Watertown Will Name Square After 95-Year-Old WWII Veteran

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During World War II Tony Basile landed in Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. This year the 95-year-old U.S. Army veteran will have a square dedicated in his name.

On Tuesday night the Town Council voted to make the intersection of Worcester and Springfield streets Anthony “Tony” Basile Square.

Tony’s daughter Sandra Basile-Duncan thanked the council for honoring her father.

“This means a whole lot for our family, a lot for my father,” Basile-Duncan said.

The news came in time for Tony’s two great-grandchildren to celebrate with him, Basile-Duncan said. The great-grandchildren are about to go do missionary work in Indonesia.

During the Second World War, Tony fought with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. He landed in Normandy, and then was in the Battle of the Bulge. He earned his Purple Heart when he was wounded during the Battle of Metz in 1944.

While he was recovering he was awarded a Bronze Star. He and his unit were laying communication lines when they came under fire from machine gunners and mortars. They fought off the German attackers and completed their mission.

Before the war, Tony married the late-Mary Paone. Both came from large Italian families in Watertown – Tony the fourth of 14 children and Mary the fourth of eight.

Tony turned 95 on July 12, and he has lived on Worcester Street for 70 years. He and Mary have two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

The town will have a celebration of the dedication of Basile Square after the sign is put up, said Town Councilor Vincent Piccirilli.

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