The Gloucester Military Heritage & War Memorial TrailApril 05, 2019 / Good to Know, History/Maritime, Outdoor Adventures, Things to Do & See
From Gloucester’s earliest days through today, numerous Gloucester citizens have served their country, across all branches of armed service. Throughout the city there are statues, plaques, historical markers, and memorials that commemorate and honor their military contributions.
The core of this Gloucester Military Heritage & War Memorial Trail is in Gloucester’s downtown area. For those who want to explore further, other sites of interest are also noted below.
STARTING AS ONE DRIVES INTO GLOUCESTER VIA ROUTE 128
The A Piatt Andrew Bridge, Route 128, Gloucester
World War I, In Memory of A. Piatt Andrew 1873-1936
Note: Stopping your vehicle on the bridge is not permitted.
Soldier, Scholar, Statesman. A grateful state and nation have named this bridge in commemoration of his distinguished services. Erected 1950. Mr. A. Piatt Andrew, Director of the U. S. Mint (1909-1910), Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1910-1912), served with the French Army and then the U.S. Army during World War 1. Before the United States entered the war, Andrew formed the American Field Service, where donated Ford trucks were used as ambulances for French and British soldiers. (The French government later presented the City of Gloucester with the Joan of Arc statue to show its appreciation of Andrew.) After the war, the Massachusetts Congressional District elected him to the U. S. House of Representatives where he served until his death in 1936.
Grant Circle, Route 128 & Washington Street
World War 1, In Memory of Chester H. Grant 1897-1954
This Circle erected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1956 is dedicated to honor Chester H. Grant 1897-1954. A soldier and devoted citizen who faithfully service his community, state, and nation in both war and peace. A member of the Yankee Division of 104th U.S. Infantry, Grant served in World War 1 in France 1917-1919. He was cited three times for meritorious conduct under fire and received the silver star with palm. As a public official for the City of Gloucester, he displayed great ability in the performance of his municipal duties.
FOLLOW WASHINGTON STREET TO THE JOAN OF ARC STATUE
Capt. Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3, 8 Washington Street
World War 1, In Memory of Lester S. Wass 1886-1918
In Honor of Capt. Lester S. Wass, United States marines, killed in action on July 1, 1918. According to the Legion Post’s website: “In combat at Chateau Thierry and in the Bois de Belleau in June and later at Soissons and Vierzy in July, he distinguished himself and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and later the Navy Cross as well as receiving four silver star citations. He was seriously wounded at Vierzy at the head of his troops on July 18, 1918 and died the following day. He is buried in France at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Plot D, Row 16, Grave 12.”
This building served as Gloucester’s first City Hall until 1867, then became the Forbes School until it was leased to American Legion Post 3 in 1920.
Joan of Arc Statue, Intersection of Washington & Middle Streets
World War I
This statue was a gift from France, sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Inscription reads “Sons of Gloucester who gave their lives in the World War.” The statue was originally dedicated in 1921 and then rededicated September 2, 2001.
CONTINUE ON WASHINGTON STREET TO STACY BOULEVARD
Park along the Boulevard and make your way towards Stage Fort Park.
American Flags along Stacy Boulevard, May-Sept Annually
Stacy Boulevard is decorated each year between Memorial Day and Labor Day with American flags. Organized by volunteers since 2002, flags have been purchased by individuals and local businesses. Many of the flags donated are flown in honor or in memory of someone who has served.
Ten Pound Island Coast Guard Station, (Visible From) Western Avenue/ Stacy Boulevard, Plaque on Stacy Boulevard
In honor of the men who established Coast Guard Aviation in May of 1925 on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor. Home of the first continuously operating Coast Guard Air Station. Growth in operations and aircraft size forced a move to Salem in 1935 and again to Cape Cod in 1970. That “They who go down to the sea in ships” shall not perish.
Merchant Mariners Memorial, Western Avenue, Stage Fort Park
World War II
Inscription: “With Thanks from the People of Gloucester to our Sons who served as Merchant Mariners 1941-1945”.
Vietnam War Memorial, Western Avenue, Stage Fort Park
Inscription: “In memory of Vietnam Veterans, August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975. Dedicated in 1980 by a grateful city.”
McKinnon Triangle & World War II Memorial, Western Avenue, Essex Avenue & Kent Circle
The McKinnon Triangle, at the intersection of Western Avenue, Essex Avenue and Kent Circle was dedicated on November 11, 1920 in honor of Donald McKinnon, who was wounded in action and died June 16, 1918. The Triangle was rededicated on October 30, 2013.
The memorial stone was dedicated July 4, 2006 in honor of over 5000 men and women who served and over 100 who gave their lives in World War II.
Soldiers & Sailors Plaque, Stage Fort Park, Hough Avenue
Dedicated on June 17, 1913. “In Memory of the Soldiers and Sailors and All Others who rendered Aid to the Cause of American Independence during the Revolutionary War.” Erected by Lucy Knox Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution of Gloucester.
Revolutionary War Cannons, Stage Fort Park, Hough Avenue
Set on a convenient high point overlooking the harbor, this section of what is now Stage Fort Park was fortified for defense from Gloucester’s earliest days. The cannons (now silent, of course) that still guard the site were used during the American Revolution.
Nathaniel Haraden Memorial, in Memory of Nathaniel Haraden (US Navy), Stage Fort Park, Western Avenue
Memorial stone, dedicated 1932, in honor of “an intrepid son of Gloucester, Nathanial Haraden, Sailing Master of the U.S. Frigate Constitution. Commended for gallantry in action at the seige of Tripoli, August 3, 1804.
HEAD DOWNTOWN TO CITY HALL
City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue
City Hall is home to multiple Honor Rolls and plaques honoring service members across multiple campaigns.
- – Memorial Plaque in honor of those who served in the Civil War, the War with Spain and World War I.
- – War with Spain Honor Roll
- – World War I Honor Roll, City Hall
- – World War II Honor Roll, City Hall
- – World War II Marine Memorial Painting, City Hall
- – Korean War Honor Roll
- – Vietnam War Honor Roll
OTHER MEMORIALS AND SITES – DOWNTOWN GLOUCESTER
- – Spanish American War Memorial, Prospect Street & Pleasant Street
- – Korean War Memorial, Sargent Street
- – Ward Two Veterans Memorial, Sargent Street
- – Major Fred J. Ritvo Veterans Center & the Welcome Home Tree
- – Vietnam Memorial at Gloucester High School
- – Steven Gerrior Memorial Plaque at Gloucester High School
- – A.R. Memorial, Cherry Hill Cemetery
OTHER MEMORIALS AND SITES – RIVERDALE, ANNISQUAM, LANESVILLE
- – Riverdale Civil War Memorial
- – Riverdale WW2 Memorial
- – Ward 7 WW2 Memorial, Bayview
- – Annisquam Soldiers Memorial Wood
- – Lanesville Soldiers Monument
OTHER MEMORIALS AND SITES – WEST GLOUCESTER
- – West Gloucester World War II Honor Roll, Fire Station at 33 Concord Street
- – Magnolia Veterans Memorial
OTHER MEMORIALS AND SITES – EAST GLOUCESTER
- – World War II Memorial, Rocky Neck
- – East Gloucester Civil War Dead Monument
There are additional memorial sites that include schools, parks, playgrounds, and squares named for those killed in action, those who served bravely, and those whose contributions shall not be forgotten. For a full list and guides for research, refer to the City of Gloucester’s website.