Marlborough's Military History 1890-1990
In the battle of Lexington in 1776, captain Isaac Davis, who commanded a company of Minutemen, was killed, becoming the first American casualty of the Revolutionary War.
In his honor, Company F, also known as the Davis Guards, was organized in Acton in April 1851 and moved to Marlborough in December 1873. Companies E and F were known as the "Old Sixth" with its motto, "First into the field". Both companies had Marlborough roots. On January 23, 1893, Col. Henry Parsons, Pay-master Edward Tucker and Quartermaster John Carpenter organized Co. E, 6th Regiment Infantry, M.V.M., and became incorporated into the "Old Sixth".
In the midst of 'The Gay Nineties", noted for its sophistication, the Spanish American war intervened. Officially beginning April 25, 1898, it was a brief conflict that ended on August 12, 1898 when treaties of peace were signed. The sinking of the battleship Maine was one of the causes of the war, and the cry, "Remember the Maine", echoed throughout the nation.
One of the first Companies to be ready for this conflict was Co. F, 6th Regiment. The night before they left, there was a large gathering at City Hall, with past and present PersonNameMayors, clergy and other prominent citizens. William Frost, a veteran of the Civil War, stated that every ex-soldier knew how the members of Company F felt. "We sorrow with you, we rejoice with you and are proud of it because we can't help it. It makes no odds whether you are fighting or not, you are entitled to honor just the same".
When Company F left for camp at South Framingham Muster Field (Camp Dewey),on May 7th, the largest crowd ever assembled at that time, gathered to send them off. More than 15,000 people came to see them off with great cheers, trains whistling and cannons booming, a show of great enthusiasm and patriotism. Mayor Hoitt sent off the brave boys in blue with these words, " I speak of you as good soldiers...where there is truth there is no flattery. Good soldiers are made of good citizens and as good citizens, I know you. Go boys, and fight for the cause which is your right. Fight for the City which has not only rocked your cradles but prospered your manhood!" A special sight were the schoolchildren who were enthusiastically waving flags on the High School Common as Company F paraded down Main Street to the Railroad
Contributions for Company F came from members of the business community and others who wanted to show their support for the members of Company F and help in the war effort. Mr. John Frye presented a silk flag, Mr. Louis Howe offered to pay all postage for mail from the boys, and deposited a sum as a guarantee with postmaster Fay. Mr. E.L. Bigelow furnished tobacco and pledged to hold their jobs open, and if necessary, provide for their families.
Morse and Bigelow issued cards worth $1.00 to each member to be used on goods that the firm handled. Money was also raised for necessary supplies for the company.
On May 20, Company F left for Camp Alger in Virginia where they were joined by Marlborough recruits, bringing the enrollment to 109. Although the food was poor and the climate worse, the men of Company F, many seriously ill, proceeded by boat to Santiago de Cuba. The "Old Sixth" was in the line of reserve during the battle of Santiago and fought in the Battles of Guarnica and Yanco Road in Puerto Rico.
Two brave boys laid down their lives, Willis H. Page, who died on the transport, Lampassos, and was buried at sea. The other Marlborough native was Ernest D. Marshall, the first American soldier to be buried in Puerto Rico, whose body was brought to Marlborough a year later for burial. Some were hospitalized in Puerto Rico, while others returned home with fever and malaria and later died. Others who died were Cornelius Donahue, Louis Sasserville, George Lynch and C.R. Donahue.
Residents received souvenirs of the war. Red and Yellow rosettes from Spanish uniforms, brass buttons with Spanish insignia and small Spanish flags were sent home.
The war had its music. John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever", "Good-bye Dolly Grey", "The Banks of the Wabash", and "Just Break the News to Mother", were sung by quartets on summer evenings following the war.
The men continued to do their part until the war's end. In less than four months, President McKinley, secured freedom from Cuba. Company F and the boys Marlborough had done their part in securing a successful end to the war.
