In April, Nazi Germany fell, then four months later Japan surrendered and the curtain fell on World War 2.

September 3: Solvay was well represented yesterday aboard ships in Tokyo Bay where the Japanese surrender was signed.

Aboard the USS Missouri, scene of the official surrender, was S 1/c Stanley J. Barnell, 2357 Milton Avenue, Solvay.

Aboard the USS Shangri-la, an aircraft carrier of the Pacific fleet completing the first stages of the occupation of Japan, was EM 3/c Raymond Pirro Jr., 204 First Street, Solvay.

Aboard the USS Alabama, battleship of the Pacific fleet, was S 2/c Frank Jerome, 414 Abell Avenue, Solvay.

Degan re-elected as Republicans sweep
Mayor John J. Degan, Republican of Solvay, led a Republican sweep in the village election on March 21. Degan defeated Stanley Major, Democrat, 1,653 to 862. Daniel F. Mathews, Republican, was elected police justice, 1,575 votes to 907 for Howard Johnson.

Republican elected trustees were George Bome, first ward; Stanley Duda, second ward, and Roscoe M. Bourlier, third ward, who defeated Democrats Laurence Spencer, Joseph Chesneski and C. Jay Darrow.

(Four years later Major would turn tables on Degan, and Mathews also would lose to his Democratic opponent, Donald Salvetti.)

Syracuse Herald-Journal, November 16
Fire damages bowling alley

Fire raged for two hours early today before it was brought under control at the Solvay Recreation Bowling Alley, 1737 Milton Avenue, Solvay, which was badly damaged.

The fire broke out shortly before 4 a.m. in the rear of the long, one-story brick building which extends back from Milton Avenue to William Street. All Solvay Fire Department truck companies, including Tanner, Prospect and Mountain Top answered the alarm. Most of them left the scene at 7 a.m., but a detail was left there until 9:30 a.m.

The blaze is believed to have originated in a storeroom containing bowling pins. Six bowling alleys were badly damaged. First assistant Fire Chief C. J. Darrow and second assistant James Costigan were in charge of the fire fighters.

The building and business are owned by Leonard M. Capucilli, 420 Fay Road, and Daniel Zollo, 917 Milton Avenue.

Flu epidemic hits Solvay High
What was described as a mild influenza epidemic swept into Central New York. Nearly 4,000 students were absent in the city of Syracuse on December 6. Hardest hit county school was Solvay High School where 260 pupils, a third of its enrollment, missed school on a single day.

Solvay Process

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 13
A strike begins . . .

“The Army is not interfering in the Solvay Process strike, it is not trying to arbitrate or conciliate the two parties,” said Col. Louis C. Freeman Jr. this morning. Col. Freeman is executive officer of District 3, Second Service Command.

The Army did enter the picture last night when it took part in a meeting of labor union and management officials at which 22 men were released from the strike to take part in work considered vital by the Army, Freeman revealed.

As a result of the Solvay strike, operations at the Semet-Solvay plant, an affiliate of the company, have been held up.

The 22 men were released from the strike in a free agreement between the company and union officials so that tank cars containing essential oil could be moved to Semet-Solvay. The oil is used in production of a vital ammunition.

Workers at Solvay Process are represented by Local 12,457, United Mine Workers of America, District 50. The strike became effective at midnight Wednesday after 1,159 workers voted to walk out. Opposed were 116.

The company’s 1944-45 contract expired June 13, but had been extended through Wednesday to permit notice to expire in accordance with the Smith-Connally Act.

Yesterday at 4 p.m. a work crew prepared the plant for the shutdown.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 16
. . . and ends

Employees of Solvay Process Company were back on the job this morning after a strike lasting three and a half days.

At a mass meeting yesterday afternoon in the Polish Community Home, Park Avenue, 1,400 employed voted to discontinue the strike. Reportedly, however, the vote was not unanimous.

Official word of the end of the strike was given by Earl Moran, president of Local 12,457, United Mine Workers of America, District 50. But Moran refused to discuss under what terms the workers were returning to their work.

