This site is dedicated to the NY Irish veterans who served in many USA wars and were on both sides of the Civil War.  The Irish were especially known for their bravery.  The NY-Irish mailing recently wrote of the veterans in their family and their dedications are on this site.



Lain/Laine Healey Anderson Waldron
Bowdren Kelly Murphy Conroy
Riley Hourihan Mitchell O'Brien
Barrett Skerritt Miller Dempsey
Pendergast Corrigan Clark Hinchy
Hayes Kelley Haynes Gallagher
Loughlin Murray Teller Gannon



MY Grandfathers brother fought in the first world war.He was from castlerea in roscommon so i think he would have been in the conought rangers he was called LAIN OR LAINE after the war he migrated to america


I had an uncle, William Healey, however, who was a gunner in the navy at Pearl Harbor during the attack. In those days, the gunner sat in the tail of the prop plane and shot at the enemy. He was based on the USS Midway and was in the war till it was over. After the war, he came home, worked at the post office in New Rochelle NY and never mentioned the war. It wasn't until after he died that my aunt showed me her scrapbook of his war history.  I was amazed.



Marching home from WWI, New York City


My father enlisted into the Sea Bees and served from 1944 until the end of the war. He was 39 and had 4 children. He served in Guam. My husband served in the Air Force during the Korean War and my youngest son is a Lt. Col in the Army at this time. He has served in the Gulf War, Bosnia is now at the Pentagon.


My great grandfather arrived from Ireland sometime around 1850 and served in the Civil War. My husband's Father served in WW1, on the beaches of Normandy, his brother was a Marine on Iowa Jima, WW2, my husband served in the Korean War, my son, a West Point graduate, was a Lt.Col. in Bosnia, my son-in-law < was in Dessert Storm and is now a Colonel in Colorado Springs, involved with Northern Security. A nephew was in Viet Nam.


My father, Gerald W. Bowdren, died this past January at the age of 75. He had been a marine in WWII, but never shared any details about it. He didn't see any military action, and I had always thought that perhaps he was embarrassed that he hadn't. He had hurt his knee in basic training which required surgery, yet he did become a sergeant and drilled new recruits at one point. HOWEVER, it wasn't until I started doing family history (about 3 years ago) that I found out the full story. The knee surgery went well and he and his platoon were scheduled to go to an island in the Pacific (sorry I don't have the name handy), when the military decided to send those who had done well on the academic/technical tests they gave to school for further training (radar operations, etc). He was selected for this. The rest of his platoon was shipped out to the island and every one of the men were killed. He told me (two years ago) that he had lived with the guilt of not being one of them for the rest of his life. That was why he never talked about it. Then the military decided that they needed more engineers and he was selected to attend college to become one. He was given the choice of several colleges, but he just wanted to know which one was closest to NYC, where he was born and raised. He was told that Princeton was the closest and my father answered, "Where's that?", to which the official responded "I don't think you're Princeton material". Of course, my stubborn irish father (both parents immigrated from Ireland) was then determined that Princeton was the college for him and that's where he went! It was a million miles (culturally/economically) from where he began life.


Hugh Kelly WW 1---------Army----France
John Kelly WW 1-------Navy
Patrick Kelly WW 2-----Navy------Africa
Thomas Murphy WW 2----Army----France
David Conroy WW2---- Navy-----Pacific
Edward Conroy WW 2---- Navy-----Pacific


US Navy fleet in the Hudson River, WW2


My great grandfather Michael Riley arrived on our shores at age 15 from County Cork (born there or sailed from there). I believe he came about 1855. He served in the Civil War. Settled in Chemung Co., NY, married and started a family. Was a farm hand and later worked on the Railroad. Moved to Tioga Co,m NY where more of his children were born. As far as I know none of his sons fought or joined any arm services, but his grandson, John Sherman Riley became a 2nd LT in the Navy and served 20 years. In peace time he served on board a ship that transported military personal families back and forth across the Atlantic. One time I asked what he did on board, and he replied that he kept track of the children and kept them out of trouble . After he retired he would travel from California to the east coast to visit family, and was always getting lost. We asked him how could he get lost when he had crossed the ocean so many times where there was no traffic signs. His reply was that someone else was driving.
P.S. My brother also served in the Navy during WWII as did my brother in law. Neither of them was ever overseas.


My dad was very proud of his service to his country, and my children are from a family who served through both parents. On my side My Dad's uncle served in WWI- he didn't return from France. My Dad and 3 Uncles served in WWII, and a brother served in Korea. My Mother lost 2 cousins in WWII, and had someone who served in most of the wars from the revolution to Korea. My Husbands family had his many g grandfather in the revolution, next generation was the war of 1812, and the war with Mexico. His GG Grandfather served in the 55th Va., and his GGrandfather served in the 26th Va. during the civil war. His Grandfather served on the home front in WWI, and his Dad served over seas in WWII, A cousin was in Korea, he himself was in Vietnam, along with a cousin who did not return. And our youngest son served in Korea just a few years ago. We are a family who holds the reverence of the day and are very proud of all our Vet's as well as all those who served to make us free.


