Sheriff’s Patrol Boats Named in Honor of Putnam War Heroes
Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Chairman Art Hanley of the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council, and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell jointly announce that four Sheriff’s Office patrol boats have been named in commemoration of four Putnam County war heroes.
The patrol boats were christened at a sunset ceremony that took place at the Putnam County Veterans’ Memorial Park on Thursday, May 14, 2015. The event was attended by a number of local, county, and state government officials, and by an audience of dozens of military veterans and police officers and their supporters.
The ceremony included remarks by Sheriff Smith, County Executive Odell, Veterans Council Chairman Hanley and State Senator Terrence Murphy. Common themes in the speakers’ remarks were gratitude for the service of veterans and police officers at home and abroad, and acknowledgment of the strong bond between military and police that is reflected in naming the patrol boats after the distinguished veterans.
Ms. Odell read a Putnam County proclamation on behalf of her office and the Putnam County Legislature recognizing Mr. Charles J. Moore, a veteran and former sheriff’s deputy, for his leadership in chairing the Veterans Honoree Selection Committee. Ms. Odell praised the service of all veterans, noting that their service extended even beyond their time on active duty. “Our veterans continue to serve our community right here at home in so many different and wonderful ways,” she told the crowd.
Veterans Pete Pennelle, Harry Sherblom, Charles J. Moore and Karl Rohde read citations recounting the military service rendered by the four honorees. Reverend Larry Maxwell offered an invocation and benediction and led the assembly in patriotic songs.
The four heroes for whom boats were named were all Putnam County residents. They represent four different branches of the military services and several different wars and military actions.
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander John C. McCloy was the recipient of two Medals of Honor–being one of only 19 individuals ever to receive the Medal twice–and The Navy Cross. He is listed among the Top Fifty Highest Decorated Members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. His campaigns and actions included the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, the Mexican Campaign at Vera Cruz in 1914, and Hazardous Duty in the North Sea clearing mine-fields at the end of World War I. He hailed from Brewster.
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Albert L. Ireland was awarded the Purple Heart Medal nine (9) times for wounds received in action, the most Purple Hearts ever awarded to a single member of the Armed Forces of the United States. He was wounded five times while fighting in the Pacific Theater during World War II and four times while in action in Korea. He was a resident of Nelsonville.
U.S. Army Major General Gouverner K. Warren is best known as “The Hero of Little Round Top” for his organizing of a hasty last-minute defense of that tactically important hilltop at the Civil War battle of Gettysburg. His action in fortifying and holding the hill against the opposing forces is credited with preventing a Confederate victory at Gettysburg and stopping the Confederate advance on Washington, D.C.Wounded twice during the Civil War, he refused to leave the field of battle and to relinquish his command. He was a graduate of West Point and lived in Cold Spring.
U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant William A. Todd was just 22 years old on March 29, 1972, when his plane went missing over Vietnam. Listed as missing in action for some 14 years, he was confirmed as being killed in action in 1986. He resided in the Hamlet of Mahopac in the Town of Carmel.
The Sheriff’s Patrol Boat (“SPB”) John C. McCloy is an 18-foot 1995 Penn Yan deployed on Lake Oscawana. SPB Albert L. Ireland is a 24-foot 2013 Boston Whaler and SPB Gouverneur K. Warren is a 26-foot 2008 Pro Line; both patrol the Hudson River. All three of those boats are owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and are on free loan to the Sheriff’s Office. SPB William A. Todd is an 18-foot 1998 Angler on Lake Mahopac; it is owned by the County.
Sheriff Smith, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, expressed special thanks to State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey for her agency’s generous support of the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit. The Sheriff also credited Commissioner Harvey with prompting the idea of naming the boats during the launch of a new sheriff’s patrol boat two years ago. “Commissioner Harvey turned to me and asked why our boats did not have names, and from that spark began this collaborative initiative of the Sheriff’s office and our local veterans to name the boats in honor of these four great heroes of Putnam County,” he said.