As magnificent and spontaneous was the enthusiasm that marked Company F's departure to the front, it could not compare to the outpouring of gratitude and relief that welcomed them on their return. Company F arrived home on October 27, 1898 at the railroad depot to an even bigger crowd than had sent them to the front. They were greeted with a storm of cheers and applause, every vantage point taken to greet their soldiers. A welcoming line was formed to escort them in a procession to City Hall, where a brief reception and welcome by the Mayor, members of city government and other prominent citizens paid tribute to their brave soldiers. Homes and store fronts were decorated with flags and bunting to greet the men.
The "Old Sixth" was mustered out of federal service on January 21, 1899. The State Armory was
erected on Lincoln Street in 1905. Thomas P. Hurley, a local contractor, was in charge of construction. On February 9,1906, the dedication of the armory took place with great lavishness such as had never before been seen in Marlborough. More than 1,500 people attended the gala reception which featured a Banquet in Preston Hall and a Concert and Ball in the Armory. Representatives from the Governor's staff attended, along with the mayor and a large number of distin-guished citizens who joined with the members of Company F, 6th Infantry, 1st Brigade, M.V.M. to christen the Armory in proper fashion. To honor those who served in the Spanish American war, a grateful city erected the "The Volunteer" Monument on Bates Avenue, facing the G.A.R. Monument, in October of 1924.
Although the Massachusetts National Guard was not called into service between the Spanish American War and 1916, it did serve the common-wealth on several occasions. On April 12, 1908, many guard units went to Chelsea during a large fire that destroyed a large section of the city. In 1912 they were called for duty because of riots in Lawrence during a strike of 30,000 textile workers. In 1914 they were called to Salem where a large fire destroyed millions of dollars in property.
Company F (Davis Guards) was the only military organization from the Bay State to visit the Jamestown Exposition. This company under the command of Captain Franklin Taylor, had a record of efficiency that could not be equaled at the time in the state. They maintained maximum strength with a waiting list of recruits and they never failed to have 100% present for duty and all inspections. The trip to Jamestown was financed through their own efforts, asking for- no state assistance. They also took part in the Inaugural Parade for President Taft. In 1910, Captain Taylor was elected Major, and returning home to Marlborough following his election, he was tendered a reception and ovation by the members of his Company.
Previous to World War I, a brief border conflict with Mexico put Co. F on alert. Officers and Non-Coms from Co. F trained men of Co. L and Co. M, 2nd Regiment at Camp Whitney in Framingham. In June 1916, men from the 2nd, 5th, and 9th Regiments left Camp Whitney for duty near the Mexican border. Many Marlborough men transferred to these units.
When the War in Europe broke out, several local men joined foreign armies, although many later transferred to United States Forces.
While the United States didn't enter the war until 1917, members of Co. F, 6th Regiment, were given the Federal Oath on July 1, 1916 and were mustered into Federal Service on April 6, 1917 at which time they became Co. F, 181st Infantry (Yankee Divi-sion) of the 26th division.
President Wilson signed the Joint Resolution of Congress declaring a state of war to exist between the United States and Germany at 11:11 P.M. on April 6, 1916. Orders flashed out to the ships at sea and to the forts of the United States.
On April 11, Co. F received orders to join the Battalion at Fitchburg. When they received these orders, plans were quickly implemented and they were on their way in less than five hours. Large crowds gathered at the Armory and hundreds lined the streets leading to the Armory. When the orders came to step out, the men fell in and the ranks were closed. Captain A. M. Payne gave the word to march and Co. F was out of the Armory and on its long journey on the path of duty and sacrifice. Stores closed and factory workers came out to offer their support to these brave men. They marched down Lincoln St. to Mechanic St., then to Main St. and on to Maple St. to the junction to entrain. It seemed as if the whole city turned out to wish the men Godspeed. As they marched, the fire alarm sounded a salute.
On April 21, Co. F was transferred to the Boston Armory. On July 4, 1917, the first military organization
to leave for France was the Yankee Division.
