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Remembering the Brave Who Served for America on Veterans Day

From my story published by Boston Media Group 2015

Photo of a gathering November 1950 Ivan Eaton and fellow POW's. Ivan spent 33 months in a Chinese Communists POW Camp.

Ivan Eaton of Seabrook (photo above) and George Maryea of Amesbury served together in the Korean War. Both men were captured on Nov. 28, 1950. They spent 33 months in a Chinese Communist POW camp. Maryea lost his eyesight, which only partially restored. The boys came home to a celebration parade and more than 8,000 attended. They remained best of friends, according to Ivan’s son George Maryea Eaton, named after his father’s comrade. George noted his father’s devoted service to the community. Ivan founded the Seabrook Search & Rescue and held many official town titles.

Celebration Parade over 8,000 attended for the boys included Ivan Eaton and George Maryea, Courtesy of Mrs. Ivan Eaton.

Sgt. Leonard “Lenny” Budd was deployed to South Vietnam, where he served with Company C, 9th Motor Transport Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division from August 1967 until he was captured by Viet Cong forces on Aug. 21. It was 17 months before it was announced he was alive. He spent more than five years in captivity in camps in North Vietnam. On Dec. 21, 1968, Lenny’s mom was able to listen to a recorded message with her son’s voice. Sgt. Budd would not be released until March 1973. Budd headed his welcome home parade riding in a white Cadillac in Rowley in 1973. Gov. Leverett Saltonstall thanked him for his service and female attendees smothered him with kisses of gratitude. A bank book containing $2,000 was gifted to him and the Jaycees presented him with a plaque honoring him as the “Outstanding Man of the Year.” Budd was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his courage “to resist the harsh treatment of his captors and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.” In a phone interview with Budd, he said he was exhausted and overwhelmed that day. He even fell asleep at one point, but he will never forget how his hometown made him feel special. He met his wife Gail at that parade and the couple had four children. He lived in Newburyport and worked as a postman with his good friend, Andy Parks.

Annette Cayer Basque served in the WAVES

Amesbury’s Annette Cayer Basque served in the WAVES, division of the United States Naval Reserve, during World War II. She was a plane captain mechanic stationed in Ellyson Field, Pensacola, Florida. She grew up on River Street and her father worked at the Merrimac Hat Company where they made Elizabeth Taylor’s hats. After graduating from Amesbury High School, she felt a strong desire to serve her country. She probably would have taken up arms if she had been allowed to do so. She enlisted after Pearl Harbor and was sent to Hunter College for boot training and the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis to learn her trade. She was top of her class. She also learned to fly; the Navy paid $125 a run. Basque loved the adventure and handsome naval men were a bonus. After the war she came home and met her husband Jacque at a St. Jean’s dance. Just recently she was awarded Amesbury’s Civic Recognition Award for acts of compassion and kindness.

Elliot Lincoln Peatfield of Georgetown enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 16, 1918. After training, Peatfield was sent to France, where he served under Gen. Smedley D. Butler in the guard at the supply base at Brest. He also served as a member of the Guard of Honor of President Wilson in France. A new method of warfare was introduced by the Germans called mustard gas, or “Hot Stuff,” outfitted in artillery shells and grenades. During a mission with the Guard of Honor, Peatfield was exposed and became very ill. After his discharge in 1919, Peatfield was hospitalized several times for respiratory problems. In 1926 he died of heart failure at Chelsea Naval Hospital. Peatfield was only 28 years old. He is buried at Mt. Feake Cemetery, Waltham. Laurie Short Jarvis, a descendant, has Elliot’s obituary that his sister Louise copied by hand and pictures of Peatfield in Oregon, where he made a living as a lumberjack before the war. The Peatfield family invented the first lace machine in this country right in Ipswich.

In the room with Hunk O'Tin are several radiator fronts, punctured and battered by shellfire, which belonged to cars that were glorious in the service. One is from the car in which Richard Hall was killed, in Alsace; another is from the car driven by Newburyport's Roswell Sanders of Section 4 at Verdun the night that he was seriously wounded and his companion, Edward Kelley, was killed

Roswell Sanders a driver in the American Ambulance Field Service in World War I, was awarded the prestigious French Medaille Militaire. While on route to collect the wounded in Monte Homme, also known as “Dead Man’s Hill,” Sanders’ ambulance was hit by a “Black Maria” from the German line. Sanders was working with Edward Kelley, a new recruit, showing him the ropes. Just before the car was hit by the shell, Sanders recalled the moment in an interview: “As we neared the village of Marre, two shells landed about 150 yards away from us, and I turned to Kelley and said, ‘As these are the first shells you have seen, they sound pretty good, don’t they?’ and he answered, ‘Yes, if they don’t come too close.’” Kelley received full charge to the head and died instantly. Sanders was severely wounded.

During his hospitalization, Sanders was nursed back to health by the heiress Virginia Fair Vanderbilt. His family back in Newburyport received letters from fellow officers praising the dedication and “splendid work,” and never knew “a more truer, selfless friend.” During an interview at the Sanders’ home at 7 Fruit St., his mother said he “loved his home and books” and his studies at Boston Art School.

Private Joseph Tidd son of George C. and Jennie Hoyt of Georgetown, was killed during the last great conflict of World War I in France in September 1918. Tidd served in the U.S. Army 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 2nd Division. In 1930, Jennie Hoyt traveled with the Gold Star Mothers to visit her son’s grave at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France. Mrs. Tidd recorded the voyage in a journal “My Trip To France,” which will be part of a Great War exhibit starting in 2017 that will commemorate local men who fought in World War I. Karen Brocklebeck, a direct ancestor of Tidd and active member of the Georgetown Historical Society, will be working on the project.

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