Office of the Governor

NEWS RELEASE

PO BOX 004
TRENTON, NJ 08625

CONTACT: Jayne O'Connor
609-777-2600
G. Natasha Zoe (DMAVA)
(609) 530-6942
RELEASE: November 3, 2000

Governor Presents High School Diplomas to World War II Veterans

Governor Christie Whitman today awarded high school diplomas through the "Operation Recognition" program to more than 80 New Jersey World War II veterans attending a graduation ceremony at the War Memorial in Trenton.

"You missed high school's milestones because your nation needed you, and you responded selflessly," said Gov. Whitman. "We can't give you back memories of the senior prom or graduation. But we can put in your hand an important milestone - your high school diploma."

"Our diploma recipients here today are members of a very elite group," said the Governor. "You are the ones who, in Bob Dole's words, liberated whole continents from tyranny, armed with courage and stainless patriotism."

"We will never forget you for that, and we will never stop being grateful," added Gov. Whitman before handing out diplomas to those graduates able to attend today's graduation. The State has issued 200 diplomas; 86 recipients attended today's ceremony to receive them.

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and the Department of Education (DOE) jointly launched a program this October 5th to honor World War II era veterans who left high school to join the military and never received their diploma.
More than 400 of New Jersey's 100,000 living WWII veterans have already applied for their diplomas as part of the program known as Operation Recognition.

Any resident New Jersey veteran who left high school to enter military service between the dates of September 16, 1940 and December 31, 1946 is qualified to receive a state-endorsed high school diploma. This includes veterans of all the branches of service including Merchant Marine and Coast Guard as well as those who have earned a General Educational Development Diploma (GED). Diplomas may also be issued posthumously, surviving family members of eligible veterans are encouraged to apply.

"This is a small recognition we can give in appreciation to those who sacrificed their education to ensure our freedoms," said Michael Warner, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, DMAVA.


"I am pleased to support this most worthy program," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "Through their patriotism and sacrifice, the men and women who served our nation during World War II have justly earned the distinction as 'the greatest generation.'"

"I am asking local school leaders throughout the state to realize the opportunities this program will present to enhance their social studies and history curriculums," Hespe continued. "Specifically, I will ask school districts to consider awarding these diplomas as part of subsequent Veterans Day or Memorial Day observances, or at regular commencement exercises. The Department can provide assistance and information on how schools in other states have turned these occasions into memorable and moving celebrations."

Programs similar to Operation Recognition have been established in other states including Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

To apply for Operation Recognition diplomas, send a copy of your DD-214 or discharge papers, the name and address of the high school you attended, the year you would have graduated, your name, address and daytime phone number to Operation Recognition, New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, Eggert Crossing Road Box 340, Trenton, NJ 08625-0340. For more information, call Patty Ann Richter at (609) 530-6868.

Marine Corporal John Adams
St. Peters High School Class of 1942
Ewing, NJ

Army Sergeant Sam Alessio
Cliffside High School Class of 1941
Parsippany, NJ

Army Sergeant Anthony Alves
Art High School Class of 1945
Cedar Grove, NJ

Merchant Marine Able Body Seaman Frank Ambrosy
Perth Amboy Vocational High School Class of 1945
E. Brunswick, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class LeRoy Boutillette
Morristown High School Class of 1944
Denville, NJ

US Army and Air Force Master Sergeant Raymond Bradley
West Side High School Class of 1949
Willingboro, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Peter Calvanico
Class of 1944
Budd Lake, NJ

Navy Seaman 1st Class Stanley Campbell
Newark Central High School Class of 1944
Toms River, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Charles Catanoso
Wildwood High School Class of 1944
Cape May, NJ

Army Sergeant Fred Chafey
Asbury Park High School Class of 1945
Brick, NJ

Navy Coxswain Adam Chlodnicki
Rockaway High School Class of 1945
Denville, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Robert Colucci
Roselle Park High School Class of 1945
Toms River, NJ

Army Technician 5th Grade Edward Connelly
Dickinson High School Class of 1944
Edward Connelly receiving diploma son
Monmouth Jct, NJ