In addition, union officials would neither confirm nor deny negotiations will continue now that members are back on the job. Yesterday’s meeting climaxed two all-night sessions at which labor and management reportedly failed to reach complete agreement. As a result, yesterday’s announcement of the strike’s end came unexpectedly.

The two all-night sessions Thursday and Friday were held in the State Tower Building office of the plant’s attorney. During these conferences Army officers were present at all times. However, the Army emphasized its only concern was speedy resumption of the production of war material.

Principal issues at stake in the strike, according to the union, were a $25 bonus and changes in the contract in regard to presidential directives. Moran refused to say whether or not the union’s demands were met. He was quick to point out, however, the “fine behavior” of the strikers during the walkout.


Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 4
Emotional homecoming for veterans
No wonder Capt. Henry A. Brostek and Sgt. Frank Brostek felt like crying when they saw the shores of the United States after many adventures and pretty tough times fighting the Germans and the Japanese.

Sgt. Frank had a wonderful feast on Christmas Day in the Ardennes offensive. He had one chocolate bar that had to last all day. That beat any rationing back home.

And passing some 14 hours in a foxhole, unarmed and with a German officer above him shouting orders to his troops wasn’t just exactly fun.

Not to mention being hit with shrapnel twice or Sgt. Frank’s anticipated bath in a “beautiful bathtub.” He was disappointed about that bath. He found the tub in a house but was too tired to bathe. He planned to get into the tub in the morning, but when dawn arrived the house had been blown to bits. No bath.

“I’ve seen a lot of sights,” said Sgt. Frank, “ but the greatest was the lights of Coney Island when our ship came in. I was on the verge of crying.”

“I felt the same way at San Francisco,” said Capt. Henry.

The two brothers are having a reunion the first time in three and one-half years. Frank has been in Europe and Henry, a Marine Air Corps officer, has been in the Pacific. Three other brothers are in service — Sgt. Joseph Brostek in the Army Air Corps in Georgia, Anthony Brostek with the Army in the Pacific and Corp. William Brostek with the Marines in the Pacific.

A brother-in-law, S/Sgt. Don Brown, has been a gunner on a B-17 in Europe.

The brothers are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Brostek of 1204 Woods Road, Solvay. The captain said his greatest ambition is to meet all his brothers again. But he’d also “like to be over Japan when we get all our forces over there.” He thinks it will take a year and a half to beat Japan completely.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, June 7
Szczech reunion in Hawaii

Alexander J. Szczech of the Navy, home on 30 days’ leave, was able to bring direct word from two of his brothers, but the third he missed.

En route home from the Philippines, where he has been serving as a gunner’s mate on a PT boat, he stopped off at Pearl Harbor for a short reunion with his brothers, Edward, chief yeoman, and Joe, a boatswain’s mate, second class, whom he hadn’t seen since they joined the service. Edward has been in the Navy five years and Joe, two.

The fourth Navy brother, John, who had been stationed at Pearl Harbor, preceded him home on leave and left home within a week of Al’s arrival. However, he got a chance to talk to him by telephone in San Francisco.

The brothers are sons of Mr and Mrs. John Szczech of 112 Abell Avenue, Solvay. Except for Joe, who suffered a slight arm injury in the Normandy invasion, none of the brothers had been hurt in the Navy. However, their older brother, Ben, a civilian, lost an arm two years ago in an industrial accident.

“Jap suicide planes are bad medicine,” said Al, who took part in the New Guinea campaign and the invasion of Leyte and Mindoro Islands in the Philippines.

During the invasion of Mindoro, the Yanks had only PT boats and planes to hold off the Jap fleet. His squadron got 47 planes.

Al, former three-letter athlete at Solvay High School, has been in the Navy since December, 1942, always with PT boats, first in Panama, then in Alaska and the Aleutians and more recently in the Southwest Pacific. Before entering service he was an expediter for the Halcomb Steel Company.

