On Saturday June 13, the JW Conway American Legion Post 26 supported by the Charlestown Veterans History Project will sponsor two hero square dedications. The dedications will take place on the corner of Monument Street and Monument Square in Charlestown to William J Ryan and James M Connolly. Both men, who came from Charlestown, lost their lives during WWII. Both men were born in December 1921 and both lived across from each other at 6 and 7 Monument Street. They were friends and both joined the Army together in January of 1944 during WWII.
William Ryan was assigned to E Company, 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division which was part of the 3rd Army under General Patton while sweeping across France. It was during this time, on September 20th 1944, that William lost his life during an attack to take the town of Pournoy-la-Chétive in France. William is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery at St. Avold, France. His awards include the Purple Heart, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the WWII Victory Medal.
James M. Connolly served with B Company, 38th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. James was with the division when the Battle of the Bulge