Watertown’s Roll of Honor: The Town’s Long History of Sacrifice for Country

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Charlie Breitrose

Memorial Day ceremonies and the parade will be held in Watertown on Monday, May 26.

Memorial Day ceremonies and the parade will be held in Watertown on Monday, May 26.

Watertown’s long military tradition dates well before the founding of the United States. The battles where Town’s the sons (and in one case daughter) served and gave their lives include some of the most hallowed in American history: Lexington, Bull Run, Pearl Harbor, Okinawa.

The names can still be seen around town being memorialized in the names of street signs, parks and squares — Phillip Darch Road, O’Connell Park and Moxley Field are just some.

Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It first began in 1860s following the Civil War, the nation’s deadliest conflict and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The names of Watertown residents who served in conflicts from World War I to Vietnam are listed on bronze plaques on the walls of the stairway leading up to the Council Chamber in Town Hall. Under the words “Our Honored Dead” are the soldiers, marines and sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For wars prior to the 20th Century, the lists are not as readily available. A book called “Watertown’s Military History,” written in 1907, documents town resident’s service in the military from early colonial times through the Spanish American War.

One of the plaques hanging in Town Hall honoring Watertown residents who served in World War II. Those who died are listed under the heading “Our Honored Dead.”

The town’s first battlefield death occurred during an early conflict between colonists and the local Indian tribes, known as King Phillips’s War. “Captain Richard Beers, one of its original proprietors, who had been admitted freeman Mar. 16, 1636-7, lost his life near Northfield, Sept. 4, 1675,” according to Watertown’s Military History. John Chinery was wounded at the same battle and later died of his wounds. John Hagar lost his life during the war on Dec. 19., 1675.

One Watertown man, Ebenezer Brown, died during the French & Indian War at Ticonderoga.

On the first day of the the Revolutionary War, April 19, 1775, Watertown’s Joseph Coolidge was killed by the British as they retreated from the battles at Lexington and Concord earlier that day. Another resident, Edward Harrington, died at Ticonderoga on Sept. 23, 1776.

More than 20 residents died during the Civil War. Gregg Smith was killed on Aug. 29 1862 in the Second Battle of Bull Run. Chaplain Arthur B. Fuller lost his life in December 1862. He had been discharged from the Army for a disability but “being there, and seeing the heroism of our troops, he could not resist the opportunity to prove by acts his love for the cause, and by example his unfeigned patriotism,” the book said. 

The list of dead from World War I is almost 30 names long, including one who has been memorialized in the name of a Town park — Dominik Filippello — and the only woman from Watertown who died during war — Mary Elinor O’Connor.

World War II was the costliest conflict for Watertown, with more than 100 men lost. Phillip Darch served on the U.S.S. Arizona, and died on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He now has a road named for him off of Lexington Street. Charles Shutt served with the Marines and fell on Okinawa toward the end of the war. The Marine Corps League on Mt. Auburn Street now bears his name. Some of the names that have been memorialized around Watertown and beyond are: Robert Ford (a road in West Watertown), Leo Martin (a DCR golf course in Newton) and Ralph Piteri (a road in East Watertown).

Watertown’s Leo J. Martin was an outstanding amateur golfer in the 1930s and ’40s, and died in World War II. A golf course in Weston was dedicated to him.

The Korean Conflict took the lives of 10 Watertown residents. The park in front of the Hosmer School is named after Capt. Richard P. O’Connell, who died in Korea.

Nine Watertown men gave their lives during the Vietnam War. Casey Park on the Southside of Watertown is named for James Casey. Paul Sullivan has been memorialized by the naming of a playground in Coolidge Square, and has scholarships have been given in his name for more than 50 years. Moxley Field near Watertown Middle School is named for Richard Moxley. Recently Paul Gorman was honored with the naming of a square near his childhood home, on Main Street near the Gore Estate.

Lt. Paul Sullivan was killed in Vietnam in 1968, and a scholarship in his name has been given out for 49 years.

“Our Honored Dead”


James Patrick Casey

Paul James Gorman

Frederick E. Harrington Jr. 

John Robert Johnson 

Daniel J. Minahan

John H. Moreno

Richard S. Moxley

John Joseph Sullivan

Paul Joseph Sullivan

Korean Conflict

Norman C. Brackett

Kenneth W. Christensen

Francis K. Mahoney

John J. McDonald

John Goodrow Sheehan

Anthony F. Tobio

George McManus Jr.

Richard P. O’Connell

Clifford Pye

Charles K. Yeremian Jr. 