Navy Bosun Mate 2nd Class Lester Davis
Pennington High School Class of 1945
Titusville, NJ

Army Corporal Anthony DeAngelo
Dirardville High School Class of 1944
Woodbridge, NJ

Army Private 1st Class George Delizio
Nutley High School Class of 1944
Whiting, NJ

Army Corporal Emilio Delloiacono
Roselle Park High School Class of 1944
Linden, NJ

Army Technician 5th Grade Nelson Dent
Asbury Park High School Class of 1944
Brick, NJ

Army Technician 5th Grade John DeStefano
Rahway High School Class of 1944
Rahway, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Michael DiRoma
Montclair High School Class of 1944
Verona, NJ

Navy Carpenters Mate 3rd Class John Donovan
Dunellen High School Class of 1944
Piscataway, NJ

Navy Electritians Mate 3rd Class Joseph Dunn
Woodbridge High School Class of 1945
Somerset, NJ

Army Sergeant Mahlon Earle
North Arlington High School Class of 1944
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Charles Egan
Edison Vocational High School Class of 1946
Carteret, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Anthony Fantauzzo
Trenton High School Class of 1945
Hamilton Square, NJ

Navy S1 Ralph Farella
New Brunswick High School Class of 1948
N. Brunswick, NJ

Navy Fireman Second Class Edward Fears
Montclair High School Class of 1945
Union, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Vincenzo Ferrara
Trenton Central High School Class of 1942
Ewing, NJ

Army Master Sergeant Albert Fink
Trenton High School Class of 1942
Trenton, NJ

Navy Machinist Mate 3rd Class Joseph Fornarotto
Essex County Vocational School
Bellville, NJ

Army Master Sergeant Frank Fucsko
Woodbridge High School Class of 1944
Spotswood, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Thomas Giaimo
Westside High School Class of 1945
Springfield, NJ

Army Staff Sergeant Daniel Gould
Dover High School Class of 1946
Mine Hill, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Thomas Hanewald
Snyder High School Class of 1944
Brick, NJ

Merchant Marine 3rd Cook Elias Hellerstein
Commerce High School Class of 1946
Brick, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Joseph Hickey
Rahway High School Class of 1944
Metuchen, NJ

Army Technician 5th Grade Donald Horner
Manasquan High School
Helen Horner Receiving diploma wife
Toms River, NJ

Navy Torpedoman Mate 3rd Class Edward Hunter
Paterson Vocational High School
Millville, NJ

Navy Electricians Mate 2nd Class Albert Hutton
Trenton High School Class of 1944
Verna Hutton Receiving Diploma
Princeton Jct, NJ

Navy Fireman 1st Class Joseph Infante
West Orange High School Class of 1946
Summit, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Grover Ivins
Middlesex County Vocational High School Class of 1945
Spotswood, NJ

Army Corporal Junius Jackson
Plainfield High School Class of 1945
Cranford, NJ

Army Staff Sergeant Joseph Kaminsky
Perth Amboy High School
Perth Amboy, NJ

Coast Guard 2nd Class Petty Signalman Theodore Kaskiw
Carteret High School Class of 1940
Carteret, NJ

Navy Gunners Mate 3rd Class George Kaul
Class of 1944
Barnegat, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Richard Ludwiczak
Dickinson High School Class of 1943
Linden, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Aloysius Magrowski
Class of 1944
Villas, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Joseph Mahoney
West Side High School Class of 1946
Spotswood, NJ

Navy Seaman Joseph Manhart
Carteret High School Class of 1947
Barnegat, NJ

Army Technician 4th Grade John Mannion
Immaculate Conception Class of 1944
Verona, NJ

Navy Carpenters Mate 3rd Class Edward Marcinczyk
Sayreville High School Class of 1946
S. Amboy, NJ

Navy Coxswain Eugene Marion
Butler High School Class of 1945
Butler, NJ

Navy Seaman First Class Cameron Mazza
West Side High School Class of 1946
Union, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Angelo Mazzocoli
Morristown High School Class of 1945
Madison, NJ

