MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Maplewood Committee for Servicemen and Servicewomen has donated a long-forgotten photo album of World War II servicemen and women to the Durand-Hedden House for its archives and public viewing.
The album contains photographs of 147 servicemen and women (139 men and eight women). It was assembled by the then-Maplewood Committee for Servicemen, which, during the early 1940s when World War II was raging, comprised well over 100 members.
In a foreword to the album, the present-day committee notes that although the photos “represent a mere fraction of the 3,000 Maplewood residents who were in the armed forces during the war, they can be both a remembrance and a reminder of all those young men and women from town who served their country.”
The album is largely intact as it was put together in the 1940s, with some restoration of photos and captions, with an additional alphabetized list of those pictured. It is believed that the presentation to the Durand-Hedden House will mark the first time the album will be available for public viewing since during or just after the war.
Of those pictured in the album, six are of those who lost their lives during the war. In all, there were 100 from Maplewood who were among the U.S. war dead in World War II. They are commemorated, together with the deceased of our country’s other wars, on a plaque at Maplewood Memorial Library.
The committee today is one of the longest-running volunteer groups in Maplewood. Except for temporary deactivations following WWII and the Korean War, it has been operating ever since. Among its activities, the committee sends quarterly gift cards to local servicemen and women, marks birthdays, and supports the sending of local news to those in service.