Westford Memorials

Westford Memorials

Extracted from The Westford Gazetteer by Robert W. Oliphant (2010)

 

Veterans’ Memorials

Adelard Langley World War I Memorial

The Adelard Langley World War I Memorial Plaque is located on the east side of the road in front of the house at 1 River St. facing that street’s junction with Broadway St. Adelard (also given as Adlat and Aldat in Wardsman articles) J. Langley (c. 1897-1918) was the first Westford soldier to die in World War I. He died May 5, 1918, while serving in France with the 95th Aero Squadron. His family lived on River St. near Fourth St. His body was returned to Westford in 1921 and he was buried in St. Catherine’s Cem. The Westford Museum has two post cards showing his funeral procession June 6, 1921.

Dies in Service. The death of private Adlat J. Langley of the 95th Aero Squadron, who died of a fractured skull somewhere in France in May, has caused deep sorrow to his many friends here. Private Langley was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Langley, of this village [Granite­ville], and was a bright, active lad only twenty years of age. He first tried to enlist in the navy, but was rejected on account of his height. He was not discouraged, however, but tried another branch of the service, when he was accepted for the aviation corps. He enlisted last summer and saw training in Mineola, Long Island, N.Y., later in San Antonio, Texas, and Canada…

He is the first Westford man to die in the service during the present world war. The deepest sympathy is extended to the bereaved family of Private Langley in their affliction.  The Westford Wardsman, May 18, 1918. 

Military Funeral. The funeral of Private Aldat J. Langley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Langley, and a member of the 95th aero squadron, who died in France and whose body arrived here Sunday, took place from the rooms of Westford post, A.L. [American Legion], at the Cen­ter, Monday morning at nine o’clock. The flag-draped casket reposed on an army caisson from Battery B, Lowell, that was drawn by four horses in charge of World War Veterans Charles Robey and Fred Picking. Privates Joseph Perkins and Joseph Costello were guards of honor. The bearers representing the army were Frank Charlton, Walter Beebe, John Healy and Walter Blanchard, and those representing the navy were Edward T. Hanley, James McNiff, Edward Healy and Alfred Hughes. Members of Westford post, A. L., Frank C. Johnson, commander, accompanied the body to Graniteville, where they were met by the Abbot Worsted Co. band, and continued through the principal streets of the town to St. Catherine’s church in West Graniteville, where a solemn high funeral mass was celebrated by the pastor, Rev. Charles P. Heaney, with Rev. J. Emile Dupont as deacon and Rev. John J. Linehan as sub-deacon. The full choir was in atten­dance, under the direction of Miss Mary F. Hanley. The solos were sustained by Miss Rebecca Leduc. Every available place in the church was filled and many were unable to get inside.

After the services in the church the line of march was again formed and the long procession proceeded to St. Catherine’s cemetery, where the committal service for the dead was held. R. J. McCarthy, chief ranger of Court Graniteville, F. of A. [Foresters of America], headed a large delegation and read the Foresters’ service for the dead. He was followed by Commander Frank C. Johnson of Westford post, A.L., who paid the final tribute to their dead comrade. A firing squad under Sergt. Harry E. Whiting of Westford post then fired a volley over the grave. Gordon Seavey of the Abbot Worsted Co. band sounded taps, the echo being given by Basil Larkin…  The Westford Wardsman, June 11, 1921.

 

Anthony Kostechko World War II Memorial

The Anthony Kostechko World War II Memorial Plaque is located at the northwest corner of the junction of Bradford & Pleasant Sts. Fireman 1st Class Anthony “Tony” Kostechko (c. 1918-1943), U.S. Navy, of Forge Village, lost his life at sea Oct. 7, 1943. His family lived at 25 Bradford St. in 1941.

