Identity sought of soldier in photo found in Torrington
TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) — The dark eyes of a young soldier with a faint smile stared back from the sidewalk, where his photo had been left leaning against a trash can in the rain last year in front of 28 Field St.
A city man, Eric Taylor, picked it up. He intended to return it. But to whom?
The uniform identified the soldier as a member of the U.S. Army’s 16th Armored Division. The only words in the photo, dated 1943, are “In Our Country’s Service. That Liberty Shall be Preserved.”
The search was turned over to the 16th Armored Division Association. But even after publishing the photo as a “solve the mystery” story in its newsletter, the soldier’s name remains unknown.
The 16th Armored Division didn’t arrive in the European Theater until April 1945 and saw limited combat, but was crucial to the liberation of the city of Pilsen in western Czechoslovakia.
The photo, likely destined for a trash pickup, may have been scooped up during a cleaning of the 1940 small brick multifamily rental home it faced. It was left standing in a residential neighborhood when construction began on the new Superior Courthouse next door.
The homeowner lives in Texas and couldn’t be reached for comment.
The search landed in Association member Frank Antos’ email inbox in London, Ky. A retired special agent for the U.S. Forest Service, Antos said he believes the soldier might have been a member of the D’Andrea family who lived there after the war, but 72-year-old Daniel D’Andrea in Torrington said it wasn’t one of his relatives. Local veterans groups and the historical society didn’t know either.
The blue piping along the soldier’s cap indicated he served in the armored unit’s infantry division, Antos said, which narrowed his service to the 18th, 64th or 69th units.
“We might never learn who he was,” Antos said. “He would be 90 at the youngest.”
Information from: Republican-American, http://www.rep-am.com