Cheshire community honors WWII veteran - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Cheshire community honors WWII veteran

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The community honored a Cheshire World War II veteran on Wednesday. (WFSB) The community honored a Cheshire World War II veteran on Wednesday. (WFSB)

A Cheshire World War II Veteran was honored on Wednesday for his service and sacrifice to our country.

A special memorial was held for John "Jack" Bollinger, PHM2 (Pharmacists Mate) USN WWII, who was a part of some pivotal moments in history.

“Jack was our friend and we’re proud of him,” Sylvia Nichols said.

“This is a sad occasion, we had a lot of good times with Jack,” his nephew Joe Maginn said.

“He made it to 92 and we were very lucky to have him for so long,” his Godson Andrew Knott said.

Bollinger passed away in July.

Wednesday a final salute to his service was held at the Cheshire Hillside Cemetery.

His gravesite was flanked by flags, family and fellow veterans.

The Patriot Guard, which is made up of veterans and volunteers across Connecticut, were also there to honor him. 

 “It’s important, each one of them, because it’s our history. We honor the veterans before us,” John Casey with Patriot Guard from Groton said.

After high school, Bollinger joined the Navy and went off to war on the USS Missouri. A ship that saw the worst of war and also witnessed the moment, it ended.  

The peace treaty was signed on board of the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945.

Bollinger was in Birdseye view of the signing and captured in official photographs from that day. 

“He watched the hands shaking as the people signed the document,” Nichols said.

For his service, Bollinger was awarded a number of military medals. 

After the war, Bollinger traveled the world on the USS Missouri before settling in Cheshire with his wife for 40 years.

He sold high-end men's clothing in town. 

“He was an honorable man, he was a gentle man,” Nichols said. “He was a patriot to the end.”

 A biographer is now writing a book on the life of Bollinger, so his story will be remembered.

“The greatest generation is almost gone,” Skip Petras with Patriot Guard said. 

To see more pictures of Bollinger on your mobile device, click here

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