A year-and-a-half after City Council approval, a Whitestone street will finally bear the name of a local war hero who died in in the summer of 2019.
On Sunday, June 6, at 11 a.m., the community will remember local World War II veteran Corporal John McHugh with an eponymous street sign on 156th Street between 14th Avenue and Cryders Lane where he and his family lived since 1955.
The ceremony also commemorates the 77th anniversary of D-Day during the Battle of Normandy, where a 20-year-old McHugh fought alongside other members of the First Infantry Division.
“We as residents of Northeast Queens were blessed to have an American hero like Corporal John McHugh call our great neighborhood home,” said Councilman Paul Vallone, who proposed the street co-naming. “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, we will honor a true man of courage.”
McHugh and his friends enlisted in the army following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In addition to the Battle of Normandy, the veteran fought in the Battle of the Bulge, received the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Bronze Star for meritorious.
He was inducted into the State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2014 and was honored at the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade. In 2019, he served as the grand marshal of the Whitestone Memorial Day Parade.
“He was always my hero — his bravery and patriotism,” McHugh’s son, John Jr. told QNS in 2019. “People like my father who fought in that way gave us the country we had today. I don’t know what this world would be like if we didn’t have people like my father. He is up on a pedestal that I couldn’t reach if I tried. If I thought that I could be half the man my father was, I would be happy. He’s a great man.”
Attendees at the co-naming include Councilman Vallone, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi, We Love Whitestone, Whitestone Civic Taxpayers, FDNY Bagpipes and American Legion Post 131.