Monday, July 13, 2015

Corp. George Ralph Quessy

George R. Quessy was born on Christmas Eve 1896 in West Chelmsford the youngest child of John J. and Effie B. (Clement) Quessy. He grew up on Main Street and attended Chelmsford schools. He became a farmer.

 Photo credit: Boston Public Library

He enlisted in the U.S. Army April 16, 1917 and reported for duty July 25th, was mustered in August 7th and sailed overseas on September 22, 1917. He was a member of New England's famed Yankee Division as was his older brother Randall H. Quessy.

He was wounded in the Argonne forest on October 30, 1918 and died on November 1, 1918. He left his brother, a sister Hilda and his parents. He is buried in the family lot in West Chelmsford Cemetery. The distinctive Yankee Division symbol is on his gravestone.

In 1922 the West Chelmsford  School was renamed the Quessy School in his honor. It was demolished in 1980. A monument in his honor stands at the small circle at the intersection of Main and School Streets. His name is also on the monument at Vinal Square in North Chelmsford center.

We thank George Quessy and his family for his sacrifice. And we remember.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lieut. James Scondras - We Remember

Lieut. James Scondras was born in Lowell to Greek immigrants Peter (Spiros or Speros) and Katina (Ivos) Scondras. They raised their family at 287 Dutton Street across the street from Lowell National Park's parking lot. His dad owned the De Lux Cafe on Merrimack street. Jimmy or "The Chief" was one of nine children and one of the best athletes the city has ever seen.

He graduated from Lowell High School in 1937, one year at St. John's Prep in Danvers and graduated from Holy Cross in 1943. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp Reserves. He was killed in action on Iwo Jima on February 1945 at the age of 25. He was awarded the Silver Star for his previous action in Guam when he wiped out a Japanese machine gun nest with an expert toss of a grenade.

His brother David was killed in action in France in November of 1944. In March of 1949 the bodies of James, David and their first cousin Costos Ivos who was shot down over Germany were returned to Lowell for burial in the Westlawn Cemetery.

James P. Scondras in in the Lowell High School Athletic Hall of Fame,The Holy Cross Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Rogers School Gymnasium is named in his honor.

Please remember the sacrifice that the Scondras & Ivos families gave for our freedom.

This concludes my series on Greater Lowell Iwo Jima heroes who died over seventy years ago. It was my honor to remember them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Seaman 1-C Howard R. Patrie - USN - We Remember

Howard R. Patrie was the son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Matilda Drougue) Patrie of 179 Hale Street in Lowell. His father was a veteran of the Great War. He was a communicant of St. Peter's parish on Gorham Street. He was the youngest of nine children and had attended the Linoln and Butler schools.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age seventeen. Last his parents heard he aboard an aircraft carrier. He was killed during the invasion of Iwo Jima on March 19, 1945. He was buried at sea. He was only 19 years old.

He is the only Lowell service member killed on Iwo Jima that was not a U.S. Marine. Please remember young Seaman Howard Patrie and his sacrifice.