 

Antonio Palermo World War I Memorial

The Antonio Palermo World War I Memorial Plaque faces Pleasant St. at the northeast corner of that street’s junction with Palermo St. Pvt. Antonio “Tony” Palermo (c. 1898-1918), Co. K, 104th Infantry, 26th Division, A.E.F., of Forge Village was killed Oct. 14, 1918, in the Argonne Drive near the end of World War I. He is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne, France.

 

Arthur T. Perkins World War II Memorial

The Arthur T. Perkins World War II Memorial Plaque faces River St. at the northwest corner of that street and Fourth St. in Graniteville. Sergt. Westford native Arthur Thomas Perkins (1924-1944), 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, U.S. Army, of Graniteville was killed in France Oct. 6, 1944. He is buried at Epinal American Cem­etery, Epinal, France.

 

Basinas Square

Basinas Square is the intersection of Groton & Tyngsboro Rds. A monument honoring the brothers James, Nicholas & Andrew Basinas’ service in World War II was erected on the northeast corner of that intersection.

 

Bernard Kulisich World War II Memorial

The Bernard Kulisich World War II Memorial Plaque is located at the southwest corner of the junction of Abbot & Pine Sts. Pvt. Bernard J. Kulisich (1924-1945) of the 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division is listed among the missing in action at the American Cemetery at Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

 

Bill O’Donnell Memorial Water Fountain

In 2002 the family of CPT William T. O’Donnell (1943-1997), U.S. Army (Ret.), commissioned a water fountain made of Chelmsford Gray granite from Fletcher Granite Co. and placed it in the quadrangle in front of the Police Station in memory of Mr. O’Donnell. CPT O’Donnell was a Vietnam veteran and Bronze Star recipient who died of cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. In 2010, with the help of many volunteers, the fountain was moved to a more visible and useful place near the bandstand on the Common facing towards the J. V. Fletcher Library. It was rededicated on Aug. 3, 2010. The inscription reads:

To the Town of

Westford

In Memory of

Bill O’Donnell

of

Parker Village

2002

 

Captain Stephen Hamilton Field

The Captain Stephen Hamilton Field recreational fields are located on 3.75 acres next to Old Nabnasset School in the block bounded by Plain Rd., Oak Hill Rd., Hawthorne Ave., and Laurel Ave. The land was origi­nally acquired in 1921 for Nabnasset School. The field was formerly called Old Nabnasset Field. It was named by the town in honor and memory of Capt. Stephen Hamilton, USAF (1955-1984), who was killed when his F-4 Phantom jet fighter crashed during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico. Capt. Hamilton lived in Westford for 20 years, was active in Boy Scout Troop 159 and Little League baseball, and graduated from Westford Academy in 1973. After serving in the Army Special Forces Unit as a Green Beret, he entered UMass Lowell, participated in the ROTC program, and became an Air Force fighter pilot. The field was dedicated in his name Aug. 10, 1985.

 

Charles E. Aaron Vietnam Memorial

The Charles E. Aaron Vietnam Memorial Plaque is located at the point formed by the junction of E. Prescott St. & Town Farm Rd. Sp. 4th Class Charles Edward Aaron (1948-1970), Co. B, 50th Infantry, 1st Field Force, U.S. Army, a 1967 graduate of Westford Academy, was killed in action May 5, 1970 in Vietnam. He is buried in St. Catherine’s Cem. His family lived on E. Prescott St. in Forge Village.

 

Charles Smith

World War I Memorial

The Charles Smith World War I Memorial Plaque faces E. Prescott St. at that street’s junction with Smith St. It was named for Charles Smith, Jr. (1878-1918), born in Keighley, England, whose family arrived in Forge Village in 1910 to work in the mills. He enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in Feb. 1918 but was transferred to the 14th British Battalion, with whom he was serving when he died Sept. 28, 1918, of wounds received two days previously.

Forge Village. Private Charles Smith of the 14th British Battalion, died on September 28 of wounds sustained in action on September 26. He was forty years old, the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith, of this village. He left home on February 21 to enlist. Two brothers and four sisters survive him. His parents were notified by Canadian authorities.  The Westford Wardsman, Oct. 12, 1918.

