Town Crier

After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, many young men signed up for the Army. One of them was John McAuliffe, who lived on Dorchester Street, off Hopkins Street, near the Billerica - Wil­mington airport. His bro­ther Eddie was already in the Navy.

Johnny and Eddie grew up in Winthrop and moved to Wilmington with their parents in the late 1940s.

In April 1951, the Wil­ming­ton Selectmen re­ceiv­ed a letter from John­ny with a photo of a street scene in Japan, with grass in the street. John­ny expressed the hope that Dorchester Street is better than this. The selectmen would write to Johnny, and assure him that Dor­chester Street will soon be in good condition.

He was soon in action in Korea, and on May 19, he was wounded. After a month in a hospital, he returned to duty. That November, he was awarded a Purple Heart. Return­ing stateside, he was stationed in Texas, where his treatment was unusually harsh.

The following story ap­peared in the Wilmington Crusader on May 21, 1952. Quite ironically, this was exactly one year and two days after he had been wounded in Korea.

“Johnny McAuliffe finds his double”

As all the world knows, Johnny McAuliffe of Dor­chester Avenue is a fighting man who has seen service in all parts of the world. Johnny came home a few months ago from Korea and promptly went to bed.

After he had recovered, Johnny was sent down to Texas to join the 1st Ar­mored Division. He re­quested overseas duty in Korea, and the Army granted the request, ex­cept it was to be in Ger­many.

Johnny couldn’t understand it, but he seemed to be getting a lot of extra duty in his new company. He would get called out for this and for that, more than anyone else in the company. He couldn’t un­derstand it, but being a good soldier, he didn’t complain. He got up at 3:30 a.m. for KP, and then again the next day for the same thing. He was called for inspection, only to be called again the next day. Johnny got twice as much duty as every other man in the company.

Finally, one day while Johnny was manning the spud sack in KP, he was told that the finance officer wanted him to come and get his pay. This, Johnny knew, was definitely out of order, be­cause he had just been paid, half an hour before. Johnny investigated. Af­ter all, who would refuse to answer a call for mon­ey.

In the finance office, the trouble was finally untangled. There were two John McAuliffes, and our John had been doing double duty for the both of them. The other John lived in New York City, and presumably had been spending the last couple of weeks snoozing, while our Johnny worked details for both.

He later reported another saga. Someone stole his camera. So he bought an­other, only to have it sto­len, too. But then, he saw someone with the first stolen camera. He ap­proach­ed the soldier, who told him he had bought the camera from someone else. McAu­liffe showed proof that he owned the camera, but then offered to buy it from the other soldier. They completed the deal and Johnny again had a camera.

A few months later, he was stationed in the Ba­varian Alps. Maybe there's a story there, but the item in the Crusader only gave his new ad­dress.

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