On July 23, 1918, 75 draftees left for Camp Devens. These men were from those area towns which composed District 16. Some of those from Marlborough were Sylvio Moineau, Joseph Silvestri, Arthur Blanchette, (his brother Oscar was killed in action on April 13,) Simon Riani, (the third brother to be in the service), Alphonse McCabe, Wilbrood Conrad, Arthur Kinder, William King, Matthew McBride, William Delaney, (a future Marlborough physician), Amadeo Gournells, Thomas Daley, Alphonse Labossiere, Alfred Bisson Wilrose Sasseville, Patrick Cofelice and also Ellsworth Day, Arthur Varrell, and William Fahey who were later killed in action.
Unlike the Spanish American War, where most of the casualties came from fever contracted in the tropical climate, the majority of casualties came from hand to hand combat, heavy artillery, gas warfare and more advanced weaponry. Lt. William M. Brigham was the first commissioned officer from Marlborough to make the supreme sacrifice. The Marlboro Enterprise faithfully reported those injured in action, noting that these men were some of the best Marlborough had and were universally liked and respected. All in the City shared the family's sorrow.
Back home, the residents of Marlborough supported the war effort with "meatless and heatless" days and conducted Liberty Bond drives. Everyone was encouraged to plant gardens for produce. In the 1917 Annual City Report, Mayor McCarthy noted the contributions from the ladies of Marlborough who made 2,109 hospital garments, 1,698 sweaters, 1,251 mufflers, 1,072 pairs of stockings, 1,001 dozen handker-chiefs and over 1,500 other knitted garments. War contributions by Marlborough included $30,822.40 for the United War Work, $30,000 for the Red Cross, $15,382.66 from Marlborough Committee on Public Safety, $7,608.80 from the YMCA, $4,300 from the Patriotic League, $3,139.77 from the Knights of Colum-bus, $1,200 from the Italian Refugee Fund, $637.45 from the Community Service Fund and $584.58 from the Salvation Army
War Fund for a total of $93,675.66. In addition, five Liberty Loans were raised with a total quota of $2,562,200 but subscribed for a total of $3,213,950. .
When Co. F had gone to fight in World War I, the boys back home formed Co. K, 13th Regiment, State Guard of Massachusetts, which later became placeBattery A, 1O3rd Field Artillery. From this group there is one man still alive to answer the roll call for placeBattery A, 103rd F.A.- Pvt. Edward F. Craig. Mr. Craig has since passed away.
The Yankee Division is on record as one of the finest in the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War I. They received a special honor for action in April 1918 during a heavy assault in Bois Brule near the town of placeCityApremont. The Regimental Colors were decorated by the French with the Croix de Guerre with Palm. This was the first decoration received by a United States regiment by a foreign power. This honor was com-memorated with a mural at the Massachusetts State House. Before the war ended in November 1918, more than 500 local boys served in active war service.
On May 1, 1919, a War Exhibit Train arrived in Marlborough with a locomotive, baggage car, three flat cars and a sleeping car. This train arrived to boost the Victory Loan. The train was accompanied by men who had served in American, British and French armies. Bells rang to sound the arrival. Cannons, guns and war implements taken from the Germans were on display. Weapons were shown and their uses demonstrated by the soldiers.
To help boost further interest in Victory / Liberty Loans, a tank came to Marlborough accompa-nied Liberty by several soldiers. Small parades led by Drum Corps and school children marched though the streets advertising the Victory Loan. The Mayor spoke of the necessity of buying bonds. He told the history of the Fifth Liberty Loan, of sacrifices made by the soldiers and the need to get the money to pay bills contracted by our Country.
Marlborough closed out the Fifth and Liberty loan, Saturday, May 11 with a blaze of glory. It was the most successful campaign although in the beginning, it appeared to have a poor outlook. The War had been won and many felt that the loan would come some way. But through perseverance, the residents enthusiastically raised more than the quota.
