A street in Whitestone that was the long time home of a decorated World War II veteran, will soon bear his name in honor of his life and service.
The City Council approved Councilman Paul Vallone’s legislation to posthumously co-name 156th Street between 14th Avenue and Cryders Lane, “CPL. John McHugh Way” at the Dec. 19 Stated Meeting. During the war, Corporal John McHugh Sr. served in the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division and fought at the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.
“We as residents of Northeast Queens were blessed to have an American hero like Corporal John McHugh call our great neighborhood home,” said Vallone. “Corporal McHugh was a highly decorated veteran who fought bravely with the Allied powers at the historic Battle of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, major turning points in World War II. With this co-naming in the spring, we will honor a true man of courage.”
Born on March 6, 1924, McHugh graduated from Morris Park High School in the Bronx in 1942 and enlisted in the army with his friends following Pearl Harbor. After completing basic training at Fort McClelland in Alabama, the army transported him on the Queen Elizabeth to the UK.
During his lifetime, the army and other entities gave him the following awards and recognitions:
- The Silver Star for gallantry in action
- Bronze Star for meritorious service
- European Theater of Operations Ribbon, which contains silver arrow head for the Normandy invasion
- Four Bronze Stars indicating the major battles in which he fought
- Two Presidential Unit Citations for Crucifix Hill and Hurtgen Forest
- Combat Infantry Badge and the Fort Eger given by Belgium for action there during the war
The State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame inducted him in 2014 and he was an honoree at the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade in May 2019.
McHugh passed away earlier this year on July 21 at 95 years old.
“CPL. John McHugh was a true American hero who fought in WWII,” said John McHugh Jr. “The McHugh family is deeply appreciative and thankful for the co-naming of the street where he lived in Whitestone for over 25 years.”
Vallone is currently collaborating with the Department of Transportation and the McHugh family to set a date for the official co-naming ceremony, which will take place some time in the spring.