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Brightwood Boys, The History of the Men from the North End of
Springfield, Massachusetts, During World War II
by Christopher P. Montagna



The house at 36 Huntington Street was the home of Jeremiah and Margaret Carey.  The Carey's sons Henry and Thomas Carey were making their contributions to the war effort.  In September of 1944, Henry Carey, a 1937 graduate of Brown University and boxing champion was a Lt(jg) serving with Patrol Boat (PT) Squadron RON5 in the pacific.  He served as the commander of PT 108, the sister ship to John F. Kennedy’s PT 109.  Thomas Carey, also a graduate of Brown, enlisted in the army on April 9, 1942 and served as a 1st Lt with the 385th infantry, 76th division and was awarded a bronze star.


Also making their mark in the war effort were the O’Brien boys from Greenwich Street.  The brothers and standout baseball players, Harold, John, William, and Edward were serving in two theaters of operations.


Edward O’Brien served in the Army as a member of the 240th Field Artillery.  He boarded the Queen Elizabeth along with 17,000 other GI’s headed for England.  He eventually arrived in France on June 17, 1944 and fought with the 240th FA across Europe.  Harold “Horse” O’Brien served in the Navy aboard a PT Boat.  William O’Brien served as a cook aboard a submarine and John O’Brien also served in the Navy.


Five of the Dagenais brothers, who lived at 9 Orchard Street  served their Country with distinction.  Carl Dagenais enlisted in the Marine Corps on his seventeenth birthday.  He served with the Fourth Marine Division and was wounded in action at Iwo Jima.  Francis Dagenais served in the Army and was wounded during the Tunisian campaign.  James Dagenais also served in the Army.  Raymond and Martin Dagenais served in the Navy.