On May 30,1919 a Memorial Service was held in the State Armory for those who did not return from the War. The Program was under the direction of the Patriotic League and was well attended by returning veterans, G.A.R. Post #43 members and a large number of citizens. With appropriate solemnity and honor the Roll of Honor was unveiled.
These are those men who made the Supreme Sacrifice: Herbert Akroyd, Charles Beausoleil, Charles Bellows, David Bishop, Harold Blake, Oscar Blanchette, Eugene Boisse, Emil Boudreau, William Brigham, Jr.,. Arthur Cleversy, John Colleary Charles Cosmas, Albert Daniels, Ellsworth Day, Mortimer Dowling, Emile DuFresne, Victor Emery, William Fahey, Crowell Fish, John Foley Benjamin Francis, James Gagas, Edward Higgins F.S. Hanlon, Allan Howe, Allen Howes, William Howes, William Kenney, David Labossiere, John Larbour, Leo LaBrache, Henry Laviolette, Ralph Lord, Dennis Lyons, Frank Maddox, Henry Marien, Arthur Marsan, Thomas McEnelly, William O’Connell, Wallace Parmenter, Walter Perry, Percival Riley, Frank Russe, Arthur Varrell, John Ward, Fred Wyman.
On July 3, 1919,2 Squares were dedicated to honor Sgt. Dennis Lyons and Private Allen S. Howe.
Impressive ceremonies were held first at Elm, Hudson and Mechanic Street to dedicate the Square in memory of Sgt Lyons, and then at Union and Hudson Streets to the memory of Pvt. Howe. Organized by the Happy Hollow Club, the Program began with a concert followed by a parade to the Squares where appropriate ceremonies were held.
The following day, a Special Day was held to honor the veterans of World War I. In the foreword of the Program Book were these words: "Words can never adequately express the pleasure and pride with which the people of Marlborough welcome the returning veterans of the World War. And much more difficult it would be to find words to voice our feelings toward those who, having made the supreme sacrifice, can be met in spirit only. Much has been given by you - the greater part, and watching with solicitude your sacrifices and your deeds overseas, we at home are glad to have this opportunity to extending you this "Welcome Home."
The activities that day were many and varied. Starting at midnight with a bonfire and fireworks at Prospect Park, a Parade with Military and Civil Orga-nizations began at 10:00 a.m. Beginning at West Main Street, and winding its way through the City by way of Broad Street, Lincoln Street, Mechanic Street, Main Street, Church Street and Warren Avenue, finally returning by way of Main Street to the High School Common for a welcome ceremony. The Speakers were Mayor Charles McCarthy and Colonel John F.J. Herbert of Worcester. A special tribute was paid to those who died and a Special Singing Program by the School children concluded the Program. A banquet was held at the Armory where watch fobs were presented by City Officials. The afternoon included games and sports for school children, followed by sports and games for,
soldiers and sailors, including a baseball game between them. The day concluded with a Band Concert on the High School Common followed by dancing in Pastime Hall.
Other squares were dedicated to the soldiers of World War I: John P. Colleary Square (Main, East Main, Brown Streets and Granger Boulevard), Wallace Parmenter Square (Lincoln, Stevens and East Main Streets, Harry E. Sherman Square (Bolton Street' Extension, Maple and Greenwood Streets).
Parks dedicated were: Oscar O. Blanchette Park (West Main and Beach Streets), William Munroe Brigham, Jr. Park(side lawn of Library) and William A. Howes Park (Maple Street and Framingham Road). The World War I Memorial also known as "The Doughboy Monument" stands in front of the Walker Building on Main Street.
Co. K National Guard was called out by Mayor Ingalls during the hurricane of 1938 to protect people and property.
Battery A, 103rd Field Artillery was the first National Guard unit in Marlborough and the only field artillery unit to be located in the City.