 

Civil War Soldiers Monument

The Civil War Soldiers Monument was donated to the town by Col. Edwin D. Metcalf (1848-1915), whose father, Lt. William Metcalf (1819-1900), was one of the first from Westford to enlist for service in the Civil War and was the only officer who served from Westford. The monument was made by the Harrison Granite Co. of New York City. The solider is of standard bronze and the base of Barre, Vt. Granite. The monument was installed on the triangular patch of ground at the junction of Hildreth St. & Boston Rd. in 1909 and dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1910.

 

Col. John Robinson House

Col. John Robinson (1735-1805) and his family lived in the house once located at 17 Robinson Rd. On July 11, 1937, a fire that started in the barn destroyed both the barn and the Robinson House. A stone monu­ment was placed on the road in front of the present house by West­ford’s Col. John Robinson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The quartz boulder, supposed to be the horse block from his daughter’s home, is inscribed:

HERE LIVED

COL. JOHN ROBINSON

A BRAVE AND DISTINGUISHED OFFICER

IN THE

BATTLES OF CONCORD AND BUNKER HILL

BORN 1735       DIED 1805

Edmund J. [1878-1950] and William Hunt [1876-1946] of Forge Village have purchased the Stephen Hutchins farm on Robinson road. This is an old historic farm made famous as the home of Col. Robinson, who led the Concord fight, April 19, 1775. A suitable recognition of this fact has been placed on the lawn at the Hutchins’ farm by those loyal busy bodies in the preservation of places of historic interest, the D.A.R. George Brown, the owner of short duration [who inherited the farm from his grandfather, Stephen Eliakim Hutchins (1832-1910)], has moved to Littleton.  The Westford Wardsman, May 28, 1910.

Col. John Robinson Plaque

A bronze plaque affixed to a small boulder on the west side of the Town Common facing Boston Rd. honors Col. John Robinson. It is inscribed as follows:

A Tribute To

Colonel John Robinson

1735-1805

Westford Citizen and Patriot

“In 1775 he distinguished himself by commanding the corps of soldiers who first opposed the menacing attempts of the British Troops at Concord Bridge.”

April 19, 1775

Erected By

Westford Colonial Minutemen

1968

 

Eugene J. Rioux World War II Memorial

The Eugene J. Rioux World War II Memorial Plaque faces N. Main St. in Graniteville at the northwest corner of that street’s junction with the western entrance to Hillside Ave. Seaman 2nd Class Eugene Joseph “Charlie” Rioux (c. 1921-1943), U.S. Naval Reserves, of Graniteville was killed in action Sept. 11, 1943, when his ship, U.S.S. Savannah (CL-42), was hit by a German radio-controlled aerial bomb while supporting the invasion of Salerno, Italy. His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Nettuno, Italy.

 

Forge Village Memorial and Memorial Park

There are two Forge Village War Memorials located at a small park on W. Prescott St. at Pleasant St. The older is a granite boulder inscribed:

In memory of our loved ones from Forge Village who served our Armed Forces

World War II

Korean Conflict

Vietnam

The second is a large bronze plaque inscribed “Forge Village Honor Roll” with the names of those residents of this village who served in the armed forces in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Conflict. It was dedicated in May 2001.

 

Frederick S. Healy World War II Memorial

The Frederick S. Healy World War II Memorial Plaque is located on Broadway St. in front of the American Legion building at 2 Cross St. Pvt. Frederick Sullivan Healy (1898-1944) of Graniteville, a veteran of World War I, was killed Sept. 27, 1944, in France. He was a 1916 grad­uate of Westford Academy and the oldest graduate to serve in World War II. A member of American Legion Post 159, the post was later named in his honor. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

 

Freedom Park

Freedom Park in Forge Village, located at about 7 Pond St., was estab­lished in 2006 as a memorial park to honor Westford veterans.

 

Gaston J. Cote World War II Memorial