West Point’s Last Graduate Uniform Gift to the Middletown Military Museum

MIDDLETOWN — The Greater Middletown Military Museum continues to receive donations for its collection. Each enhances the history of the military experience of the greater Middletown area and America.

Forms of a West Point graduate, including jungle camo shirt/pants, jungle boots, fatigues, blue uniform, jump boots, blue beret (101st Div.), maroon beret ( 82nd Div), his black beret (75th Inf. – Ranger). This soldier rose to the rank of major while serving in several army units, including the artillery. He was a parachutist.

A private collection of more than 30 military books was added this month to our already extensive library of military history books that span the spectrum of American, Connecticut and Middletown history, from the early colonial days nowadays.

Museum collection

You can research the names of Middletown residents who served in the Colony of Connecticut as early as 1678, or in the French and Indian War (1755-1762) or read the personal letters of several soldiers from the Middletown area, including the Pfc Maurice Patterson in World War I and World War II or Private Albert Leary writings in World War II, among others.

Thanks to many donors, the museum has a considerable collection of books on warplanes and ships, uniforms and crests, and biographies. Curious to know more about covert operations? We have books on spies, including Max Corvo of Middletown, an Italian immigrant who was instrumental in setting up covert OSS operations in Italy prior to the US military landing in Sicily in 1943.

Naval signal flags and a colorful array of submarine ship patches, most of which were submarines launched from Connecticut Naval Submarine Base New London at Groton.

Every group needs money, and the Greater Middletown Military Museum is no different. Over the years, veterans have supported the DAV and VFW museum.

In 2021, the VFW voted to donate $25,000 to the museum. Donations are for five years; $5,000 per year. This is the second year the VFW has so far donated $10,000 of the progressive donation to the museum.

Commander John Botti said: “It is important that we support the museum. We not only supported our country while serving in uniform, but now we serve keeping the memories alive. We can do this by making a donation.

Museum President Kenneth A. McClellan announced that the museum had just received a $6,100 grant from Connecticut Humanities. This year, the CT Humanities Cultural Fund has made available to museums, cultural, human and arts organizations in the state $16 million in grants to help these state resources maintain and develop their capacity to serve their community and the public.

Future months in history

March 4, 1789: The first meeting of the new Congress under the new United States Constitution was held in New York.

March 5, 1770: The Boston Massacre occurred when a group of rowdy Americans harassed British soldiers who opened fire on civilians, killing five and wounding six. The first man killed was Crispus Attucks, an African American. British Captain Thomas Preston and eight of his men were arrested and charged with murder. Their trial took place in October, with colonial lawyer John Adams defending the British. Captain Preston and six of his men were acquitted. Two others were found guilty of manslaughter, branded, then released.

March 6, 1836: Fort Alamo fell to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna. The Mexicans had begun the siege of the fort in Texas on February 23, ending it with the murder of the last defender. “Remember the Alamo” has become a rallying cry for Texans who defeated Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto in April.

March 16, 1968: During the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre occurred when American soldiers from Charlie Company murdered 504 Vietnamese men, women and children. Twenty-five US Army officers were later charged with complicity in the massacre and subsequent cover-up, but only one was convicted and later pardoned by President Richard Nixon.

March 17, 1776: At the start of the American Revolutionary War, the British completed their evacuation of Boston after a successful siege led by the Patriots. The event is still commemorated in Boston as Evacuation Day.

March 23, 1775: Patrick Henry sparked the American Revolution with a speech to the Virginia convention in Richmond, declaring, “I don’t know what way others can take; but me, give me liberty or give me death!

Donations can be made to the Greater Middletown Military Museum by calling 860-788-7215 or visiting gmvmm.com. For more information, email [email protected]

About Bobby F. Lopez

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