Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Night Before Christmas in the English Channel in 1944

The big push in World War II against the Germans was at a fever pitch. Troops were being transported across the English Channel to replenish the troops at the Battle of the Bulge. Hastily and without proper documentation the 66th Infantry boarded the SS Leopoldville in the middle of the night and headed for Cherbourg France. The Belgium ship was overcrowded, didn't have enough life boats and no safety drills.

On board were over 2,235 soldiers rushing to the front. By the end of the night, over 800 would be dead. Including PFC Joseph P Miscone from North Billerica, Tec4 Ernest D Valle and PFC Russell E Wintle of Lowell, Ma. By the end of the night they would be dead. The US Army refused to tell the American people what happened until 1996. Over 50 years after until the files were released. They were all listed as MIA or KIA with little facts.

One half of the Normandy MIA memorials are those of those that died on the SS Leopoldville. Including our local guys. 

Joseph P Miscone of North Billerica


Ernest D Vallee of Lowell


PFC Russell E Wintle of Lowell


We will never forget what sacrifices have been made for us. Rest in peace.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Pvt. John Herbert Ryan - Finally at Rest in 2020


John Herbert Ryan, the son of William and Ellen (Shay) Ryan,  was born in Lowell on November 24, 1893. His parents died when he was young and he was raised by his extended family, John & Mary Ryan of Lowell and Mrs. Mary Tighe of Brockton. He attended school in Lowell and Brockton.

In Brockton he was an employee of George E. Keith Co., a communicant of St. Margaret's Church and a member of the Boot and Shoemaker's Union.

He enlisted in the US Army May 27, 1917 and sailed to France on the ship FINLAND on the 7th of August 1917. He was a member of the Headquarters Co 1st Engineers 1st Division.

He died in France of meningitis on February 25, 1918. After the war his body was returned for burial in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on July 28, 1921.

While searching for his burial location several years ago, I noticed that his stone was incorrect. It had the wrong spelling and middle initial. I reported it to the cemetery and last year they replaced it. Even though it's over 100 years later I'm glad his grave is marked correctly. If you visit Arlington National Cemetery he is in Section 18, Grave 2986.

Rest in peace Pvt. John H Ryan. We will never forget. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

75 Years Remembering the Battle of the Bulge

Seventy five years ago the Battle of the Bulge was fought against Germany from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945 in the Ardennes region. It was the deadliest battle in World War II.

During World War II, 562 men from Greater Lowell lost their lives while serving in the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps. During the Battle of the Bulge 15 men from Lowell and one man from Westford were killed in action while serving in the US Army. We must remember their names and their sacrifice.

Greater Lowell's Battle of the Bulge Honor Roll

Pvt George L Baxter
Pvt Gerald J Bellegarde
T5C Leo R Cote
Pfc Ernest De Camp
SSgt Paul A Ekengren
Pvt Peter E Gregoire
Sgt John J Hurley
Pvt John C Lebednick
Pvt Paul R Lemire
Pfc William J McCarthy
Sgt Vincent R McLean
Pvt James P Smith
Pvt William J Sobolewski
Pfc Charles R Taylor
Pfc Paul S Woods

Pvt Hubert E Bolyea

Seven of these men are buried in Belgium. They never came home. Below is a link to a virtual cemetery on Find a Grave listing where each man is buried.


T5C Leo R Cote 
Courtesy of Find A Grave
The above photo is the grave marker of T5C Leo R Cote in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. He was killed in action on Christmas Eve in 1944 while serving in the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 80th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. He was 22 years old. After his death in combat he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Leo Cote was a truck driver before the war for his father's moving company -  Cote Brother's Moving Company. He lived at the corner of Cabot and  Moody Streets with his parents Thomas and Marie (April) Cote. He was survived by his sisters Irene (Lacerte) and Yvette (Goyette) and his brothers Arthur, Albert and Louis.

Rest in peace. You are not forgotten.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Greater Lowell Vietnam Honor Roll

Forty nine men from Greater Lowell served during the Vietnam War and lost their lives serving for the United States of America. We remember them today and always.

The following link is a virtual cemetery on the find a grave platform that I created to list these gold star servicemen that sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  They paid the ultimate sacrifice.


You are not forgotten.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Remembering Joseph April

Joseph April's name is on the Doughboy statue in the Acre. This is his story.

Joseph was born April 7, 1897 at St. Clement, Quebec, the son of Isidore and Elise (Boucher). He entered the service June 26, 1918 in the U.S. Army 153d D.B. and transferred July 15, 1918 to Co. H 348 Infantry, 87th Division. He was sent overseas August 26, 1918.

He died of pneumonia October 24, 1918 at Bordeaux, France. His body was returned to the U.S. and he is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in East Chelmsford. He was survived by his parents, bother John B. of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, Isidore, Marie, Laura and Rose Anne.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Remembering Armand V. Alix

Armand V. Alix's name is on the Doughboy statue in the Acre. This is his story:

Armand was born in July 1898 to Mr. and Mrs. Louis (Lottie) Alix in Lowell. He enlisted in Battery F, 102nd Field Artillery of the American Expeditionary Forces at the age of 19. He sailed for France on the SS Finland September 18, 1917.

He was severely wounded in the trenches at Chateau Thierry on July 27, 1918. He left France classified as "Surgical walking requiring no dressing Base Hospital No. 6" on November 26, 1918 and arrived in New Jersey December 11, 1918. He returned to Lowell where he lived with his mother and sister. He was unable to work. He died as the result of his war injuries on November 8, 1921 at the age of 23.

