Pride and Patriotism: Stamford’s Role in World War II

The Stamford Historical Society Presents

Pride and Patriotism: Stamford’s Role in World War II
Mort Walker, Honorary Chairman
May 2006 through June 2007

This exhibit is made possible
through the generous support of:
The F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company
Connecticut Light & Power
Gen Re Global Reinsurance
Xerox Corporation
The Advocate/Greenwich Time
Creative Framing & Gallery
Jane C. FloundersFurther AcknowledgementsThe society will expand the World War II exhibit’s archives and oral history program as long as veterans are interested in participating. Those who want to share their memories can call the society at or e-mail to to history@stamfordhistory.org

Online Edition

Introduction & Acknowledgements
by Thomas A. Zoubek, Ph.D., Executive Director, Stamford Historical Society

When the Second World War started, Stamford was a community of 60,000 people from a variety of different backgrounds and ethnicities. Stamford itself had become a manufacturing community dominated by the major firms of Yale & Towne, Pitney-Bowes, Machlett Laboratories, American Cyanamid, and Luders Marine Construction, to mention but a few. With the coming of the war some 10,000 Stamfordites were enlisted in various branches of service, while others worked on the homefront to support the war. Local firms converted their factory works for the production of implements, machines, and ships needed for the war effort.

While it is impossible to tell the entire story of the war, this exhibit is dedicated to illustrating and honoring those men and women who contributed to the winning of the war, both at home and in the field. Their contributions helped secure the future of not only this nation, but also that of many others across the world, and for this they deserve our everlasting gratitude.

“Pride and Patriotism: Stamford’s Role in World War II” takes visitors to the frontlines and along the home front in Stamford. The most recent Society exhibit, Portrait of a Family: Stamford through the Legacy of the Davenports, sought to illustrate the history of Stamford through the efforts of one family; in a similar way, this exhibit tells the story of Stamford’s experience during World War II through the lives of individuals who participated abroad as well as in the war effort at home. The individual experiences give exhibit viewers a more personal, intimate experience and appreciation of how the war affected people’s lives directly.

The exhibit includes exclusive, first-person accounts from veterans who are Stamford residents. There are representatives from all branches of the services as well as women’s divisions: the WACS and the WAVES. Stamford veterans were found in all the theaters of the war.

In addition, “Pride and Patriotism” uses loaned weapons, uniforms, photographs, and artifacts to tell veterans’ stories. Loaned or society-owned items and objects trace the central role that local companies played in war efforts and reflect daily home-front life.

A poster gallery, drawn from the Society’s World War II-era collection, offers visitors a snapshot of the U.S. Government’s efforts to attract and encourage public support for the money, material resources, labor, and day-to-day sacrifices needed for a successful war effort.

Syndicated cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of “Beetle Bailey”and other popular comic strips, is honorary chair of the exhibit. We are grateful for his permission to reproduce images from his 1945/46 scrapbook for both the exhibit and this online version, in addition to the loan of other artifacts. He also drew the “Kilroy was here” cartoon for us which is shown on all pages. Mr. Walker was the keynote speaker on opening-day.

The online version of the exhibit strives to present not only the veterans’ stories beyond the excerpts shown in the galleries, but also to display images of objects they lent us for the exhibit – or in some cases donated to the Society – as well as their photos. The battle pages include links to related Internet sites for the more curious. We have added several interviews and biographies, relevant to displays and other references in the exhibit, from the book “An American Town Goes To War” by Tony Pavia, 1995, with the author’s kind permission.

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Stamford’s men served in every branch of the services: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Corps, and Coast Guard. Women from Stamford also participated in non-combat support roles through the WAVES and WAACS/WACS. Stamford’s troops served in both theatres of the war. Veterans whose stories appear in the gallery witnessed Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the battles of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, of the Bulge, and more. Their stories provide a more personal and poignant view of the Second World War.

The Attack at Pearl Harbor

Europe

While Germany was the ultimate target of the campaign in the west, the decision to invade Europe was postponed despite Stalin’s continued pressing for the opening of a second front in Europe. The decision was made to first strike in Africa, where it was believed the French would quickly turn to the Allied side. This was followed by the invasion of Italy. Churchill argued that an invasion from the south could strike as far as Vienna, bringing a quick close to the war and keeping Soviet forces from seizing control of much of Europe. In 1944, however, the American High Command, which had always been committed to opening a second front in France, from the Channel side, initiated Operation Overlord, the Normandy Invasion, which began the drive to Berlin.