He is spending his leave with his wife and two-year-old daughter at 118 Freeman Avenue, Solvay.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 7
No more boxing for Woyciesjes

Declaring his fighting days in the ring are over, but that he is ready for active Marine duty, Second Lieutenant Rico Woyciesjes is enjoying a reunion with parents and his brother, Captain Michael Woyciesjes of the Army Air Force, at their Gere’s Lock home near Solvay.

Three-time Eastern Intercollegiate 175-pound boxing champion of Syracuse University, and a national finalist, Second Lieutenant Woyciesjes, on a weekend pass from Quantico, Virginia, says he plans to marry in a few months, later to settle down, and teach high school science after the war.

His brother, 23, a southpaw boxer who is now on an inactive status, after having flown 69,300 miles as a bombardier in the Pacific, will be discharged later this month. He will enter Syracuse University as a freshman where he will box when the ring sport is resumed on the Hill. Capt. Michael is seven years Rico’s junior. He also weighs about 175.

Second Lieutenant Woyciesjes was commissioned last November at Quantico after serving 26 months as an amphibious scout in the Pacific. He met his brother over seas, but yesterday was their first reunion in a long time with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Woyciesjes of Gere’s Lock.

Rico is a drill and command instructor at Quantico, and proudly saw 30 men in his group commissioned recently.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 31
From Stalag 7-A to Sam's Place
Eleven young officers, ten from Syracuse, had reason to celebrate their first reunion Monday since their return to the United States. They were last together at Stalag 7-A prisoner of war camp at Mooseburg, Germany.

They returnees were feted at Sam’s Place, Solvay, by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Gettino, father and mother of Lieut. Nick Gettino, who arranged the party while a prisoner of war at Sagan, Germany — just one year ago.

Lieut. Gettino's fellow POWs in attendance at the reunion were 2d Lieut. Fay Bailey; 2d Lieut. Gene Bianco; 2d Lieut. Frank Bigelow; Lieut. Robert Buckley; 2d Lieut. Robert Dettor; 2d Lieut. Edward Gorman; 2d Lieut. Irving Hunt; F/O Joseph Lojewski; F/O Charles Lunberg, and 2d Lieut. John Nozynski.

Most were members of the fame 15th and Eighth Air Forces. They went down over Muenster, Frankfurt, Berlin, Northern Italy, Sicily, France and other bombing targets. One member of the party, Lieut. Robert Dettor, was an infantry office captured during the Battle of the Bulge.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, September 1
Solvay Navy nurse marries
Ensign Edith T. Mancabelli, USNNCR, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carol Mancabelli of 229 Lamont Avenue, Solvay, was married to Lieut. (jg) John N. Obermier Jr., USN, son of Mr, and Mrs, John N, Obermier of Buffalo, recently in Sacred Heart Church, San Diego, California.

Mrs. Obermier, alumna of the School of Nursing, St. Catherine's Hospital, Brooklyn, took extension courses in the Children's Hospital, Detroit, and at Fordham and Syracuse Universities. Before enlisting in July, 1944, she was supervisor in the pediatrics ward in Crouse Irving Hospital, Syracuse. She is now in the Naval Air Base, North Island, San Diego. Her husband, in service for eight years, three in the South Pacific, is stationed in San Pedro, California.

Syracuse Herald-Journal, December 12
Wounded in Germany — playing football

The war is over, but Corp. James Sullivan, former football, basketball and baseball player, and a 100-yard dash runner at Solvay High School, was injured in Germany on October 13 — while playing football for the 28th Infantry in (of all places) Hitler Stadium at Nuremberg. He is now recovering in a hospital at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, waiting for a cast to be removed from his hip.

Corp. Sullivan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Neil Sullivan of 303 Center Street, Solvay. He plans to enter college, probably Syracuse University, after his Army discharge, and his main concern is whether he'll be able to play football again.

Basil "Blase" Valletta, Solvay police chief, was notified November 29 that he'd be attending the 12-week session of the National Police Academy in Washington, D.C., starting January 7, 1946.