Navy Signalman 3rd Class Frank McCain
Long Branch High School Class of 1944
Oceanport, NJ

Navy Radioman 2nd Class Edward McKeever
Trenton Catholic High School
Hamilton, NJ

Navy Seaman 1st Class Phillip Moretti
Emerson High School
Toms River, NJ

Army Sergeant William Murphy
Morristown High School Class of 1945
Morris Plains, NJ

Army Private 1st Class John Nesby
Kearny High School Class of 1946
Edison, NJ

Navy Seaman 2nd Class John Odin
Linden High School Class of 1945
Rahway, NJ

Navy Gunners Mate 2nd Class James O'Neill
Barringer High School Class of 1943
Bricktown, NJ

Army Private Emilio Papa
Class of 1945
Pennington, NJ

Navy Radioman 3rd Class Patsy Parigi
Belleville High School Class of 1944
Toms River, NJ

Army/Air Force Technician 5th Grade Robert Ploof
Trenton High School Class of 1947
Trenton, NJ

Navy Seaman 1st Class Michael Possumato Jr
Sacred Heart High School Class of 1945
Vineland, NJ

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Leo Reynolds
Bloomfield High School Class of 1946
Pomton Lake, NJ

Navy Coxswain Kenneth Ross
Jonathan Dayton Regional High School Class of 1944
Kenilworth, NJ

Army Sergeant Nicholas Rucci
Henry Snyder High School Class of 1948
Brick, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Alfred Rutherford
Teaneck High School Class of 1945
Maywood, NJ

Navy Boatswan Mate 2nd Class John Safran
Passaic High School
Totowa, NJ

Merchant Marine/Navy Engineer Leonard Savarin
South Side High School Class of 1944
Roselle Park, NJ

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Henry Schipmann Jr.
New Brunswick High School Class of 1944
North Brunswick, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Harry Selzam
Roselle Park High School Class of 1942
Brick, NJ

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Edwin Shields
Teaneck High School Class of 1942
Manahawkin, NJ

Coast Guard Stewartsmate Paul Smargiassi
Merchantville High School Class of 1946
North Cape May, NJ

Marine Sergeant George Smith
Hammonton High School
Folsom, NJ

Navy Chief Petty Officer Albert Smith
Bloomfield High School Class of 1943
Toms River, NJ

OSS Specialist X 1st Class Sam Speranza
Jamesburg High School Class of 1942
Monroe Twp, NJ

Merchant Marine/Army AB Seaman Samuel Steward III
Hamilton High School Class of 1947
Yardville, NJ

Navy Seaman 1st Class John Szczyrek
Nutley High School Class of 1944
Nutley, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Henry Szymczak
Bayonne Technical High School
Bayonne, NJ

Navy Yeoman 3rd Class David Tenney
Weequachic High School Class of 1946
Matawan, NJ

Army Private Douglas Tydeman
Woodraw High School Class of 1944
Pennsauken, NJ

Army Corporal John Vaccarella
Hammonton High School Class of 1945
Hammonton, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Benedette Valeri
Trenton Central High School Class of 1939
Trenton, NJ

Army Private Grade Six Ralph VanHuff
Atlantic City High School Class of 1946
Atlantic City, NJ

Navy Seaman 1st Class William VanWilpe
Butler High School Class of 1946
Wanaque, NJ

Army Private Donald Walters
Hillside High School Class of 1943
Surk City, NJ

Air Force Corporal Harold Wiese
Merchantville High School Class of 1943
Cherry Hill, NJ

Army Technician 5th Grade Leslie Williams
Bloomfield High School Class of 1944
Orange, NJ

Navy Shipfitter 3rd Class Virgil Williams
Perth Amboy High School Class of 1946
Edison, NJ

Army Private 1st Class Emmitt Worthy Jr
Toms River High School Class of 1947
Toms River, NJ

Navy Fireman 1st Class Dominic Zimbardo
Union High School Class of 1945
Toms River, NJ


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