Major John Mitchell 8th US Calvary Co. L-Congressional Medal of Honor, July 1869. Enlisted Ulster Co. NY
James J. O'Brien WW I
Edward L. Barrett Sr. WW l all of Yonkers, NY
Edward L. Barrett Jr. WW II
Major John Mitchell fought in the Civil War and in the Indian War. He was born in the Civil Parish of Kilquain Galway.

John Mitchell age 19 born Galway Ireland enlisted in the 120th-17th Engineers, Kingston, NY, captured Chancellerville1863. Died of Dysentary, Andersonville Prison, Ga. There is a memorial stone placed for John.


My g-g-grandfather James Skerritt came over from Ireland in 1862 and enlisted as a Private on 17 July 1862 in Richmond, Va at the age of 36. He was in Company E. 44th Infantry Regiment Virginia. He served for about six months and was discharged. He then went to Massachusetts and joined the infantry there . He was a Private in F Company in the 19th Massachusetts Infantry for the Union Army. He was discharged and later on after his death, his wife filed for a pension. So he was a double vet.


For Veteran's Day I'd like to honor my grandfather, Mark Attridge Miller. He was married to Margaret Mary Daly. Both their families came from New York. This is a letter he wrote to his dad at the end of World War I.

In a dugout "over there" November 16, 1918 My dear Gov.: The war has run its race. It ran a good one, but like everything else it had to end. Although we had been expecting the end to come almost any hour, yet in reality the end came suddenly for us. Up until the very last minute when the order came to cease firing on all fronts we were sending shell after shell, ringing their song of death over the boche lines. We reached the firing line the first of November but did not go into action immediately because we had to put in our guns and camouflage them, also the shell and powder depots. But when we did start firing - hell sure did bust loose. We received word from the commanding general thanking us for our good work. Our shots had gone "home." We had put out of action batteries that had never been silenced since the beginning of the war. In the early morning we opened up a fierce barrage fire for the boys who wear the hat cord of blue were going over the top. They gained a number of kilometers. Compared to the roar of that barrage fire, a boiler factory would sound like a cemetery. I never knew that there was so many guns in the world as belched forth fire, smoke and shells that memorable morning. I knew that there were batteries on all four sides of us, but I did not imagine that they were practically hub to hub for miles. When they all, from the famous French "Une Josephine" or 75 millimeter gun, to the powerful naval gun in the rear, opened up the roar was tremendous. You will ask, "What were the boche doing from the time you reached the firing line until the end?" I will begin that part of the story by telling you that the weather favored us, for it was either raining or cloudy from the time we reached the line until the game was called. War is one game that wet grounds won't stop. The cloudy weather prevented the boche planes from getting accurate observations on our positions and also, to begin with, enabled us to put up camouflage screens without being detected; also to bring up our guns and put them in place, which was a most difficult task. That work was done almost entirely at night, the only work done in the day time was done under the protection of the camouflage. When not under this protection you had to be constantly on the alert ready to take cover, for boche planes were continually passing over head. Battles between aeroplanes and between boche planes and our anti-aircraft guns were so frequent that after the first day or two they no longer interested us sufficiently to distract us from our work. Night and day the boches sent shells whirling across our lines, hoping to find a living target or to put out of action guns that had caused their death toll to mount heavenward. Some, I'm sorry to say, did go "home", but the majority found only old mother earth upon which to rip and tare. We could hear the German guns fire, we could hear the shells as they whistled over head and then the explosion as they burst somewhere behind us. Others fell short and reaked their vengenance upon dugouts and trenches. When one would stop off on its journey and visit us we did not know, nor apparently care. Our battery and all its members were certainly fortunate. Although the gas alarm rang out frequently and we were forced to work with our masks on, again we were fortunate for no one was gassed. When we will return to the states we do not know, but we do know that like Barnum we now have a show. We are living in dugouts about fifteen feet below terra firma. Taking everything into consideration we are living a comparatively comfortable life. Since hostilities ceased the weather has cleared up and become cold, consequently I'm writing this letter while sitting before a wood stove which makes the room quite comfortable. I received your seventh letter yesterday, also one from mother dated October 21st, was of course mighty glad to learn that you all have managed to escape the "Flu." I received a most delightful letter from Gladys Martin and also one from Father Creedon. Give my love to all at home, also any of my friends whom you might meet.> Lots of love (signed) Mark. Prt. Mark A. Miller Bat. E, 58 Art. (C.A.C.) American Expeditionary Force.



Marching in Troy NY after WW1

DEMPSEY, John Patrick US ARMY, Normandy invasion, Battle of the Bulge and one of the first soldiers to enter a concentration camp to liberate the prisoners.


John Pendergast of Tuam Galway b. 1826
Recruited in Tuam 1847 in British Army, deserted in Bury, England the home of many Galway Famine immigrants in 1850.  Civil War member of NY 159th Regiment Sept 1862- Oct 1865. Injured at battle of Red River. Sent to Philadelphia Military Hospital. On a Furlough request for funds to visit home, the person who heard his request wrote that he was going to "Brickland, New York." He lived in Brooklyn, New York - they heard a Galway accent.