Born in Gouverneur in 1895, Chief Valletta came to Solvay to live as a youngster. He served in World War I with the 306th Regiment of the 77th Division and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He joined the Solvay police force in 1922 and became chief in 1944. His home is at 403 Cogswell Avenue.

Solvay volunteer fireman Gerald Blair, a Syracuse welder, saved a Chittenango garageman, Warren Bender, from severe burns December 5 in Oneida when he happened along with a truck equipped with a fire extinguisher.

Bender was thawing out a gasoline line under a moving van when gasoline vapors exploded. His brother-in-law, Seward Bloss, using his coat, attempted to smother the flames in Bender’s clothing. Blair came along, his coat onto Bender and used the extinguisher from his truck to put out the fire.

Bender was treated for burns on the legs, feet and hands, and Blair continued on to Sherrill to work on a job.

Louise Moreira and Patricia Laubacher were valedictorian and salutatorian of Solvay High's June graduating class.

Miss Moreira was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albano Moreira of 321 Seventh Street, Solvay. She maintained an average of 94.4 for the school year. Miss Laubacher was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Laubacher of RD-1 Camillus. her average for the year is 93.6.

Graduation exercises were held June 23 in the school auditorium. There were 102 graduates.


Syracuse Herald-American, April 1
Luck that guided Lieut. Pat Campolieto, 24, of 201 Chemung Street, on 50 bombing missions over Nazi territory, failed yesterday as he died in Onondaga General Hospital.

The youthful bombardier and athlete succumbed at 4:08 p.m. of injuries suffered early Wednesday in an automobile crash at West Genesee Street and Charles Avenue, Solvay.

Physicians at the hospital had doubted that he could recover after examination revealed he suffered fractures of both legs, internal injuries, concussion and shock.

Two other men riding in the car with him, both veteran of many air battles over Europe, are recuperating in hospitals.

Sgt. Anthony Lizzi, 25, of 409 Chemung Street, wounded tail gunner on a Flying Fortress, was transferred from Onondaga General Hospital to Rhodes General Hospital in Utica yesterday. He has several rib fractures, lacerations about the head and suffered from shock.

Joseph Marshall, 22, of 217 Freeman Avenue, Solvay, owner of the car, is in Onondaga General Hospital for treatment of a broken right arm and cuts about the leg and left hand.

Marshall is a discharged veteran of the 19th Air Force. He held the rank of sergeant and was a gunner on a Flying Fortress. He was honorably discharged last December after completing numerous missions over Germany.

The sedan in which the three men were riding crashed broadside into a tractor truck that was being backed across the highway. It was operated by Miles Canino, 34, of 26 Salina Street, Baldwinsville.

Lieut. Campolieto returned to the United States last October 12. At Vocational High School he starred in football, basketball and baseball and played football and boxed at Morrisville Junior College. He left college in 1942 to enter military service.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pasquale Campolieto; two brothers, Sgt. Michael in India, and Joseph; four sisters, the Misses Jennie, Antoinette and Gilda Campolieto, and Mrs. Nicholas DeCarlo; a nephew, an aunt and three uncles.

Francis M. Gleason, 48, of 314 Charles Avenue, Solvay, comptroller for the town of Geddes, died January 19 at St. Joseph Hospital where he had been a patient since November. Born November 7, 1896, the son of Matthias and Bertha O’Brien Gleason, he was a life resident of Solvay.

He served as a Republican committeeman in the first district of the Town of Geddes for 15 years and one term as tax collector before becoming comptroller 10 years ago. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Clothilda Scharoun Gleason; his father, Matthais Gleason, an a sister, Mrs. John McDowell.

James J. Ryan, 35, New York City fireman, formerly of Solvay, was killed in a store fire February 16. A rescue squad recovered his body from deep water that had accumulated in the basement of the store. Twenty-seven other firemen were overcome by smoke. Mr. Ryan’s father, William L. Ryan of 207 Center Street, Solvay, was notified.