World War II

Leonard Almeda

George Andreotes

Joseph F. Arone

Haig G. Barmakian

Lloyd E. Beckwith

John A. Bedrossian

Frank D. Borghetti

Raymond W. Braffitt

Gerald C. Breen

Thomas P. Brennan

Thomas J. Cannalonga

Richard A. Carmichael

Lawrence L. Cashin

Louis K. Chamberlain

Harry A. Chapanian

Carl L. Christianson

Alfred B. Coffin

Maurice L. Cohen

Alfred F. Cole

Arthur Cole

Nicholas Conti

John V. D’Alanno

Phillip Z. Darch

Harold D. Davis

Fred Devenney Jr.

Joseph A. D’Onofrio

James J. Donovan

Arthur O. Doria

Raymond G. Dougan

Theodore J. DuBois

Melville N. Eaton

George H. Elms

John A. Fantasia

Jesse J. Farese

Romeo A. Farese

Ernest B. Ford

Robert M. Ford

Arthur O. Furfey

Louis W. Gahran Jr.

George M. Gaitanis

Leopold W. Gierwiatowski

Joseph H. Gilfoil Jr.

Charles E. Griffith

George F. Harris

Robert E. Hartenstein

Charles R. Hasekian

Lester W. Haynes

John W. Hennessey

Richard Henry Jr.

Thaddeus R. Hubbell

Paul W. Hughes

Alfred Iodice

Eric B. Ives

Myron L. Jevelekian

Charles E. Johnson

Henning E. Johnson

Malcom E. Johnson

Louis W. Juliano

Aram G. Kadehjian

John R. Keane

Douglas C. Kenney

Paul L. Kenney

Armand Keshishian

Bruce S. Kindred

Robert A. Krancer

William H. Kremin

Walter F. LaFort

John M. Lambert

Joseph F. Lennon

Minas L. Loisou

Robert E. Looney

Charles J. Mackin

Gordon G. MacLennan

John J. Maloney

William F. Mann

Paul S. Marsoubian

Frederick N. Martin

Leo J. Martin

John M. McCall

Allan McClay Jr. 

Stanley J. McEachern

Warren F. McManus

Harold H. Melkonian

Suren Melkonian

Edward F. Moran

John J. Moran

Murad Mouradian

Richard S. Movsessian

Harold C. Moyles

Felix T. Murphy

George T. Natale

Paul Nugent

Joseph M. O’Callaghan Jr. 

Michael G. Papadopulos

George A. Perkins

Alfred W. Pezzella

Ralph A. Piteri

Clarence D. Powell

Robert F. Prest

Vincent J. Ranucci

Lawrence N. Rice

John A. Richards

Henry H. Roberts

Edward T. Roche Jr.

Bernard F. Romano

Angelo Russo

Dominic J. Russo

Edward A. Safer

Raymond E. Sargent

Stephen F. Sawyer

Charles J. Shutt Jr. 

Warren S. Studley

Otto M. Theurer

Albert C. Todino

Simon Torossian

Thomas J. Trapasso

Samuel Tungrain Jr.

Thomas A. Waldron

Earl H. Welch

Michael F. White

Robert S. White

Jack Wiltshire

George F. York

World War I

James W. Abbott

Ernest Matthew Allen

Gardner H. Bennett

Herbert William Bennett

Ira Miller Bradbury

Albert Jeffrie Briggs

Harold Ellsworth Burnham

Patrick Joseph Connors

Dominik Filippello

Eugene Joseph Guihan

Edward Bartlett Hayden

Andrew Jusbadone

Michael F. Kelley

William Edward Kerens

Charles Henry Madden

John Joseph Manning

James Douglas Morgan

Michael J. Morgan

Timothy Joseph Mullen

Ralph Thomas Neal

Mary Elinor O’Connor

Charles Leo Ostridge

Hector Parquette

John C.A. Proctor

Thomas James Rooney

Harry Stanley Sampson

Joseph Upham Thompson

Henry West

Civil War

Chaplain Arthur B. Fuller

Gilbert Bright

Daniel Burns

Charles F. Coburn

Cornelius J. Flynn

Edward Lyman

Charles A. Morse

Thomas C. Norcross

John P. Rogers

Gregg Smith

John Stevens

Rev. Henry E. Hempstead

Owen Dinan

Willard Bright

Nathan S. Kemp

William H. McCabe

Isaac B. Patten

Augustus Severance

Harrison J. Craig

Philip McGuire

George Brown

Bernard Cook

John McGinley

Revolutionary War

Joseph Coolidge

Edward Harrington

French & Indian War

Ebenezer Brown

King Phillip’s War

Capt. Phillip Beers 

John Hagar

John Chinery

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