Memorial Stones Rededicated Decades Later

military graveBARNSTABLE – Memorial Day weekend in Hyannis will kick off with a re-dedication ceremony for three memorial stones that are decades old.

The stones honor veterans from Barnstable.

Ceremonies will be held in memory of Clarence Crowell, who served in World War I, James Mahoney, who died in Italy in World War II, and Kenneth Taylor, who died in 1950 during a military operation in Norfolk, Virginia.

Len Gobeil, Special Projects Coordinator for the Town of Barnstable, said it is only fitting that the stones be rededicated because they were picked up and moved and during road reconstruction projects.

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“We’ll have a raising of the flag, and the chaplain will say something, and they’ll be a bugle tribute, then we’ll move from one to the other to the other,” he said.

Ceremonies are set to begin at noon on Friday, May 23.

The three memorial stones are among the 47 memorial stones honoring veterans in the Town of Barnstable.

Gobeil was able to put together brief biographies of each of the soldiers. The following is the information for Kenneth Taylor, courtesy of Gobeil.

Kenneth E. Taylor was a 1950 graduate of Barnstable High School and was 19 years old when he died after an operation aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Paulau in Norfolk, Virginia.

Kenneth Taylor’s high school yearbook notes “It’s a pity that so many faces are hidden down in the trade school, especially when the face is that of Kenneth Taylor. Ken’s love of fun is shown by the way he enjoys himself at square dancing, which by the way, he does exceptionally well. His favorite means of enjoyment comes from playing the harmonica on which he picks all the latest tunes with ease”.

The yearbook continues, “Ken claims his pet peeves are girls in general, but somehow we don’t believe him, not after the way he haunts Yarmouth night after night. Ken took carpentry classes in school but he has not made up his mind to follow this or join the service”.

Ken’s activities in school included the Junior Red Cross, and playing on the high school basketball team. Following his graduation, he played on the Barnstable Town Team.

Ironically, Ken’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Taylor had just visited him in Virginia before he died of a ruptured appendix. Kenneth Taylor was returned home for burial in Oak Grove Cemetery in Hyannis. A service was held at the Hyannis Baptist Church and his memorial is located at the intersection of Center and Main Street, Hyannis.

Here is the biographical information on Clarence Crowell.

The life of Clarence Crowell began in Hyannis in 1899. It is believed his family lived at 173 Sea Street and his highest level of education was the 8th grade.

By the time he returned from active participation in World War 1, he settled in as a truck driver in the community. He married Esther Kelley and raised four children.

In the 1947 Annual Barnstable Town Meeting, it was voted to honor Mr. Crowell with a Memorial Stone.

It was not until much later that the citizens of the community learned that during World War 1, Clarence Crowell was attached to Company One, 38th Infantry 3rd Division and he was a dispatch carrier for outposts into the front line of the action in France.

Of 33 men in his division, he was one of two who survived. He was gassed and wounded, but managed to return to action at the St. Mihel offensive after he spent many months recuperating in French Hospitals.

Clarence Crowell was a member of the Legion of Valor, and was also a member of the American Legion, Post 206. He was also taken in as an honorary member of the Hyannis Fire Department.

He is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery on Sea Street, Hyannis and his Memorial Stone is located at the intersection of Winter Street and Barnstable Road.

Here is the biography for James Stewart Mahoney, as researched by Gobeil.

James Stuart Mahoney was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, and at an early age he moved to the Town of Barnstable.

His 1943 yearbook quote is, “Men of few words are best men.” James Mahoney apparently lets his actions speak for themselves.

He was on the Barnstable High School football team and made “All Cape.” He led the basketball team to six victories and two defeats and was voted as one of the best athletes of his class.

James Mahoney enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and trained in North Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana. He was commissioned as a flight officer upon his graduation from Westover Air Base in  Chicopee, Massachusetts on March 10, 1945.

On April 10, 1945, just a short six weeks later, he was killed in action at San Giovanni Air Base in Italy. His decorations include the Purple Heart, American Theater Campaign Ribbon with a Bronze Star, a World War 2 Victory Medal, a Presidential Citation Honor, and a Honorable service Lapel Button.

James Stuart Mahoney was returned to Taunton where he was buried at St. Francis Cemetery on November 20, 1948.

His Memorial Stone is located across the street from the Hyannis Fire Station on High School Road.