
A solemn high mass of requiem was celebrated this morning for Pvt. Stanley Surowicz in Sacred Heart Church. Pvt. Surowicz was killed in action in Italy on September 18. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Surowicz of 308 Pleasant Beach Road, Lakeland, and husband of Mrs. Grace Bowman Surowicz.

He leaves two brothers, also in service overseas, Sgt. John L. Surowicz and Pfc. Henry J. Surowicz, and four sisters, Mrs. Helen Rozyczko, Mrs. Ann Williams, Miss Martha Surowicz and Miss Marion Surowicz.

He had been a student at Solvay High School. He went overseas in August, 1942, after training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 2, 1945
Marine Pfc.
Eugene Congdon Temple, 19, expert rifleman who finally saw action after many requests for overseas duty, is listed by the Navy as missing in action.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Grant E. Temple of 1003 Third Street, Solvay, were notified he has been missing since May in Okinawa.

At boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina, Temple came within one point of tying the rifle range record. Expecting a quick trip overseas, he faced disappointment when the Marine Corps assigned him as a rifle instructor.

That was shortly after he enlisted in October, 1943, and for the next year he did nothing but instruct — and pester his commanding officer for overseas assignment.

In November, 1944, the Solvay resident and his unit finally took a boat ride to Guadalcanal, where Pfc. Temple ran into a delay when he broke some bones in his foot.

However, he got out of the hospital in time to make the Okinawa invasion with the second wave on the night of April 1.

Communication from the battlefield was often delayed, for a variety of reasons. In this case Pfc. Temple was killed in fighting with the Japanese on Okinawa on May 1, 1945 and was buried a day later.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, May 21, 1944
Corp. John V. Terzolo, 26, serving with a U. S. Army infantry regiment, and son of Mrs. Theresa Terzolo, 212 Caroline Avenue, Solvay, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action near Carcoceto, Italy.

During an enemy counterattack on the night of February 7-8, 1944, wire communications were repeatedly disrupted by enemy artillery fire. Corp. Terzolo patrolled the line throughout the night over a route which was frequently under heavy enemy fire. His efforts made possible the reestablishment and maintenance of essential communications.

A graduate of Solvay High School, he was employed by the Solvay Process Company prior to entering the Army in 1942. He received his basic training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, and has been overseas nine months.

Another brother, Pvt. Edward Terzolo of U. S. Army military police, is stationed at Newport News, Virginia.

Corp. John V. Terzolo was killed in action later that year.
 

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 4, 1945
Overseas only 10 days, Corp. Albert P Tomasetti, 19, is reported missing in action in the Pacific theater. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Tomasetti of 102 William Street, Solvay, he failed to return from a mission on which the entire crew of a B-29 bomber was lost.

Corp. Tomasetti is a graduate of Solvay High School. He was inducted March 21, 1944, and entered the air forces six days later. He attended gunnery school at Panama City, Florida, before going overseas in April.

Besides his parents, Corp. Tomasetti has a sister, Miss Rose N. Tomasetti, and a brother, Mario B. Tomasetti.

The B-29 bomber was rammed by a Japanese kamikaze on April 28, 1945. The entire crew was lost at sea. Bad weather prevented any rescue.
 

Syracuse Herald-American, May 6, 1945
Missing since D-Day, Pfc. Harold Wilbur was killed in action June 14, according to a War Department telegram to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wilbur, 645 State Fair Boulevard, Lakeland.

Pfc. Wilbur enlisted in the Army August 8, 1942. He trained at Camp Wheeler, George, Camp Makall and Fort Benning, Georgia.

He has three brothers in service overseas, Sgt. Thomas E. Wilbur, somewhere in Germany; Pfc. Robert Wilbur in New Guinea, and Pvt. William Wilbur, now in a hospital in England, convalescing from wounds suffered in action.

Also surviving are another brother, Edward, and two sisters, Mrs. John Capp of Lakeland and Mrs. Elmer Mathewson of Syracuse.

 

John J. Zulberti was one of Solvay’s best-known athletes. An item in the Syracuse Herald-Journal, which reported on his death in World War 2, said that one year while Zulberti was at Solvay High School, the basketball and baseball teams combined to win 30 consecutive games.

Zulberti was 30 years old when he joined the Army, entering as a private, quickly advancing to sergeant, then being selected for officers candidate school, after which he was commissioned a second lieutenant before being sent overseas in 1943. He was killed in action in Italy on January 21, 1944.

He was survived by his wife, the former Teresa Capucilli, and a five-month old son, John Jr., he never had a chance to meet.

Six months after his death the War Department announced posthumous award of the Silver Star for gallantry in action.

He also played minor league baseball, turning professional after a few seasons with local semi-pro teams. In 1937 he signed with the Class C Ogdensburg Colts of the Canadian-American League and played 27 games, batting .253. The following year he played 124 games with the Colts and batted .320 with 14 home runs.

Zulberti joined the Montgomery Rebels of the Class B Southeastern League in 1939 and hit .254 in 68 games, then played for the Miami Beach Tigers of the Class D Florida East Coast League in 1940, hitting .275 with nine home runs in 105 games.

Zulberti quit organized baseball after the 1940 season and returned home and played for the Cortland Moose team of the Syracuse Herald-Journal Semi-Pro League. After he entered military service on April 16, 1942, he was assigned to the 1206th Service Unit at Fort Niagara, New York, and played third base under the post baseball team manager Andy Cohen, a former major leaguer.

When he went overseas in 1943 he was with the 141st Infantry Regiment of the 36th "Texas" Infantry Division in Italy. He was killed while his unit was trying to establish a bridgehead across the Rapido River against fierce German resistance in what became known as the Battle of Bloody River, a disaster in which 143 Americans were lost.

 
Those who served during World War 2
 
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For another look at Solvay way back when,
check out the
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