American Legion Post 50 SAL 50 New York USA
First Lt. Frederick Erhnestein Earle US Army was a graduate of Pelham Memorial High School is 1883. He
went on to study at George Washington University and graduated from Iona College in 1988. During college he
joined the Fordham University ROTC program advancing to the position of cadet major supervising operations
and training at John Jay University, Fordham, and Marist College.
Lt. Earle was a computer specialist and spent one year eight months overseas during his Army career. He
received the National defense Service medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army
Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon. He passed away at the age of 39 on October 17th 2003. (March
Eccleston, Robert, Charles, Harold, and James Edward. Grew up at 318 Fifth Avenue, sons of Mr. & Mrs.
Charles R. Eccleston, all four were graduates of PMHS and served in the armed forces during WWII. Their
Mother was noted as a captain of the Red Cross War Fund Drive. Robert was a sergeant who served in the
medical Corps at Camp Barkeley, Texas. Staff Sergeant Charles was a member of the Army Air Forces and was
an Armorer on a B24 Liberator, he left for overseas on Feb. 22, 1944. Harold was a corporal in the Army
Engineers and was stationed at Camp Abbott, Oregon. Private First Class James of the Army Air Corps was
assigned to Northern Ireland. Standard Star February 25, 1944 (Dec. 1, 2007)
Rear Admiral Horace Haraway Epes Jr. grew up in Larchmont the son of Horace H. Epes. He married
Katherine Read of Pelham in 1941. Mrs. Epes, described that her future husband once flew his airplane over
Pelham and buzzed her house scarring her mother. She resided at 4570 Boston Post Road, while her husband
was serving as a US Navy pilot in the Pacific.
After completing 63 combat missions as a fighter pilot with Navy Composite Squadron 90. Lt. Epes, returned
home to Pelham in July 1945. During WWII he was awarded the American Theater Ribbon, the Pacific Theater
Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon, the Pre-Pearl Harbor Ribbon, the Liberation of the Philippines Ribbon,
and has three battle stars.
Remaining in the Navy for a career, the Navy officer rose to the position of Captain of the aircraft carrier USS
Kitty Hawk, and later commander of a Task Force in the Pacific that centered on the aircraft carrier USS
Enterprise that patroled off Korea and Vietnam during the late 1960s. The Admiral passed away in 1995 and
Kathryn Epes in 2004. Both are interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Standard Star July 12, 1945
Lieutenant Harold Fairchild, was born in Pelham, the son of Major John F. Fairchild who later moved to
Harrington NJ. He graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1924 where he was described as "being
unusually proficent in chemistry and physics. At his graduation, "Fairchild was the leading student in nearly all
the courses at the school and was awarded several prizes in the commencement exercises".
Fairchild graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1929 and received his aviation training at
Brook and Kelly Field in Texas. Soon after he joined the research division of the United Aircraft and
Transportation Company, later he was a pilot for the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company of East Hartford, CT.
By 1933, Fairchild was considered one of the country's most skillful altitude fliers. On April 10th of that year he
conduct an altitude test for the Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Company of East Hartford taking off from Rentschler
Field, where the University of Connecticut football Stadium is now. During the test, he attained an altitude of
35,000 feet, over six miles, and then he lost control of the plane. The plane attempted to level off at 500 feet
and the engine was turned off indicating that pilot was still conscious although some thought his oxygen supply
might have malfunctioned or run out. The plane crashed into the farm of John Rankl in Marlborough and
Fairchild was killed.
The memorial Service for Harold Fairchild was conducted by W.H. Finch of the Chester Hill Methodist Church of
Mt. Vernon and the Rev. John Gebbard Jr of Harrrington Park NJ. He was survived by a sister Mrs. Helen
Gebhart of Harrington as well as his Father. His uncle was former Congressman Benjamin L. Fairchild of
Pelham Heights. Internment was at the Kensico Cemetery. The New York Times April 11, 1933 The Standard
Star April 11 - 12, 1933
John F. Fairchild, served in World War I as a Major in France with the Fifty-sixth Pioneer Infantry. He was
born in Washington and studied at New York University. An engineer by training, he helped construct the Bronx
River Parkway. He also served as the engineer for the Village of Pelham and of the Town of Pelham.
His death at age 75 was reported on November 8, 1943. He had a daughter Mrs. John G. Gebhard of
Harrington Park, NJ; a brother the former Congressman Benjamin L. Fairchild of Pelham and two sisters Mrs.
Addison T. Smith and Mrs. Perry Michener of Washington. His son Harold Fairchild, a test pilot, died in an
airplane accident in 1933. The New York Times November 9, 1943.
Private John Furr US ARMY was the husband of Mrs. Mattie W. Furr, 137 Sixth Street, Pelham. He received
Army training at Fort Belvoire, Va., Grenville, S.C., and Ft. Dix, N.J.
