STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — When the monuments were first dedicated at town hall David Erskine had the idea that he wanted to honor the veterans on them in a special way and now he’s done it.
“There’s 46 WWII and then there’s 12 Vietnam and six Korea,” said Erskine who was once Stonington’s police chief.
He used his investigative skills to track down and collect the pictures of all 64 veterans remembered on monuments at town hall, outside the Mystic VFW, and in Old Mystic.
“Each submarine that went down has got a website, also year books,” said Erskine. “We got a hold of families from anywhere from between Michigan, Maine, California.”
Along with those photos are stories of each hero like Howard Chase captain of Stonington High’s track team.
“He died in the Korean War and it was her only son and they had a family farm,” said Erskine.
Growing up in Stonington Erskine went to school with relatives of some of the veterans like Coldwell Cook who went down in a Submarine.
“Didn’t know it at the time when we were in school that they were… they didn’t have a father,” said Erskine.
Arthur Choquette who died in Korea was the oldest of nine. His father died a decade before he entered the service.
“It was it was a shame,” said Erskine. “It was so young.”
Erskine’s good friend and fellow Stonington Historical Society board member Bob Suppicich helped organize the photos. Here’s John Dion who was part of the 1942 state champs.
“There were 38 members of that football team and every one of them is a World War II veteran,” said Erskine. He agrees with those who call WWII veterans the greatest generation.
Now they’re part of this great tribute to all of Stonington’s veterans.
“I’m glad we got them all,” said Erskine. “There’s not one or two missing.”
“During his research Erskine discovered there were some people who should be on the town hall monuments and aren’t. He says they will be now.