The Second World War
The Second World War solved the world wide depression and sent America back to work. Before September 1939, many of America's leaders seemed to be believers in our country's detachment from the world turmoil. By the winter of 1940-41, Britain's situation appeared desperate and a German invasion imminent. In March 1941, an open-ended lend lease act wiped out the last of America's neutral-ity. American convoys started carrying essential supplies to Britain. Japanese assets were frozen. The stage was set for America's entry in World War II. On December 7,1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked and out of its wreckage came a powerful American commit-ment to win the war.
Stationed in placePearl Harbor were three Marlbor-ough men who wrote home many details of this event. Members of Co K, 181st Infantry, National Guard had been inducted on January 16, 1941 into federal service with the Yankee Division in March, 1941. Daniel Curran was appointed a Major with the Yankee Division in March, 1941.
The Citizens of Marlborough responded to the war effort by volunteering for various duties coordi-nated by Marlborough's Committee on Public Safety for Civilian Defense. Spotting stations were started and staffed. First Aid defense courses were held. The city was divided into 15 zones for defense purposes with wardens for each zone. Gas stations were closed at night. Blackouts were scheduled and various air raid warning drills took place. War loan drives were successfully held. The seventh of these drives had more than tripled its quota.
A Defense Corps was formed at Marlborough High School in December, 1941.
Dr. William Roche organized several defense medical units in the city, with headquarters at Hildreth, Mitchell and Bigelow Schools.
Informational posters and leaflets were distributed to people with instructions on what to do in an air raid.
Marlborough was headquarters for Draft Board #94. Appointments were made to the board and also to Advisory Boards which were being formed.
Registrations were held for men between 21-35 years for the draft. Master draft lists were prepared and quotas were announced. When the Selective Service List was published in March 1942, leading the list in the #1 slot was John Callahan. In 1917, his brother Joseph had been #1 in that call. Draft registra-tions were held at various times during the war with great response. Quotas were always filled.
Unlike previous wars when many Marlbor-ough men were assigned to the same units, most of our men were assigned units to both theaters of war.
Between December 1941 and May 1945, the United States was continually engaged in two very different wars. In the Pacific theater, where victory hinged on the control of the seas, we fought almost alone. In the European theater, where victory could be won only on the continent, the United States contrib-uted to a complex, collective effort.
On May 20,1942 the first Marlborough man reported missing was Sgt. M.J. Bracken who was reported missing in action in the Philippines. The first Marlborough man killed in action was Private Woodrow A. Houde who was killed in action on Wake Island in June, 1942. Private Eugene Lambert was the first Marlborough man killed in the invasion of France.
Listings of those killed, wounded and missing in action were published in the paper. Also published were lists of those who were serving in the Armed Forces. In August, 1944 a survey showed that Marlborough had 62 woman in the service.
A Roll of Honor was erected in front of City Hall listing those who were serving in the service.
Dr. John Lepore was the first medical man called into service in February, 1941 and was later cited by both British and American officers for excep-tional service in North Africa in 1942.
Many of Marlborough's servicemen were decorated for bravery receiving Purple Hearts, Legions of Merit, Silver and Bronze Stars, Distinguished Flying Crosses Oak Leaf Cluster, etc.
With the announcement on May 8,1945 of Victory in Europe, bells rang with excitement. And on August 16,1945 victory over Japan was announced with celebrations, bells whistles.
The total Marlborough dead was 76.
On January 21, 1946, an order providing for a Welcome Home Celebration for the Veterans of World War II was introduced and adopted by the City Coun-cil. Funds were placed in the Budget for the City's contribution for the Celebration. Shortly after, a committee was formed to plan and arrange all the details for the Celebration.
It was decided to hold the Celebration over the Labor Day weekend. Fund-raising events were held to help finance the 3 day program.
A Souvenir Booklet was Prepared and Pub-lished. The Committee expressed wishes from the Community:
'" It is hoped that this Welcome Home Celebra-tion will be accepted as a slight token of that deep respect and appreciation which we, the Citizens of Marlborough, feel for those who fought and have now returned Home for a lasting and enduring Peace."