Private Furr served in the invasion of Sicily in 1943 with the 837th Army Engineers, and was wounded in
Brendisa, Italy. Overseas for two years, he received the Good Conduct Medal, and the ETO Ribbon with two
battle stars for participation in the invasions of Sicily and France.
He served three and a half years in the Army, and received an honorably discharge from the Army at the
Convalescent Hospital, Miami Beach, Fla in October 1945. The Standard Star October 28, 1945 (March 24,
William R. Gardner, was a sergeant, in the US Army during WWII. The son of Mrs. Louise Gardner, formerly of
the Esplanade, moved to the new apartment building at 590 East Third Street, in Mt. Vernon. He attended
Pelham schools and Choate and Sterns prep schools.
Sergent Gardner joined the Army in 1941 at age 31 and joined the field artillery. He was sent overseas in early
1943 to the southwest Pacific. When his Mother did not hear from him for a while, she sent a telegram to his
Post Office address in San Francisco. He was able to respond that he was ill and in a hospital. The War
Department soon after sent a notification to Mrs. Gardner that her son had been wounded in action on August
14th. The Standard Star, Sept. 21, 1943. (Feb. 18, 2008)
Victor E. Giarrontano, lived at 217 Carol Avenue, in Pelham. He was discharged from WWII service on
October 28, 1945 from ft. Dix, NJ. The Standard Star October 29, 1945 (February 22, 2008)
PFC Niel A. Gibbons, US Army was the son of Mr. and Mrs. George A Gibbons of 666 James Street, in Pelham
Manor, Niel was a graduate of Pelham Memorial HS and attended Cornell University. He was then employed
by Home Lite Inc. in Portchester.
Niel entered the service in March 1944 and went overseas in December of that year. He was with the 99th
Infantry Division, of the First Army and saw action in England, France, Belgium, and Germany until he was
hospitalized for illness in Belgium for seven weeks. After his recovery he was with the V-Mail staff, outside Paris.
He holds a Presidential Citation. The Standard Star November 13, 1945 (March 24, 2005)
John A. Gilberg, a life long resident of Pelham. A sergeant in WWII, he served in the U.S. Army 8th Air Force
for three years in England, France and Germany. In 1948 he married Norina Maffucci. and they had sons Peter
J., Kenneth D. and daughter-in-law Michele. He was the grandfather of John M. and Kenneth D. Jr. He had a
brother, Gerald and wife Kerstin of St. Augustine, FL. John was also a HAM radio operator with call letters
KB2JKS. He belonged to several HAM radio clubs and was an active member of the Pelham Senior Citizens
Club. He died at age 83 on died on December 24, 2006. He is interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery. (Nov. 10, 2007)
Lt. Charles Goldschmid Jr. of 99 Reed Avenue, served with the 581st Army Bomber Squadron, and was
awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Lt. Goldschmid was shot down on July 26, 1943 and held as
a POW in Germany. Reported as a Prisoner of War in Germany during February 1944, he was liberated in
1945 Standard Star Sept. 21 1943 and Feb. 17, 1944 firstname.lastname@example.org (Dec. 7, 2007)
Master Sgt. Andre Graillat, served during WWII with the Advanced section of the First and Third Armies, since
Mar. 1, 1944. He served in Scotland, England, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Holland, and Germany. Sgt.
Graillat was able to see many of his relatives in Paris, while overseas before receiving his discharge and
returning to Pelham in October 1945. With his wife and son Ronald who was age 16 in 1945, the family lived at
310 Sixth Avenue, in Pelham. He was the son of Mrs. Celine Graillat of 152 West 77th St. NYC, and the late
Henri Graillat. "Sgt. Andre Graillat receives Discharge" The Standard Star 10/20/45 (February 2, 2008)
Duncan Campbell Gray, was a resident of Pelham since 1920. He was the oldest son of William Alexander
and Mildred Holden Gray. He attended Pelham schools and graduated from Duke University in 1940. At Duke
he was editor in chief of the Duke Chronicle and became a member of the Red Friars, Duke's highest honor
Duncan's brothers John T. Gray, James G. Gray and William H. Gray also served in the military during WWII.
During WWII he served four and a half years in the Army Air Forces beginning soon after college graduation in
August of 1940. He became a Navigator and was part of a crew with the 418TH Squadron which joined the
100th bomb group of the Eighth Air Force on Aug. 4, 1944. Their plane, piloted by Wilbert C. Ivosevic was
called the "Baby Sweet". Flying from Diss, England the crew completed 35 missions in the B-17 Fortress bomber
The missions were daylight raids over occupied Europe in which heavy casualties were common. On one
mission, one third of the 1,000 plane group was shot down or otherwise did not return to base. On September
18, 1944 they flew support to the defenders of Warsaw, Poland, landing in the Soviet Union to refuel. On the
last operational major mission on December 31st to bomb Hamburg, they were hit by flak, described as heavy
and accurate. Germany fighters attacked the plane but they were able to shoot down. On that mission 13 of 38
B17s were lost.
