Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge veteran is grand marshal of Memorial Day Parade

May 20, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
World War II veteran Howard Dunn is the grand marshal of this year’s parade. Photo by Raymond Aalbue

A Bay Ridge World War II veteran who spearheaded a project to plant American flags on sidewalks in the community’s shopping strips will serve as the grand marshal of 148th Annual Kings County Memorial day Parade.

Howard Dunn, who served in the U.S Navy, will ride the parade route in an open air convertible.

The parade will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, in Bay Ridge, starting at 11 a.m.

“There are a lot of other people who deserve it,” Dunn said, referring to his selection as the grand marshal. “But I’m very excited they chose me.”

The deputy grand marshals are: Korean War veteran Donald Feldman, Korean War veteran James Faulkner and retired U.S. Air Force Maj. William B. Harris, who is a World War II veteran.

The parade route begins at Third Avenue and 78th Street. The participants will march along Third Avenue to Marine Avenue, then up Marine Avenue to Fourth Avenue, and then along Fourth Avenue to 101st Street and into John Paul Jones Park for a post-parade ceremony.

Sponsored by the United Military Veterans of Kings County, the parade will feature veterans from several wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. American Legion posts, Veterans of Foreign Wars groups and organizations like the Catholic War Veterans of America and the Jewish War Veterans of America are planning to take part. The line of march will also include the NAM Knights and Rolling Thunder, whose members will ride the parade route on motorcycles.

The President of the United Military Veterans of Kings County is Prisco DeAngelis. Raymond Aalbue is the parade chairman.

Col. Joseph D. Davidson, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, will serve as the parade’s reviewing officer.

Dunn, 88, served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946. He is a member of the American Legion and served as the legion’s Kings County Commander in 1968.

He has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America since 1939, when he joined Troop 321 at St. John’s Evangelist Church.

Introduced to the Wounded Warrior Project through his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, Dunn helped to raise more than $28,000 between 2009 and 2012 for the organization that helps military service members who are injured. His participation with the Wounded Warrior Project continues today, as he works with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on clothing drives.

In Bay Ridge, Dunn is perhaps best known for leading an American Legion effort to plant U.S. flags on the sidewalks in front of hundreds of stores along Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue, 86th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

Feldman, who was born in Williamsburg in 1929, joined the U.S. Army in 1948. When he returned to Brooklyn, he attended Brooklyn College but his studies were interrupted when he was drafted to serve in the Korean War in 1950. He saw heavy action and received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and the Korean Service Ribbon.

He returned to Brooklyn in 1951 and worked as a purchasing agent for an electric company. He retired in 1990. In 1995, he founded Chapter 171 of the Korean War Veterans of American and serves as the commander. He began to volunteer in the mid-1990s at the Brooklyn Veterans Administration Medical Center helping other veterans find their way through the myriad of paperwork to get the benefits they had earned.

Faulkner was born on August 17, 1931 in Monroe, North Carolina. He was 16 years old when he joined the Army in 1947. He was deployed to Japan and served two years as part of the Occupation after World War II. He served in the Korean War which began in 1950. He was captured by enemy forces on December 1, 1950 and was a Prisoner of War. “They didn’t give us anything; no meds, no food. People just died. They made us go to classes on communism, trying to indoctrinate us. No one tried to escape because there was no place to go,” he recalled. He was released in 1953 and returned to U.S.

Harris was born in Glasgow, Scotland on March 6, 1918. In 1924, his family loved to Brooklyn. At the age of 22, he was drafted and wound up serving in the military for 38 years. “I had some college credits so I took the test for flying cadet and passed and became a pilot,” he said.

When he was finished with active duty he returned to his job at Bankers Trust and retired when he turned 65.

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