Operation Torch and the Invasion of North Africa
The Battle of Normandy
The Battle of the Bulge
Not yet included
The Invasion of Sicily
The Battles of Anzio, Monte Cassino, and the Gothic Line

The Pacific

In March 1942 the Joints Chiefs of Staff established two U.S. military commands for the Pacific campaign. The Southwest Pacific Area was to be headed by General Douglas MacArthur and was to focus of driving the Japanese out of the Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea and ultimately the Philippines. The Central Pacific Ocean Area was to be under the command of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and was to be a campaign of island hopping, starting in the Gilbert Islands and ultimately ending in the Ryukyuk Islands, south of Japan, at Okinawa. This campaign of island hopping also provided bases for B-29s to strike at the Japanese heartland, culminating in the dropping of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Battle of the Aleutian Islands
The Battle of Angaur
The Battle of Eniwetok
The Battle of Guadalcanal
The Battle of Guam
The Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Kwajalein
The Battle of Leyte
The Battle of Luzon
The Battle of Makin
The Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Peleliu
The Battle of Saipan
The Battle of Tarawa
The Battle of Tinian

WWII Maps from Center for Military History Brochures

The Veterans

Joe Aiello
Robert Arata
Eleanor Brinckerhoff
Robert Brinckerhoff
Mike Bocuzzi
Daniel Burke
Chester Buttery
Peter Canzano
George Cartsounis
Albert Celotto
Joseph Celotto
Ralph Celotto
Ralph Chamberlain
Leonard Cohn
DiPreta Brothers
Tony DiPreta
Edward Domagala
Claire Doyle
Leon Dzilinski
Dodge Fielding
Flavio Fogio
Myles Fox
Rodney Gibson
Jack Golden
Ted Guzda
Thomas Hanley
Sam Ichiba
Jane Buckley Jackson
Lew Jackson
Mort Johnson
Pobie Johnston

William Kesnick
Stanley Kaslikowski
Edward Korn
Edmund Kulka
Joseph Kulka
Raymond Kulka
Elwood Lichack
Phil Lodato
Robert MacDonald
Ruth Maurer-Miller
Thomas Meehan
Cortland Mehl
George Mrus
Nathan Norkin
Jack Palmer
Joseph Principe
Roger Preu
Ben Reed
George Reiss
Julian Reitman
Dan Roberts
Bob Rodwin
William Rudman
Irving Slifkin
Mort Walker
Murray Weingrad
Walter Wheeler
Frank ZurzolaSoldiers’ photos from
the Society’s archives

 

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Stamford Service Rolls
Memorial-Plaza-c
National World War II Memorial

The Homefront

album3page8wOpening Day
Poster Gallery
Exhibit Photos
WWII Military Vehicles (2006 Antique Car Event)


Acknowledgements

The Stamford Historical Society would like to acknowledge the following, without whose support this exhibit would not have been possible:

Corporate Supporters
The F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company
Connecticut Light & Power
Gen Re Global Reinsurance
Xerox Corporation Local Businesses
Creative Framing & Gallery
The Advocate/Greenwich Time
Other
Jane C. Flounders Institutional Loans to the Exhibit
The American Red Cross, Stamford Chapter
The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich
The Fairfield Museum and History Center
The New Canaan Historical Society
The Connecticut State Library

Honorary Chairman & Opening Event Speaker
Mort Walker

Curators
Ron Marcus – Stamford’s Homefront in World War II
Dr. Thomas A. Zoubek – Stamford’s Troops in the Field

Exhibit Committee and Volunteers

Grace Bounty
Margaret Bowen
Laurel Cooley
Adele Domagala
Suzanne Emmens
Jane Flounders
Irma Geher
Irene Hahn
Dave Kush
Ron Marcus
Cort Mehl
Haideh Molavi
Jennifer Peters
Andi Principe
Bob Rodwin
Greg Serafina
Claudia Steers
Stuart Webster
Dr. Thomas A. Zoubek
Frank Zurzola

The Society would especially like to thank those veterans who were generous in their donations of time and loans of material to the Society

Robert Arata
Eleanor Brinkerhoff
Peter Canzano
George Cartsounis
Ralph Chamberlain
Leonard Cohn
James Fox
Rodney Gibson
Ted Guzda
Lewis Jackson
Jane Buckley Jackson
Morton Johnson
Pobie Johnston
William Kesnick
Edward Korn
Elwood Lichak
Robert McDonald
Cort Mehl
(for his father Cortland Mehl)
Nathan Norkin
Jack Palmer
Roger Preu
Benjamin Reed
George ReissJulian Reitman
Dan Roberts
Bob Rodwin
William Rudman
James Santangelo
Irving Slifkin
Mort Walker
Murray Weingrad
Walter Wheeler
Frank Zurzola
Thanks to Dan Burke and Dan Hanley for their loan of photographic material on their fathers and other Stamford relatives.

The Society would also like to acknowledge the support of the following organizations in helping to put the exhibit together

kilroywThe American Foreign Legion
The Jewish War Veterans
The Marine Association
The Stamford Senior Mens Association
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Springdale Post

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