June 1, 2009
    Hopedale History
    No. 133
    Walter Dec

    Hopedale in May  

    Memorial Day  

    Can you assist in setting up the Little Red Shop as a town museum? Right now we could use a few
    more members for our picture committee, someone who could work on developing our collection of
    veterans’ items, and several other things. Click here for our list of requests for assistance/donations.
    Click here for a schedule of work party sessions at the shop this summer.

    When I put this picture on my Hopedale website, I was told that it was of the Rainbow Girls. I recently
    received an email from a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls. She said, “We have
    found that there was never a rainbow assembly near Hopedale. The closest were Hopkinton,
    Framingham, and Natick. We also researched the banner and the outfit, but those girls are not iorg
    girls.” Can anyone give me any information about the picture?


                                                                    Walter Dec

    During World War II, the Milford Daily News often printed letters written home by service men and
    women, and sometimes interviewed them for stories when they got home. Here’s an article from an
    interview with Walter Dec in 1942.

    HOPEDALE, June 18 [1942] – “Australia is a wonderful country and the Aussies are fine people and
    have treated us royally. Some day I hope to go back there in peace times and take my parents with
    me for a visit.” So stated Gunner Walter Dec, U.S. Navy, home on a 15-day furlough with his parents,
    Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dec, after nine months service.

    It is his first visit home since December and he said that home and a sleep in his own bed made
    him very happy. Dec sleeps beside his gun while on duty.

    He passed two months’ training at Little Creek Gunnery school after his enlistment. He is loud in his
    praises of the service and the treatment accorded him by his superior officers, all of whom, he
    stated, are young men.

    As for the welcome extended to the Americans by the people of Australia, he said that it was
    wholehearted. Every courtesy was given them. He passed several weeks in Melbourne and Sydney,
    both beautiful cities. During his service, he has crossed the equator and has traveled farther south,
    where icebergs were sighted.

    Dec hopes to see his brother Zyny, private first class, U.S. Army, at present in Maine. Another brother,
    Alfons A., is also in the Navy.

    At present it is winter in Australia and he said the thermometer registers about 65 degrees. Previous
    to the arrival of U.S. troops there, the country was suffering from extensive drought and shortly after
    the troops landed rain fell for two weeks. The Australians looked upon this as a propitious omen.
    Milford Daily News  

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Hopedale High School graduation