The Program for the Celebration included softball and baseball games, Children's Day, athletic contests, entertainment, fireworks, Parade (attended by 20,000) , homecoming exercises with a guest speaker, a Concert at Lyonhurst followed by a Ball. On Sunday, September 1, there were special religious and memori-als services with Presentation to Gold Star Mothers, widows and next of kin.
Those who gave their all in World War II:
Elwood Ahlgren, Albert Algosi, John Bacher, George Beaudry, Valmore Beauregard, Elmer Bemis, Earnest Bergeron, Donald Blanchette, Harry Boivin, Edward Boudreau, Joseph Bouffard, Francis Brazeau, Ralph Burns, William Burns, Raymond Butler, Daniel Cashman, John Chase.
Harold Conway, William Crosby, Joseph Cusella, Ernest Damico, Emile Danjou, WIlfred Demers, Peter DeSimone, Joseph Duca, Albert Dus-seault, Edmond Ethier, Joseph Ferrecchia, Ernest Flynn. Joseph Fontaine, John Gately, Wallace Gaucher, Jr., Miltiades Gikas. Francis Girard, Alfred Gregoire, Louis Gugliemo, Albert Houde, Woodrow Houde, Burr Hudson, Jr., Charles Jaworek, Michael Jaworek.
Kosmas Kapetanopolis, Angelo Karopulios, Julius Kelber, Raymond Lacouture, Leon Lamarre, Eugene Lambert, Daniel Langelier, John Langelier, Lawrence Langelier, Clayton Lizotte, Hector MacKay, John McNeill, Nicholas Masciarelli, Christo-pher Mathewson, Edward Montanari, Carlos Miele, Gaetano Martinangelo, James McGee, Robert Naugler.
Raymond Paquin, Christos Pappas, Albert Peltier, Jack Perolman, Donald Perry, Ernest Perry, Raffaele Pietroluongo, John Pomphrey, William Ripley, Alfred Sandini, Norman Schofield, Donald Sheridan, Albert Simpson, Donald Smith, John Teller, Francis Thomas, Chandler Tucker, Roland Turmaine, William Wakefield, Richard Worster, Nicholas Zompetti.
Returning veterans took advantage of the GI Bill of Rights to get further education and training.
The housing shortage became acute with the return of the veterans. Veterans Housing Units were a National Housing Agency Project. Army Barracks were constructed at Prospect Park - 35 housing units -for World War II veterans.
The Office of Selective Service Board # 94 moved to Waltham in October, 1946. The Rationing and War Price Control Board ended December 12, 1946.
Purchased by the city in 1952, the Public Beach at Fort Meadow was dedicated as World War II Memorial Beach.
Erected by the Italian-American Veterans is a monument at Piave Square.
The Korean War, Beginning in June 1950, completed America's global policy of "containment". Officially the United States did not fight a war in Korea, it cooperated in a United Nation Police Action. The Korean War was the first United Nations War. It was to be the last in which Americans would carry the brunt of the fighting. After two years they had enough and a year later, General, now President Eisenhower, stopped it.
At the beginning of America's involvement, American troops struggled to stem the South Korean retreat. During the summer, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, America's military power reversed the battle and drove the North Korean army past the 38th parallel to the Chinese border. The original purpose had been protection of South Korea's territory. Now the goal seemed to be unification of the entire Korean peninsula. In November, Chinese reinforcements surprised the American forces pushing them once again below the 38th parallel. By early 1951, the War settled into a struggle along the original boundary. In 1952, an armistice between the opposing armies re-established the division at the 38th parallel. A formal peace never came.
Marlborough's men and women answered the call. Farewell parties were held for those who were leaving to serve in the Armed Forces.
Registration for the Selective Service was held in January, 1951 for all professional men under fifty years of age.
There were many Blood Drives in the city. Mobile Blood Units traveled to the Armory and set up for residents to answer the urgent appeals for blood to aid the troops in Korea.
Air Raid Defense Tests were held with special' drills in recording plane sightings also held.
