November 25, 2020

Four Lists of Names of East Providence Citizens Who Served in WWII Exist

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The year 2020 marks the 75th year after the end of the Second World War. There are many memorials throughout the city to remind us of individual service members who died. But the names of those who served and returned home are not easy to obtain. Four lists of EP citizens who served in WWII exist.

1. Mrs. James M. Armstrong, of the Civilian Defense Council, collected 3421 names prior to Feb. 1944. This number increased to over 3576 names when the Honor Roll monument was unveiled for Mothers' Day in May 1944. Additional names were added until the Second World War ended in Sept. 1945. Does anyone have a list or photos of the names that were on this highway billboard type monument? This Honor Roll was located in the triangle on Taunton Ave., Grove Ave., and Purchase St., on the west side of the EP Town Hall. What was the fate of this paper and ink tribute?

2. In June 1948, the gates to the Pierce Memorial Field football stadium were dedicated to the students and alumni of EP High School (EPHS) who served during WWII. The western bronze tablet lists the full names of the 76 who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The eastern bronze tablet states that 2125 EPHS students served. In Feb. 2020, a list, with over 2000 names, was retrieved from the East Providence Historical Society's museum, the Hunt's House archives. Written on paper in cursive handwriting, Susan Cady has typed this list of names and added military details collected from other sources.
Who are the EP students who attended other high schools and served in WWII? LaSalle Academy, Providence Country Day School, St. Dunstan's School, St. Raphael's School, etc.

3. In 1950, the tall white WWII Memorial, now located on the bicycle path in Riverside Square, was dedicated. The ceremony program contained several pages of names of our veterans. Does anyone have a copy of this dedication booklet to share? Does anyone have photos of this monument at its original 1950 location?

4. Presently, the EP Historical Society is hosting a virtual EP Military Service Honor Roll at ephist.org. The public can submit names of EP residents who have served in all military events from WWII to the present. Veterans of Seekonk, MA, who attended EP High School, are welcome to have their names on this list. So far, this list contains the names of many EP veterans who attended LaSalle Academy and EP High School.

This honor roll tribute is part of the special EP Veterans' Memorial Expressway (EPVME) re-dedication celebration on Sat., Nov. 6, 2021. Read more about this 60th anniversary celebration and the volunteers needed on a new (in December) website https://sites.google.com/view/epvmer2021,

Contact:  epvme@hotmail.com 

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