Purple Heart recipient is Post 44's vet of the month
Relatives of the late Wesley R. Anderson Jr., American Legion Post 44's veteran of the month, at Bantam Borough Hall following Saturday's veteran of the month service. Anderson's daughter, Toby McKay, and her husband, Alfred, are on the far right. BZ photos
World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Wesley R. Anderson Jr. is American Legion Post 44 of Bantam’s veteran of the month.
Anderson, who died May 15, 2015 in Waldoboro, Maine, was honored by Post 44 in a ceremony held Saturday at Bantam Borough Hall. His daughter, Toby McKay of Waldoboro, and her husband, Alfred, attended the service.
Anderson, who was a member of Post 44, was wounded in combat in France while serving with Company B of the 377th Infantry Regiment’s 95th Division. He recovered from chest wounds and returned to the front line.
After being discharged on Feb. 18, 1946, Anderson was awarded the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, the European-African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon.
Born in Bantam on Nov. 7, 1917, Anderson was the son of Wesley and Mary Ellen Anderson. He attended schools in Bantam and Morris and worked as a machinist at the Torrington Co. before enlisting in the Army on Nov. 16, 1943.
After the war, Anderson returned to Bantam and the Torrington Co., where he worked until retiring in 1982. His wife, Sally, died last year. In addition to his daughter and son-in-law, Anderson is survived by two granddaughters, several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Anderson served on Bantam’s Borough Board of Warden and Burgesses, was a constable in Bantam, and served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Sewer Commission, and the Republican Town Committee. He was a past master of St. Paul’s Lodge and a 50-year member of the Masons.
Saturday also saw a changing of the guard at Post 44. John Lilley, post commander for four years, stepped down and was succeeded by Henry Osowiecki, who has been emcee of the veteran of the month program. Lilley will serve in the role of 1st vice commander.
Other officers are Reggie Harrison (adjutant), Wayne Wilson (finance officer), Linda Sue Searles (sergeant at arms), and John Secor (officer in charge of the veteran of the month program).
Post 44 Adjutant Reggie Harrison announces the selection of Henry Osowiecki, left, as the new commander. Osowiecki succeeds John Lilley, below.