Articles in the local paper related many instances of chance meetings of Marlborough' service-men meeting in Korea. .
Co K, placeStateMassachusetts National Guard held recruiting drives to fill in the ranks. Men who were on leave spoke to various groups and organizations about the conditions and difficulties encountered in Korea.
Lt. (jg) Arthur Boule had a part in the motion picture "The Frogmen" for which he also served as a technical advisor. .
There were many instances of local service-men being decorated for bravery.
Those who died in service to their country:
Harold Cole, Donald Comtois, Tyrus Cooney, Robert Denoncourt, James Foley, William Gagas, Monroe Hollis, James Hurley, Jr., Alonzo Simmons, Earl Simmons, William Rogers, Roland Melket, Ovide Maurice, Donald MacQuarrie, Arthur Kinder, Jr., Thomas Riley, Jr., Robert Wright.
Co K,181st Infantry, National Guard Unit, be-came Co E, 181st Infantry in June, 1959.
America's involvement in Vietnam dated from 1950, when the United States first supplied aid to the French in their attempt to recapture their Indochinese colony. France lost the battle of the jungles to Ho Chi Min's communist army and after the French defeat, the United States assumed responsibility for containing communism throughout placeIndochina.
Vietnam asked only for advisors and techni-cians and arms. But it didn't work. There followed more technicians and "paramilitary" groups, and more arms, and in the end continuous and massive aerial bombings. For ten years America made the earth tremble but it couldn't conquer the people who lived on it. The wildest nightmares of three presidents were realized in the dispatch of half a million men, more than had gone to Korea, suffering more casualties than Korea. Many Americans, especially the young who would have seen a villain in Hitler and fought him, could see no vital American interest in Southeast Asia.
The more American the war Vietnam became the broader the guerilla resistance to Saigon grew.
Johnson rode the momentum of America's involvement into a major war. In 1964 he inflated a small naval encounter off the coast of Vietnam into a calculated attack by North Vietnam on an American ship. In the "Gulf of Tonkin" resolution, the Senate granted the president wide discretion in defending America's forces in Vietnam. Starting seriously in 1965, Johnson enlarged the American contingent in Vietnam unt.il1968 when it exceeded half a million men. Massive bombing raids struck North Vietnam which then sent its own troops into the south. American planes followed the jungle trails to block the flow of troops and supplies from the north. Johnson dismissed overtures to compromise. .
The Johnson administration issued optimistic statements about the progress of the war. However, the Vietnamese did not respond according to plan. North Vietnam and the NLF did not weaken, and in January and February of 1968 launched the "Tet" offensive. Even before this, America's opposition to the war was rising.
Once, faith in containment would have strengthened American support for the war. By the late 1960's however, the Vietnam crisis accelerated the general decline of our country's global policy. Instead of being part of this policy, it seemed to be a separate issue that could solve itself.
The controversy over Vietnam continued as Richard Nixon took office in 1969 and he knew, one way or another, he had to end the war. He reduced the number of troops from over half a million in 1969 to under 100,000 in 1972. However in 1969, delegates from the two nations had met in negotiations and used it to storm at one another and to explore possibilities of peace. The crisis in the negotiations occurred just after the election in 1972, when it was. thought that America's air attacks implied it was trying to bomb Vietnam back into the Stone Age. In January 1973, both sides modified their demands just enough to sign a peace treaty.
Marlborough had again lost some of its best: Richard Demers, George Hanlon, Kosmos Kapetanopoulos, William Leonard, Robert McDonough and Michael Minehan.
Marlborough men and women have continued to serve their country by enlisting in the Armed Forces and the National Guard.
Through all military actions, Marlborough has supported its citizens as they traveled to all comers of the globe in support of their Country.
The armory, built in 1905, closed in March 1990. The local Nation Guard unit has consolidated with another unit.
The Marlborough Middle School Auditorium has been dedicated to the veterans of World War II, Korean Conflict and Vietnam War.