The Army Air Forces awarded Lt. Duncan the Air Medal with five clusters for "Courage, coolness, and skill".
"My dad was very much a WWII veteran. Army Air Corps, a B-17 navigator. He was on 32 some odd missions.
Has this apocryphal award from his buddies that I still have making him a member of "Ye Lucky Bastards Club"
for surviving 32 missions. I think that is the right number, but any way, it meant he didn't have to go up
anymore." commented his son Duncan Gray Jr.
He was married to on May 10, 1975 to Jean Campbell. He worked at Kidder, Peabody & Company until his
retirement in 1985. He passed away at home in Pelham on January 4, 1994. Pelham Weekly January 14, 1994.
Website of the 100th Bomb Group Association
(March 3, 2008)
Missions Flown of Duncan Gray
David C. Griffith Sr., A veteran of World War II, he served in the Airborne Unit of the Army Air Corps, flying
rescue missions to the Pacific Theatre. A longtime resident of Pelham and Mount Vernon, he died at his home
in Pompano Beach, FL. at the age of 80 in June of 2006.
The former Chief Financial Officer for Union Carbine Inter-America he was born in 1923 to the former Matilda
Kelly and John J. Griffith at their home in Mt. Vernon. He attended St. Gabriel's High School and went on to earn
an undergraduate Engineering degree from Manhattan College at the age of 19. He attended New York
University for his Masters in Chemical Engineering before launching a 30-year career at Union Carbide. He is
survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Ruth Mitchell, of Pompano Beach; four children, David Jr. of Rye,
Claire Marie of Queensbury, NY, Stephen of Exton, PA and Virginia Griffith Schirmer of Corning, NY. He was
survived by one brother, Dr. James Griffith of Sarasota, FL, and one sister, Genevieve Selzer of Charlotte, NC.
He was predeceased by brothers John, a longtime Mt. Vernon Judge, and Martin, sisters Catherine, Mary
Peterson, Cecilia, Grace Sharr and Helen Carmody. A Memorial Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual
Help and he was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery. Journal News (Nov. 17, 2007)
Corporal Ralph A. Guglielmo, lived with his parents at 38 Third Avenue, in Pelham. He served 18 months
overseas in Kore returning home in May 1953 at age 24. He graduated from Pelham Memorial High School and
worked as a machinist before joining the Army on July 11, 1961. He served with the US Army Signal Corps and
made Corporal in May 1953. He was nominated for a Bronze Star for his service in Korea. The Standard Star
June 3, 1953 (April 27, 2008)
Chief Machinist's Mate Alvin F. Gunther USCG; lived at 105 Pelhamdale Avenue in Pelham, the son of Mrs.
Ottlie Gunther. He was a crew member on the Coast Guard cutter Campbell CG-32, which earned the title
"Queen of the Seas", as one of the most famous ships of WWII. The Campbell was the first Coast Guard ship
assigned to escort convoys across the Atlantic starting in 1941.
In February 1943 Campbell was assigned to escort Convoy ON-166 across the Atlantic. In the early morning
hours of February 21st, the convoy was surrounded by as many as six German U-Boat submarines. U-606
torpedoed and sank the merchant ship SS NIELSON ALONSO. The Campbell rescued fifty survivors and then
turned to attack another boat, U-753, damaging it so badly that the U-Boat had to withdraw from the battle.
Throughout the 21st and the next day the CAMPBELL continued to attack the German U-Boats inflicting
damage and keeping them away from the transport ships.
On the 22nd U-606, having sustained heavy depth charge damage, surfaced in the midst of the convoy
attempting a daring surface attack. CAMPBELL collided with the sub and suffered a gash in its hull near the
engine room and below the water line. The Campbell then dropped depth charges which lifted the sub out of
the water. Chief Machinists Mate Gunther was awarded the Silver Star for meritorious conduct and gallantry in
action during that battle. The citation signed by Navy Secretary Frank Knox described the heroism of the 23
year old sailor:
The Silver Star was awarded for "Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" aboard the Campbell, as a result of his
carrying out "his duties with cool courage and utter disregard for his own personal safety, when the engine room
flooded and the main engines failed, as a result of an attack by a hostile ship. Gunther descended in rapidly
rising water to the engine room bilges to determine the size and location of a hole in the ship's side and later
rendered valuable assistance to minimize damage to vital machinery."
The New York Times November 29, 1943; The Standard Star November 29, 1943
|Stories of Pelham Veterans
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