Edward V. McAndrew, Jr. was a Hawley, Pa. native
HAWLEY - Edward V . McAndrew, Jr. was born in Tampa, FL December 17, 1924. He was the son of Edward V. McAndrew, Sr. and his wife Jeanette Schradem McAndrew (later Nelson).
Edward Jr. was the grandson of Michael J. McAndrew who authored the 1927 Hawley Centennial book.
On January 3, 1945, Edward Jr. was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium while serving with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 13th Airborne.
McAndrew was originally buried in Belgium, but his remains were later returned to the United States. His final resting place has not been confirmed and the purpose of this article is to relate my efforts to find the final burial site of Edward McAndrew, Jr.
A few things are known about Edward’s early life in Hawley.
According to his cousin, the late George M. Murphy, Jr. Esq. Edward was always known to his friends as Junior. He was president of his high school class (HHS ‘42). Two of his close friends were Joe Drake (former Hawley Postmaster) and Arnold Winter, later a West Point graduate.
Edward was the guest speaker at the Wayne, Pike Schoolmen’s Club meeting that was held at the Allen Hotel in Honesdale on January 13, 1942. Edward had been appointed as a Junior Senator for the State’s 14" District that covered Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties. His other school activities included band, orchestra, soccer, and basketball.
Sadly, Ed’s father died shortly after on January 29, 1942.
An initial source of information came from a research librarian at East Stroudsburg University in Stroudsburg, PA. The librarian was able to find a document titled "517th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) Roll of Honor ..." On that list were the names of all those of the PIR who were killed in action. Among the names was that of Cpl. Edward V. McAndrew, Jr. and the country and state where the deceased was buried. For Edward McAndrew it noted USA/NJ.
With this information, I thought I had the answer to my question.
I tried to find a historian for the 517th but with no luck. I did find the name of a living veteran of the 517th, in Hackettstown, NJ, but he was not able to help me about McAndrew.
Subsequently, with the help of a relative (F. Pierro) I found a former Hawley resident (F. Microulis). She posted the name of Edward McAndrew on Facebook and came up with a copy of a government document that showed Ed's mother had ordered a government headstone for her son that was to be sent to Green Gates cemetery in Hawley.
She also found a picture of several members of the 517th at a party in Nice, France.
I followed up further by contacting the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale (WCHS).
I was given a list that came from an organization called "Find a Grave" that listed graves in Green Gates and among the names was that of Edward McAndrew, Jr.
A third source of information came with the help of a research librarian at the Monroe County Public Library in Stroudsburg. (J. Adams) He contacted the US Army Human Resources Command at Ft. Knox, KY. In response to his query, the Command sent a disc that contained 101 pages of documents pertaining to Ed.'s mother's request that her son's remains be sent to the Green Gates cemetery. The name of a local funeral director (Bohan Brothers) was named to take care of the burial at Green Gates. Bohan Brothers no longer exists in Hawley, and some their records are in the possession of Teeters, the only other funeral director in Hawley.
Unfortunately, Teeters does not have any of Bohan's records pertaining to McAndrew (Linda Arnold).
Included in the records on the disc is a letter from the then-commander of the Hawley VFW, Bob Drake, who wrote a letter to Arlington National Cemetery asking that McAndrew be buried in Arlington. There was no answer to this request.
After the loss of her son, Edward’s mother made an Application for WW II Compensation; in it, she noted when Edward entered military service and that it had been from Jersey City, NJ, but his home address was listed as 245 Prospect Street, Hawley. No explanation was given as to why he entered the service from New Jersey. He might have been going to school there or perhaps working.
It had been generally believed that Edward had been appointed to West Point while in the military and that he had not been taken from combat service before his death.
In an effort to verify this, I contacted the West Point Admissions Office where I was told that there were no records dating back that far.
If he did receive an appointment, it might have come from then-Congressman Wilson D. Gillette.
Mr. Gillette was from Bradford County. He was elected to Congress in 1941 following the death of Albert G. Rutherford of Honesdale who had died in August of that year. Congressman Gillette served until 1952.
Arnold Winter, Ed’s high school classmate received an appointment to West Point following Edward’s death.
In an effort to verify these possible appointments, I tried to find the personal papers of Congressman Gillette that were supposed to be in the National Archives — the Congressman’s papers were not found.
However, I did hear from a source at West Point who told me that they had no records of the appointment of Edward to the Academy.
Amold Winter, however, entered West Point from the Army on July 2, 1945. He graduated in 1949 and entered the Air Force as a 2™ Lt. He later became a pilot.
Arnold Winter was a personal friend and I met him on two occasions after he left Hawley. One time, when he was still a cadet, he came to town on a visit. On the second occasion, we were both in the Air Force and I was stationed at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana where we met when Arnold was passing through on another assignment.
As an aside, when my 1947 high school class was in its last year, we were planning our trip to Washington after graduation. I had requested tickets from Congressman Gillette’s office so the class could visit both Houses of Congress. One day, I was called out of class to take a call from Mr. Gillette’s office asking if the Class would accept an invitation to have lunch with the Congressman in the Senate dining room. (At that time, the House did not have it’s own dining facility). Needed to say, the invitation was happily accepted!
When I first started this project, it was only to find something for local history about a local servicemen.
Each time I wrote to ask questions about Edward McAndrew, other questions arose because there was no definitive answer as to where his final resting place was.
The military was not always helpful, but, it was with the help of others not in the military that I was able to find documents relating to the initial question.
I found that Ed's mother had ordered a government headstone to be sent to Green Gates cemetery in Hawley. But, there were no documents to show that the headstone had actually been received at Green Gates. And, the Green Gates Association has no record of the re-interment.
Even a personal walk through the cemetery did not produce an answer.
The American Legion Post in Hawley puts flags on veterans graves on Memorial Day. Although members of the Post were not looking for a specific grave, they did a follow up at my request but could not find McAndrew’s gravesite.
The burial in a non-sectarian cemetery raised another question: Why would Ed’s mother want her son's remains buried in a non-sectarian cemetery when his father and grandparents were buried in a Catholic cemetery that was in the same community?
There is no one living who was alive at the time who might answer that question.
The only family member I could contact during my search was George Murphy, Jr. Esq. who had a Washington DC. law practice. George and I had known each other for a long time. In an e-mail from him in July 2016, he told me that he had no knowledge of his cousin's burial but, his three older sisters might have, but, sadly there were all deceased. George also said that when Edward was sent overseas, he left from Newport News, VA and that his oldest sister Ada had seen him before she was sent to the European theater. Ada was an Army nurse.
George mentioned that Ed's mother had moved from Hawley, but he did not know where.
George died in 2018 at the age of 89.
As noted earlier, Ed's mother had remarried and when her second husband died, his body had been taken to New Jersey for cremation. It's possible that she had moved to New Jersey, but there is no record of this. No census records are available to verify this.
I did check burials in several Bergen County cemeteries, but I could not find a burial for Edward McAndrew, Jr.
To me, the tragedy of all this, is that a young man, full of promise and even in his military service as a paratrooper, was part of an elite and highly trained unit, had his life taken from him - as were so many others — yet, we are unable to even find his final
The News Eagle; Michelle Star; Fabian Pierro; Fran Microulis; Jim Adams MCPL; Fran Peters; Queen of Peace - Hawley; Joe Majesky USMA
Editor’s note: Thanks to Art Glantz for his inspiring devotion in researching this matter. Art is a Hawley native and a frequent contributor of information for this Local History series. Anyone who may have a lead on the final resting place of Edward J. McAndrew Jr. is asked to contact Peter Becker at email@example.com; 570-253-3055 ext. 315.