Floral Park American Legion Builds Ramp for WWII Veteran


When the Floral Park American Legion learned that Richard J. Fitch, an 89-year-old World War II veteran, had not been out of his house for two years due to the lack of a handicapped ramp, they swung into action. The Post donated the materials. Mr. Fitch retired in 1987 after working as a maintainer for 11 years for the Village of Floral Park. He served in the Pacific in New Guinea and the Philippines with the 31st Infantry Division and earned the American Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon and WWII Victory Medal. His unit saw action at Aitape and in bloody fighting, along the Druinimor River and killed 3,000 enemy fighters and trapped more than 30,000. Fighting through central Mindanao they captured the former American air base at Valencia and cleaned out the last major Japanese resistance in the Philippines to capture the provincial capital of Malaybalay, the last big enemy held city on Mindanao.

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