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Waterbury in New Haven County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Navy Cross

Our Waterbury Heroes

 
 
The Navy Cross Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, June 4, 2009
1. The Navy Cross Marker
Inscription. It is our nationís second highest military honor, awarded to three men from Waterbury. Let no one forget their personal valor, their courage, and their devotion to duty.

Cpl. John J. Spillane
U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 2d Amphibian Tractor
Battalion, 2d Marine Division
Date of Action: November 20, 1943
Citation:
The Navy Cross is presented to John J. Spillane, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Crew Chief of an Amphibian Tractor of , Second Amphibian Tractor Battalion, Second Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, 20 November 1943. When several enemy grenades were thrown into the troop-filled cargo compartment of his tractor during the initial assault, Corporal Spillane unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, began throwing the grenades out of the vehicle, successfully disposing of two before the third exploded in his hand and inflicted severe, multiple wounds. Corporal Spillaneís splendid initiative, fearless action and self-sacrificing devotion to duty in the face of grave peril undoubtedly saved the lives of his companions and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Spot Award, CinC Pac: Serial 0647
Born: at Waterbury, Connecticut

PFC
The Navy Cross Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, June 4, 2009
2. The Navy Cross Marker
Bronislow A. Sneickus

U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve) Company G, 2d Battalion,
24th Marines, 4th Marine Division
Date of Action: February 1, 1944
Citation:
The Navy Cross is presented to Bronislow A. Sneickus, USMC (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Squad Leader and Gunner of Company G, Second Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, Fourth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, on 1 February, 1944. When the tanks turned aside while his squad was participating in an armored and infantry attack through an area covered by thick undergrowth, PFC Sneickus fearlessly moved forward with his machine gun in his arms and engaged the enemy in a firefight. After setting up his weapon, he delivered an effective volume of fire and succeeded in repulsing two hostile counterattacks despite heavy enemy fire. Painfully wounded while repulsing the second assault, he remained in position and continued to direct the fire of his machine gun and to fire his carbine until ordered to withdraw. By his aggressive fighting spirit, personal valor and courageous initiative, PFC Sneickus upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Spot Award, CinC Pac: Serial 3777
Born: at Waterbury, Connecticut

Cpl Thomas J. Cavanaugh
U.S. Marine Corps, Co. F, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines,
9th Amphibious Brigade, III Marine Amphibious Force
Date of Action: September 19, 1968
Citation:
The Navy Cross is presented to Thomas James Cavanaugh, USMC, for extraordinary heroism with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade in the Republic of Vietnam on 19 September 1968. Co. F was conducting a reconnaissance in the Quang Nam Province when they encountered a large enemy force employing heavy automatic weapons which caused numerous casualties. Cpl. Cavanaugh skillfully deployed elements of his platoon to establish a strong base of fire which would enable the beleaguered Marines to extract injured personnel. Disregarding his own safety, he fearlessly exposed himself to the intense hostile, shouting words of encouragement to his men and directing their fire against the enemy emplacements while assisting the wounded. Cpl. Cavanaugh refused medical attention and once assured that the last of the wounded Marines had been treated, he allowed himself to be evacuated to a protected area where he succumbed to his injuries. By his courage, sincere concern for the welfare of his fellow Marines and unwavering devotion to duty, Cpl. Cavanaugh upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Authority: Navy Dept. Board of Medals
Born: at Waterbury, Connecticut
 
Location. 41° 35.302′ N, 73° 3.049′ W. Marker is in Waterbury, Connecticut, in New Haven County. Marker is at the intersection of Thomaston Avenue and Boyden Street, on the left when traveling south on Thomaston Avenue. Click for map. Located in Waterville Park. Waterville is a section of Waterbury. Marker is in this post office area: Waterbury CT 06704, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Waterville Veterans (a few steps from this marker); Waterbury Vietnam War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Oakville World War II Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); Greystone Falls (approx. 2 miles away); Waterbury Soldiers' Monument (approx. 2.2 miles away); Washington – Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (approx. 2.2 miles away); St. James Church (approx. 2.2 miles away); Waterbury Veteranís Monument (approx. 2.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Waterbury.
 
Categories. War, VietnamWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,234 times since then and 111 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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