Claude Jerome Connolly

Army Badge
  • Name: Claude Jerome Connolly
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: February 7, 1923
  • Date of Death: November 7, 2017
  • Parents: George Connolly & Dorothea (Hoffarth) Connolly
  • High School and Class: 1941 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: PFC (Private First Class)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
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  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Claude Jerome Connolly
    Race: White
    Age: 19
    Birth Date: February 7, 1923
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Blackberry, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: June 30, 1942
    Employer: Oliver Iron Mining Co., Coleraine, Itasca, Minnesota
    Weight: 150
    Height: 5-8
    Complexion: Light brown
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mrs. Geo. Connolly, Grand Rapids

    Newspaper article: 1944 – C. J. Connolly, who terms himself, “FOO,” writes from Italy and the letter is to the same woman who gets so many letters from Trout Lake boys and is so faithful to them: “I received your Christmas card and letter. * * * I still carry the cedar in my pocket. It is like some priceless perfume and you can be sure they don’t have anything like it over here in the mud. * * * I haven’t met Art M. or Melvin Borth yet. I can’t even find their outfit; but I saw Melvin’s name in a register in Naples one time and some of the other guys I went to school with, but I have not met them. I’m having a good time when it is proper to do so, and the rest of the time I’m just making the best of it. FOO.” [*** indicates censored writing removed]

    Newspaper article: Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Grand Rapids, Minnesota – 18 Jul 1945 – Pfc. Claude Connolly, who has been spending a 30-day convalescent leave in visiting with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Connolly of Blackberry, and with relatives and friends in Grand Rapids, left Sunday to return to Gardiner General hospital in Chicago. Pfc. Connolly was serving with the Armed Forces in the European theater of operations when he was taken a prisoner by the enemy. He was released by our troops after being held three weeks. He expects to have a physical check-up at the hospital to be followed by a 60-day furlough to be spent at his home. Following that he will receive a new assignment.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:
    Newspaper article: Apr 1945 – Mr. and Mrs. George Connolly of Blackberry have received a letter from their son, Claude, reported “missing in action in Germany since March.” His letter, written March 21, gave them the good news that he had been freed as a prisoner of war and now was in a hospital near Paris for a rest and check-up, with no apparent bad effects from his experience. The Connolly’s were former residents of Bogalusa.

  • Civilian Life:
    Claude Connolly had joined the Civilian Conservation Corps before entering WW II and serving in the European Theatre. He worked for a local grocery store and Viking Oil, before beginning a 32-year career at Blandin Paper Company, retiring in 1988. He married Mavis Horn in 1951. He volunteered many years at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

    Claude died in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and is buried in Harris Cemetery, Itasca County, Minnesota. He is survived by his wife Mavis; children, Robert (Ruth Ann), Mary Kay, William (Paulette), Ann (Gregg) Hauser, John, and Stephen (Jody); sister Pat Wischnewski; sister-in-law, Ardis Horn; twelve grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, James Connolly, David Connolly, Edith Sutherland, Hugh Connolly and Dorothea Stram.

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