KENILWORTH, NJ - On March 3, 2020, Kenilworth lost another connection to the Greatest Generation. Raymond Colandrea was a one-hundred year old World War II Battle of the Bulge veteran. Raymond was born on December 6, 1919, in Springfield, NJ. He was one of fifteen children born to Italian immigrants. He dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen in 1937 to help bring in an income for his family.
Raymond was drafted into the US Army in 1942 and sent to Fort Dix for basic training. He rose to the rank of Private First Class before being sent overseas to England on March 31, 1944, and arriving on April 7, 1944. By the time Raymond got there the US military was preparing for D-Day, the largest land, air and sea invasion in history. Raymond landed in Normandy on D-Day plus thirteen, June 19, 1944. Raymond was attached to the 195th Quartermaster Battalion before being assigned to General Patton’s Army. Raymond drove gasoline trucks in order to supply the tanks in that unit. Raymond went on to supply troops at the Battle of the Bulge and survived enemy shelling by the German Army. When the German’s surrendered Ray was in charge of guarding German prisoners of war taken by the Allied forces. Even after the war ended he had a chance reunion with his brother Carl also serving in Europe.
After the war he married Veda Cupido on April 20, 1947. Together they were married fifty-eight years before her passing in 2008. Ray was employed as a mason for many years as well as a Hillside Volunteer Firefighter for thirty years before retiring in 1993.
In 2019, Raymond became Kenilworth’s last survivor of the Battle of the Bulge and the oldest World War II veteran in town. With his passing the world has lost another member of the Greatest Generation. His passing should serve as an example of what that generation did for us.