During the last year of his life he did marry Florence Sabourin. She never remarried and lived to the age of 99. They are buried together at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Lowell. A square in his memory is at the intersection of Salem and Adams Street.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Centenial of Armistice Day - Never Forget

Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War 1. Today we remember the 221 heroes from Greater Lowell who died so that we can live the lives we do today. Never forget their sacrifice.

Constantinos Aggelakos
Armand V Alix
Stanley Thomas Anthony
Joseph April
Wilfred Taylor Axon
Arthur J Ayotte
Dexter E Bailey
Aubrey M Bearisto
Frederick Beaumont
Joseph G Belanger
Arthur  Bikiary
Wilfred Binette
Joseph Blanchard
Bernard L Boisvert
Albert J Boisvert
Laurent L Bolduc
Alexander H Borland
Peter R Bradley
George W Brick
Frederick Brierly
William Brookes
William F Brown
Brant Atwood Browne
Walter A Bruce
Charles K Buk
Paul L Burden
Harry N Burke
William J Burke
Gavin A Caldwell
Frederick H Casey
Oliver M Chadwick
Philip Chalifoux
Mederic Champagne
Raymond E Chappell
Philip Chaput
John Ciesla
William H Clouatre
Harmon Clough
Henry Cognac
William E Coleman
Guthrie Colpitts
John L Connolly
Michael Connolly
Frederick Nicholas Connolly
Leo Constantineau
Richard Corbett
Charles Auguste Cornellier
James F Costello
Napoleon Cote
John P Cranna
Charles  Cunnert
Lorne L Cupples
Armand P Daigle
James H Dankert
Narcisse Desrosiers
Mahlon Dennett
Omer Deziel
Edward J Donovan
Philip Doyon
William Dube
Joseph B Dugan
Rodolphe Duhaime
John L Durkin
John Dzadolonis
Eldon Elon Elston
Harold W Estey
Valentine E Ferris
Robert L Fisk
Edward J Flannery
Carl E Fletcher
Edward C Fulton
William Gallagher
George Garner
George Gayules
George Gearin
Henry Joseph Germain
Efstiatios Georgulis
Fred Gifford
Edward T Gillis
Arthur J Girard
George Gravelle
Anthony Grey
Thomas Hamblet
James Hamelakis
R Hanolet
Joseph Franklin Harding
Bernard Harrington
Harold F Harrison
Frank Harrison
Joseph Hebert
Leo Henry McDonald
Oscar A Hix
Ernest H Hoyle
Roy L Humpreys
Ralph G Hurd
Edward J Johnstone
Thomas F Jones
Adelard Julian
Paul T Kearney
Frank H Kelley
Duncan Kelly
Solon W Kirkeby
Paul E Kittredge
Eugene A LaJeunesse
Bertrand Lamarre
Ralph H Lashua
Leo J Lavoie
Joseph LeNormand
Edwin T Little
Charles J Longtin
Frank Lyons
John Adams Lyons
Alex MacLean
Elias Maheros
Thomas F Mann
Thomas Michael Manning
George S Mansour
Walter Marr
Manuel  Martin
John Joseph Mayer
James W McCleary
James McClennan
Howard McCoy
James Charles McDermott
Leo H McDonald
Thomas McDonough
William H McGrath
William J McKenna
Lee Arthur Mckenzie
John C McMahon
Edmund McNamara
Arthur R McOsker
Francis M McOsker
Frank McPherson
Joseph 0 Mercier
Ray Messer
Anthansios Michaolopoulos
Harry J Miller
John J Mills
Paul D Mills
Lawrence Moczyrog
Joseph P Mollahan
William J Molloy
John William Montgomery
Alfred Moran
William Mugan
Stephen A Murray
Timothy Nagle
John Onesiphore Napoleon
Herbert J Nealey
Edward A Nelson
James W Nickerson
Edward E Nickles
John J O'Brien
John J O'Donnell
Francis R Owens
Pierre Paignon
Albert Palm
Joseph N Paquin
Manuel W Perry
Frederick D Pickering
Minard Pickett
Ralph Quessy
Edward F Quinn
Thomas J Quirk
William H Regnier
Alfred J Renaud
Leo Ricard
Edward Riendeau
James Douglas Rivet
Muriom Rodzin
George FH Rogers
Thomas F Roarke
Edward Rowe
Charles J Roy
John H Ryan
Alfred Salvas
Segur Severson
Rusby Porter Shafer
Harley Arnold Shonyon
Samuel J Shuman
Bruno Silk
Gerald RT Silk
Peter Silva
Jacob Simonian
Hollis C Simpson
Ernest Smith
Joseph Charles Stanley
Albert  Stefanik
George F Stewart
Dan A Sullivan
Jeremiah F Sullivan
William G Swift
Edgar W Sykes
Eugene A Tansey
Egbert F Tetley
Ralph Tewksbury
Christos Theodorou
Joseph Marius Thibedeau
Albert Thomson
William Toner
John J Trainor
Daniel F Tully
Ray C Turner
Frank Urbanek
Leon Thomas Vaillancourt
Joseph A Veillette
Alberton Vinal
Charles Wallace
John M Warren
John Martin Warren
Charles A Webster
William A Welch
Aaron Davis Weld
George W Wells
William J Wilber
Alexander  Wilson
Brooks Woodworth
Joseph Worthy
Winthrop Wright
John Zarnowski

We remember.