John Johnson Remembered

Only Some Were Called - part 3

by Bobby Blair
May 28, 2018

M. Vincent Connolly a Prospect Street resident would serve as a commander for the local American Legion and was also Assistant Postmaster for many years.

Below, Curtis "Cactus" Claflin a Central Street resident was employed for many years by the town's water department.

All WWII vets from left, Red Chapin who was a P.O.W., Ned Wise, Billy Hamlet, Paul Mahoney, Ed Serocki, and Huck Hayden. The photo is believed to be taken at a Legion carnival event at Goodwill Park.

Sgt. Charles F. Duford was the first man from Holliston killed in WWI.

Probably the most famous Holliston photo from WWII is that of Leonard Ryerson above right top. The photo is made more famous as Winston Churchill stands in the center of the picture. Ryerson a member of the 336th Fighter Squardron, 4th Fighter Group was killed on September 26th 1942 over Brest France when his plane was shot down. Ryerson is buried in St. James France. The film was developed at Interstate Photo which was located at 990 Washington Street. After seeing Ryerson with Churchill in the photo, an overzealous employee made enough copies for everyone in town.

Leroy Robshaw would be one of the few to make the rank of Chief Petty Officer during the war. Roy would serve for many years as the Quartermaster for the local VFW

John P. Handy served with the 85th Cavalry Reconn Squadron, 5th Armored Division and died of wounds on August 12, 1944. Handy's veterans square is located at Norfolk & Franklin Streets.

The American Legion Color Gurad prior to the town's 250th Anniversary Parade in 1974. Bottom row, l to r, Bernie Blaney, Ernie Nielsen, Bobby Blair, Tom Mahoney and Harold Shea. Top, l to r - Everett Blair, Bobby Ludwick and Jim Dalton.

Walter Paul of Adams Street would cross Europe with Patton's army earning two purple hearts.

George Sherman of Braggville would be Holliston's last surviving WWI veteran.

American Legion 50 year membership night. Bottom row left to right, Stan Olmstead, Donald "Bud" Rawson, & Everett Blair. Top row left to right, Bill Murphy, Ed & Frank Serocki, Don Bolin & Bobby Moore.

The VFW Drill Team traveled around New England for many years earning numerous awards.

Norm Gillen far left is the only surviving member of the group above. Don Haynes served in Pleiku Vietnam, John Johnson died in Aug. 1981 when he was gunned down, and Bruce McKinnon recently passed away in the past year.

Lawrence "Sonny" Porter would lose part of his lower leg during WWII and would open the first licensed package store in town - Depot Package Store.

 

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Comments (4)

Bobby, Thank you for posting the picture of my father Leroy Robshaw. When my brother passed away his wife destroyed all of my family photos. This is the only picture of my dad that I have. Thanks again.

- Everett Robshaw | 5/29/18 1:39 PM

Thank you for your service, Bobby and all our veterans. Thank you Bobby for this personal and close to home photo explanation of the meaning of Memorial Day.

- Ann Adams | 5/28/18 2:04 PM

Mayor Blair, Thank you for the memories! I remember listening to the draft lottery while fishing with you on lake Winthrop, you got #11, I got #343. Thank you for your service!!

- Tom Hayes | 5/28/18 9:26 AM

Thank you Bob, this has been very interesting.

- Sheila Love | 5/28/18 7:13 AM

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