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A special thank you to those who have passed it on to others. We are heading quickly to amazing page visits to this blog! Welcome to folks from all over the country and other countries as well, including Lisbon!!

The "Village", as it was called, is located in the northwest corner of the city of Taunton, Massachusetts U.S.A. It covers about 1 square mile with the center being School Street. A large portion of the Village population was Portuguese when I was growing up.

This blog covers a lot of the history of the Village, much to do with my years as a child there: 1940 through the late 1950's. I do have many wonderful photos and information prior to that that and will share those as well. Always looking for MORE PHOTOS AND MORE STORIES TO TELL.

If you would like to send photos or share a memory of growing up in the Village
e-mail me at
feel free to comment on the posts. Directions are on the right side of the blog posts. Jump in, the water is fine and it is easy!!!

I will be posting photographs but not identifying individuals unless I have permission or they are a matter of public record. It you wish to give me permission, please let me know.

I am looking for any and all photos of the Village...

Please note: the way blogs work is that the latest post is first. It you would like to start from the beginning of the blog, check out the post labels on the right of the blog and go from there. Thanks.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Village and a Love Story: Camp Myles Standish

I find the information on Camp Myles Standish fascinating.  Much of it has been gleaned from the Internet including descriptions from Dr. William Hanna's presentation on the subject which were found in Taunton newspapers.  Also, a WWII veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Jim Koller, was stationed at the Camp and he and his son have blogged on the subject.  

In 1942, the city of Taunton was notified by the War Department  that 1,500 acres would be taken over for a port of embarkation for American and allied soldiers 
shipping out to destinations overseas.
There were 10 such ports in the U.S., six of them on the east coast, of which 
Camp Myles Standish was the third busiest due to its proximity to the port of Boston. 
 Camp Myles Standish was named for the first
commander of the early colonial army .

Each port had a staging area where troops underwent physical examinations, vaccinations and such and also undertook training exercises.  For example, on Watson Pond they built a fake ship and did life boat drills.  Each port was set up to prepare an entire division in a single day for deployment. Troops from the U.S., Australia, Canada and Great Britain passed through here. 
The Camp had a 1,400 bed military hospital

The photograph below is of the guard house at the entrance to Camp Myles Standish.
On the 70th Division Association website our veteran and his son mentioned above
wrote that the original main gate was at the intersection of Bay and Watson Streets about
three miles north of Taunton center.  Nothing remains of this entrance and it is easy to miss
the small stone monument dedicated by the Taunton Allied Veterans Council in 1961.

"To commemorate the site of Camp Myles Standish, the major troop
staging area of the Boston port of embarkation through which 1, 531, 711 
personnel were processed from October 1942 to January 1946
and sent forth to engage in World War II."

At its height, the Camp contained 35 miles of paved roads, almost 1500 structures-including more than 600 barracks-500 to 700 civilian workers and at any given time 39,000 soldiers. The population of Taunton then was 43,000.

Troops also returned here from deployement before being sent out again.  This may have been the case of Ziggy whose military tracks we are hard at work following.  

The Camp also later became a P.O.W.
camp for German and Italian prisoners of war, we will write of that later in this series.

The Camp took the areas of what later became the Myles Standish Industrial Park
 and the Paul Dever School for Disabled Youth (more on that later).
 This document from Mapquest shows the area of the Park and its proximity to Watson Pond.
As those of us that grew up in Taunton know, the Paul Dever School was not far from Watson Pond.  It is now my understanding that the Camp took up more of the Paul Dever School
area and less from the Park. When I looked for remnants
 of the Camp, I always thought it just the opposite.


 It seems that Ziggy and Alveda met there and commenced to cement their long term relationship in writing.  As he went through his war experiences, her letters must have kept him hopeful that she was awaiting him on his return to the States.  This is a great photograph of my Aunt Alveda, which she sent to Ziggy.  She is sitting on the front stoop of her family home on School St.  It is a birdseye view of details such as fashion, cars of the time, a possible Elm tree across the street (Elms were fast disappearing in the U.S. due to Dutch Elm Disease).  For me it is a memory of that sloping front yard and the steps at the end of the cement walk coming from the porch stairs.
This cement walk lives in my memory as my little brother Frank
 fell on the ice here as a child and displaced an important front tooth
giving him an impish smile thereafter.

Alveda kept sending letters with photos such as the one above,
and Ziggy would send letters and photos such
as this one of him writing letters in his quonset hut back to her.
His face is serious and no doubt he is wishing he were back safely with his dear Alveda.  

Next post:
The correspondence romance continues: Ziggy in Iceland watching history unfold.
Alveda steadily maintains her post, supporting him with love and news from her life.  She is a mainstay for him and exemplifies how sweethearts, wives, and families kept at their important work of never letting their soldiers forget how much they were loved and prayed for, a work that continues even today with our young people still in harm's way.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I recently interviewed an Italian WWII vet who was a POW at Camp Myles Standish. He talks about the pride the POWs felt when they were able to don American uniforms. You can read Frank's story, which includes his war experiences and his time at a POW camp in Hereford, Texas, in "The Last Survivor: A Take of WWII" by Frank Benassi. Available on Kindle, 99 cents.

  3. Hi Sandra, thanks for posting my comment. I see that I made a typo - "Take" should be "Tale." Is that correctable by you? I never knew there were Italian POWs in the US, much less in the Boston area, until I interviewed Frank. I also learned that there is a documentary film, "Prisoners in Paradise" that deals with the subject of Italian POWs in the US; I don't recall if Myles Standish is mentioned though. Frank is such a sweet man. He is 91 years old, and I am glad he was able to tell his story while he was still able. (No need to post this comment, I just wanted to communicate with you.)


  4. Great comment, Deborah, and much appreciated. Always good when someone adds to a post. I received your second comment. Thanks. Unfortunately, I cannot correct comments written by others. Do not worry about it, we all do that and everyone just adds the right word in their least I do.