Hudson museum honors World War II veterans

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Hudson museum honors World War II veterans
World War II veterans Ralph Hardy, left, and Roger Wonson were honored in a special ceremony at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson on May 1. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

HUDSON – Ralph Hardy and Roger Wonson served in different branches, and in different places, during World War II.

Both are Beverly residents, both recently turned 100, and both were honored during a special ceremony at the American Heritage Museum on May 1. Both veterans were presented with plaques from the Mass. National Guard.

Hardy served 1943-45 with the Marines’ 395th Armored Field Artillery Battalion in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. A private first class, he was part of the liberation of the Philippines, and he took part in the Battle of Luzon.

He presented several artifacts to museum founder and Financial Director Rob Collings – a sword from a Japanese officer; dog tags from a Japanese soldier; and a leaflet of rules presented to Filipino residents by the Japanese occupation forces.

Hudson museum honors World War II veterans
World War II veteran Ralph Hardy, left, chats with Rob Collings, founder and financial director for the American Heritage Museum, in Hudson on May 1. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

Hardy said he obtained the leaflet while in the Philippines. He kept the leaflet in his wallet for years.

“You don’t see many of these,” he said.

The Massachusetts National Guard and Beverly Veterans Services Officer David Perinchief presented Hardy with the Philippine Liberation Medal. Hardy had been awarded the ribbon. While going through Hardy’s records, Perinchief discovered that Hardy was eligible for the medal as well. The Philippine Consulate was contacted, and the medal was delivered a few weeks later.

Wonson served as a second lieutenant with the 52nd Army Airways Communications System 1944-46.

Wonson marveled at the “amazing equipment” that comprised the museum’s collection.
“This shows the amazing ability of this country to produce equipment,” he said. “It’s very moving.”

The museum, 568 Main St., is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on admission and upcoming programs, visit www.americanheritagemuseum.org.

Hudson museum honors World War II veterans
Family members bring WWII veteran Roger Wonson to the ceremony to honor him and fellow WWII veteran Ralph Hardy on May 1 at the American Heritage Museum. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

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