Others in the Family.
Peter J. Corrigan U.S. Army WWI Served in France
* George Wilfred Corrigan (S2) U.S. Navy killed at Battle of Esperance on Oct. 12, 1942 (21 years old)
* James Franklin Corrigan Lt. Cmdr USMM WWII
* Alfred Ellsworth Corrigan (2nd Engr) USMM WWII
* John Francis Corrigan (RM3) US Navy Korean War
* Jerome George Corrigan (Cpl) USMC Korean War
* Wilfred Corrigan (Cpl) US Army Korean War


My Irish veteran are Uncles Thomas, Bernard and John Clark who served in WWII and my husband Frank Hinchy who served in the Navy for 30 years.  Part of the time in Vietnam. Although he was gone frequently and missed many holidays and children being born, he loved what he did and served with honor.


My grandfather, William M. Hayes Sr., served in the U.S. Navy from 1912 - 1915. My father, William M. Hayes Jr., served in the U.S. Army from 1941 - 1945. I served in the U.S. Army from 1967 - 1970 with one tour in Vietnam 1969 - 1970. My oldest son, Jason Hayes, is currently serving in the U.S. Army at Camp Monteith, Kosovo. My youngest son, Keegan Hayes, is only 13 years old, but still serves his country as a member of the Civil Air Patrol of the U.S. Air Force.


Oren Hensley Kelley, Army Air Force, whose plane went down over England in WWII
Elmer Ferdinand Kelley, United States Marine Corp, WWII (now deceased)
Edward Martin Kelley, United States Army (Career), (now deceased)
Maurice Eugene Kelley, United States Navy, WWII, still going at age 84, and just celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary.


Had 4 uncles in WW2 3 were wounded 2 in Europe and 1 in the Asia. 1 in Europe was a POW GOD BLESS THEM ALL 9 (as the song goes) I also had one son in the Army for 2 years in the 80's never left the USA.


The veterans in my family, that I know about are my father George Gallagher who served in the Army during WWII. He was an MP who spend a good part of the war guarding German prisoners first in the US and then in Europe. He is now 83 and can still tell you his serial number and that he served 3 years 5 months and 2 days. His brother Jackie served in the Army Air Corp. and never left the US. My maternal grandfather, James Loughlin, served in the US Navy during WWI. He and his brothers left Ireland during the early days of WWI and came through Ellis Island. They lived with relatives in Edgewater, NJ. He enlisted in the Navy with the incentives that they would make him a US citizen upon his honorable discharge and he would have the opportunity to
stop in Ireland on a cruise to see his family. I recently found his naturalization records in the New York County archives.

My wife is the daughter of a career Air Force master sergeant. One of her gg grandfathers, Philip Naugle, served in the Union Army during the Civil War and died from disease. We have his hand written letters home describing his work in an army hospital the week after a serious battle in Murfreesboro, TN the month before he died. We suppose that he contracted some sort of blood-borne disease that proved fatal. One of her gggg grandfathers, Jacob Waddle, was killed in the Battle of Fort Niagara in the War of 1812. In addition, one of her ggggg grandfathers, John Dodson, served in the Revolutionary War making her eligible for DAR membership. Two sisters of her maternal grandmother were members.


My father, Thomas Moran Murray was one of those men who risked their life for their country. Recognition for the contribution made by merchant marines to the war effort came eight years after my father's death. I just received my father's Honorable Discharge Certificate (DD Form 256CG) and his Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) a week ago (twenty two years after his death). About a month ago I received my father's service record. That's when I discovered that from June 1942 to April 1945, my father made ten Ocean-going trips to support the war effort. These trips were mostly two to three and a half month long and often back-to-back. I never before heard anything about my father's "war years". This many years later, I have begun to understand and appreciate how his war experiences
made him who he was.


William Teller-Impressed by the Confederate Navy so he gave a false name so that his chance at citizenship wouldn't be endangered. We still Don't know what his real name was!

Matthew Gannon joined the "Brown Water Navy" and served on board the Cincinattus- an iron clad- on the Mississippi. He was there for the taking of Mobile. He wasn't even a citizen and he returned to Liverpool in 1865 because it was thought that he had murdered a man--it turned out that he only beat him to within an inch of his life but he stayed in Liverpool and is buried in the ford Cemetery there. His son who had been born in Brooklyn returned with his family in 1906.


My Gt. Gt. cousins John and Michael Burke from Newburgh both joined the US Army N.Y. 47th Infantry for two years during the Spanish American war. Both saw active service and Michael was left with a limp due to injury on this active service. It must have been hard on their mother Mary Burke as she had already lost her husband and 6 children before watching her 2 remaining sons go off to war, not knowing if she would ever see them alive again. Indeed when Mary died she had only 2 children left alive out of the 11 she'd born. "They also serve who watch and wait."



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