Veterans Voice: News for area vets

  • From left, Thomas Burgess, Larry Didier and Tom Pease serve as the Florence Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8006 Color Guard during the Veterans Day Parade in 2016. Gazette FILE PHOTO

  • U.S. Marine Corps Korea veteran, Purple Heart recipient and president of the Veterans Council of Northampton, Bradley LeVay, left, of Leeds and Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz lay a wreath in the Park Street Cemetery during a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony in Florence on May 28.

  • U.S. Marine Corps Korea veteran, Purple Heart recipient and president of the Veterans Council of Northampton, Bradley LeVay, left, of Leeds and Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz lay a wreath in the Park Street Cemetery during a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony in Florence on Monday morning, May 28, 2018.

Published: 7/13/2018 4:03:58 PM

B-17 MEMORIAL CEREMONY — On SATURDAY, the B-17 Memorial Committee will hold a ceremony to honor the 25 lives lost on Mount Tom in Holyoke on July 9, 1946. This year’s ceremony will include a B-17 “Yankee Lady” flyover courtesy of the Galaxy Community Council in Chicopee.

Visitors are asked to start arriving at 8:30 a.m. so that volunteer drivers can shuttle guests up to the monument in time for a 10 a.m. ceremony. The story of the crash and monument can be found at Support for the care and maintenance of this monument can be made at /support/.

CAR SHOWS — The Florence VFW Post 8006 will hold fundraising car shows at the Bluebonnet Diner on King Street, Northampton on selected Wednesdays throughout the summer. The dates are:  July 18, Aug. 15, and Sept. 18. The shows benefit the veterans, veterans auxiliary and community projects. They start at 5 p.m. and run until dusk. There will be music, food and beverages. For more information call 584-8396 or access the VFW web site at

Calling the Roll

Following is a list of local veterans whose obituaries appeared in the Gazette between June 20 and July 12. The information given here about their service is what was provided in each obituary.

Michael “Mike” Donal Dunphy, Hatfield, d. June 16; he served in the U.S. Army from 1972-1975, where his career as a mechanic began.

George W. Keefe, 79, Northampton, d. June 21; he enlisted in the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 104th Tactical Fighter Group in 1956 as a crash fire rescue specialist attaining the rank of master sergeant before he was selected for a commission as an officer and first lieutenant. 

He served as a squadron, group, and vice wing commander at the 104th Tactical Fighter Group before being selected to serve at the Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters. He was the last Massachusetts Air National Guard member to serve in uniform who were federally activated and deployed from October 1961 to September 1962 to Phalsbourg, France, for Operation Stair Step, the U.S. military response to the Berlin Crisis. 

George was also enshrined in the U.S. Air Forces Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, as one of the few general officers who rose from the rank of airman basic to major general.

George was selected and appointed as the 39th Adjutant General of Massachusetts, in 1999, by Massachusetts Governor the Honorable A. Paul Cellucci.

With this appointment, George became the first U.S. Air Force officer to serve as Massachusetts Adjutant General since 1778. George continued to serve under Lieutenant Governor and then acting Governor Jane Swift. Gov. Mitt Romney reappointed George to his second term as Adjutant General, a position he held until George retired with 49 years of military service in 2005.

Ronald L. Cole, 78, Milford, d. June 21; he served four years in the U.S. Air Force.

Richard J. Wells, 75, Easthampton, d. June 27; he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of staff sergeant and serving two tours as an air traffic controller at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas and Truax Field in Wisconsin. He was honorably discharged in 1967.

Carlton “Carl” R. Barry, 26, Belchertown, d. June 27; he enlisted in the Army National Guard and served 7 years, being discharged as an SPC. He served as a military police officer  in Qatar for a year.  After discharge, he immediately reenlisted and was serving in the Air Force Reserves.  He was employed as a federal security officer, covering western Massachusetts, Boston to Vermont. He guarded court houses, federal buildings and Social Security offices. 

Wayne E. Cleary, 70, Easthampton, d. July 1; he was a Vietnam veteran serving with the U.S. Army.

Michael Thomas Aliberti, 75, Athol, d. June 30; he was drafted into military service by the U.S. Army in 1964. He served a total of six years active duty and reserve time, including 12 months in Vietnam as a medical corpsman.

 Joseph Peter “Joe Stan” Stanisiewski Sr., 77, Florence, d. July 3; he served in the United States Marine Corps.

Richard “Dick” Cyr, 80, South Hadley, d. July 6; he proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy on the USS Becuna Submarine from 1956 to 1960.

Charles A. Latham, 79, East Otis, formerly Northampton, d. July 5; he served with the United States Navy.

Lucien O. Laprade, 94, Southampton, d. June 10; he was a World War II veteran serving with the United States Navy.

James R. Knightly, 81, Greenfield, formerly Northampton, d. July 8; he served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1959.

Veterans Voice appears twice each month. Send submissions to Veterans Voice, c/o Brenda Nelson, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Box 299, Northampton, MA 01061; or email

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