NORTH CALDWELL, NJ—Cass Gilbert, a 55-year North Caldwell resident, World War II veteran and entertainer was presented with a proclamation by the North Caldwell Borough Council on Tuesday in honor of being selected as the 2017 grand marshal of the West Essex Memorial Day Parade.
The proclamation, read by Mayor Joseph Alessi, noted that Gilbert, a Navy veteran, played the piano and trombone and was a member of both a military marching band and his own six-piece combo band. His first tour of duty was in Oahu, HI, where he served under the command of Admiral “Bull” Halsey, performing “R and R” for troops stationed on submarine patrol in the Pacific.
Gilbert and his band, according to the proclamation, then moved to a submarine base at Pearl Harbor and Guam, where they continued to perform for the troops. The proclamation also cited his experience at the end of the war in Europe and in Japan and noted that he ended his naval career at the U.S. Navy base in Norfolk, VA.
The mayor added that Gillbert, an accomplished vocalist and pianist, continues to perform as a substitute in bands at the Manor in West Orange and for senior citizens’ groups throughout the area.