BAYONNE, NJ - Bayonne has always been good about honoring its heroes. And, as city officials fight back against an invisible enemy, they took time to thank a very special resident, who, as a member of the U.S. Navy, helped defend the United States against another dreaded foe.
On Monday, Mayor Jimmy Davis and Police Chief Robert Geisler led a ceremonial drive by the home of World War II veteran Alfred Ponterdolph in honor of his 98th birthday. The Bayonne Police Department, the Bayonne Fire Department, and McCabe Ambulance all participated in the parade past the 29th Street home that Ponterdolph has lived in for seventy years.
“The City of Bayonne is proud to honor Mr. Ponterdolph on his 98th birthday. He is one of the Hudson County heroes who fought for our freedom during World War II,” Davis said. “We are happy to join with his family to salute him on this special occasion.”
Ponterdolph was born in Jersey City on April 20, 1922, growing up on Hudson Boulevard and then Seaview Avenue. While working for M.W. Kellogg Company, Ponterdolph registered for the draft and went on to become one of the commissioning sailors on the USS Philip (DD 498), a naval destroyer that was built in Kearny in 1942. Ship records indicate that Ponterdolph held the ranks of Seaman Second Class and Radio Man Third Class during the three years he served on the ship.
"It is an honor for the Bayonne Police Department to help celebrate Mr. Ponderdolph's birthday,” Geisler said. “As a member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ and a WWII veteran, he and others like him are the reason we can enjoy our many freedoms.
“Happy Birthday, sir, and thank you for your service to our nation."
According to records Ponterdolph participated in major naval campaigns in the Pacific Theater of operations during World War II: the Solomon Islands Campaign (1943-1944), the Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944), the Philippines Campaign (1944-1945), and the Borneo Campaign (1945).
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