Mr. Ryan joined the Manhattan fire department in 1936. Besides his father, he is survived by his wife, Mrs. Eleanor Buckley Ryan; two daughters, Eleanor and Carol; two brothers, John W. and Philip E. Ryan of Solvay, and a sister, Miss Catherine Ryan of Solvay.

Andrew Francimone, who for the past 26 years operated a restaurant at 2243 Milton Avenue, Solvay, died June 8 at Syracuse General Hospital after a brief illness. He had been a resident of Solvay for 34 years and was a veteran of World War I. He lived at 101 King Avenue, Solvay. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Mary Francimone; two brothers, Charles and Joseph Francimone; a sister, Mrs. Frances Mongato of Italy, and several nieces and nephews.

Placido A. Balduzzi, 58, of 215 Caroline Avenue, Solvay, died August 4at his home after a long illness. Balduzzi resided in Solvay for 43 years. For five years he operated Archie’s Restaurant and Grill at 1625 Milton Avenue. Previous to that he had been employed for 10 years as an agent for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and for 12 years by the Solvay Process Company.

He was founder and bandmaster of the Solvay Tyrol band since its organization in 1914. He was also a member of the Franz Josef Society, International Society and Solvay Tyrol Club.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Erminia Maestri Balduzzi; a daughter, Miss Margaret Balduzzi; two sons, Corp. Guido Balduzzi, who is flying home from Burma to attend the funeral, and Sgt. Harry Balduzzi, who recently arrived home from Camp Lee, Virginia, after serving the European Theater of Operations, and two grandsons.

John M. Peiffer of 402 South Orchard Road, town of Geddes, died November 24 at his home. He had been employed as a foreman by Semet-Solvay for 30 years. He was one of the organizers of Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Westvale. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Irene Sloan Peiffer; two daughters, Miss Janet Peiffer and Miss Rita Peiffer; two sons, Pfc. Robert O. Peiffer, Camp Dix, New Jersey, and First Lieut. John M. Peiffer of Belgium.


Solvay and arch rival Camillus wound up tied for first place in the Western Division of the Onondaga County Basketball League. Each team had one loss — to each other. A third game never happened because Solvay was upset by Skaneateles in the playoffs.

Solvay, on the strength of its regular season record advanced into the Section III playoffs, but lost to Fayetteville, 27-25, in the semi-final round.

Highlight of the season was a March 2 victory over Camillus, a team that would go on to win the Section III title against much bigger schools, including previously unbeaten New Hartford in the championship game.

Other players for Solvay that season were Mike Gasapo, Casper Mozo, Lamiarski, Phil Zollo, Manuel Garcia, Nicolini, Baichi, Doran, Ed Alexander and George Kinder.

Solvay repeated as champion of the Onondaga County Baseball League, beating North Syracuse, 1-0, at Liverpool's Griffin Field. The only run of the game was scored by Manuel Holgado. Manuel Garcia was the winning pitcher.

It's not often a team can point to a scoreless tie as the highlight of a football season, but it was for Solvay in 1945. The opponent was undefeated Fayetteville, the eventual Onondaga County League champion. Solvay had already lost a game, to North Syracuse, and was held to another scoreless tie, against Liverpool, which put the Bearcats out of the running.

Solvay's victories came against Baldwinsville, 12-6; against Marcellus, 27-0, and Skaneateles, 18-0. So a team that surrendered only 12 points in their six games wound up in third place.

When the Syracuse Herald-American All-County honors were announced on November 12, two Solvay players made the first team — guard Pat Piecham and end Rinaldo Mossotti. Chosen to the second team were tackle Horace Pettit and fullback George Kinder. Center Matt Grabowsky was given honorable mention.

Solvay opened its 1945-46 basketball season by trouncing Split Rock, 38-14. Solvay's roster included Casper Mozo, Ed Alexander, Mike Gasapo, Phil Zollo, George Kinder, Duprey, Beachem, Jerome, Ruth, Libra, Rinaldo Mossotti.

Items are from stories in the Syracuse Herald-Journal
and its Sunday edition, the Herald-American.
For more on Solvay way back when, check out
the Solvay-Geddes Historical Society