Two years ago on Memorial Day, the Hamden Historical Society focused on a small neighborhood in Mount Carmel, where the streets were named to honor five Hamden servicemen who died in Vietnam.
This year, our own Paul Saubestre has researched seven fallen Hamden servicemen for whom streets were named in the Sebec Street neighborhood in eastern Hamden, between Hartford Turnpike and State Street. These seven sons of Hamden were lost in three different wars. We hope you will remember their sacrifices.
Sebec Neighborhood Streets Named for Seven Hamden Fallen
by Paul Saubestre
Many Hamden streets bear the names of its citizens who died in the armed forces during wartime. Most are scattered throughout town, but there are two larger groups of such streets. One is the Honor Hill development, which was featured in a New Haven Register story two years ago. The other is a group of seven streets off Sebec Street built during the period 1957 to 1962 and named for men who died in both World Wars and Korea.
Private Theodore Hesse, U.S. Army, World War I – Hesse Road
Theodore Hesse was born in the Cedar Hill section of New Haven, less than a mile from the Hamden line, in 1899. He moved to Whitneyville and was a plumber for the New Haven Gas Light Co. He enlisted to serve in World War I in 1917 and was assigned to the 102nd Infantry in Neuchâtel. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery and was killed in action at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel on April 20, 1918. He was buried in France, then his remains were transferred to Fair Haven Union Cemetery in 1920.
There is little information about Joseph Williamson. The 1917 state military census listed him as being 23 years old, living in Whitneyville, and able to ride a horse and drive a team. He was an assistant steward at New Haven Country Club. He was drafted on April 30, 1917.
Private Bamby Leo, U.S. Army, World War I – Leo Road
There is some confusion about the name of this soldier. He was born in Italy around 1885 and served in the Italian army. He emigrated here in 1907 was recorded as Bambao Leo in the 1910 census, a worker on a stock farm in Mt. Carmel. He was listed as Bomby (Bamby) Leo when he became a naturalized citizen the next year, and as Bombi Leo in the 1917 state military census, married with a child. He enlisted in the Army Infantry on September 20, 1917 and was assigned to the 7th Company, 2nd Battalion, Depot Brigade, 1st Division, 16th Infantry Regiment.
Private Leo was among six of his company transported on the ship Mt. Vernon to France in April 1918, appearing on the passenger list as “Bamby, Leo." He was killed in action on July 23, 1918, but unfortunately no details of his service are available. He is buried in the American cemetery in Suresnes, France. His name is listed as Bamby Leo on the memorial in the Town Hall rotunda. However, on the Hamden Veterans' Memorial in front of the middle school, where surnames are listed first, he is listed as Leo Bamby. On his 1908 Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, he signed "Bamby Leo." Mystery over.
Private Antonio Cardo, U.S. Army, World War I – Cardo Road
Antonio Cardo was born in Italy in 1894. His family emigrated to Highwood around 1912 where he was an ammunition worker at Winchester Repeating Arms. He was drafted into the Army in 1918 and served in the Quartermaster Corps. In October of that year, he died in Washington, D.C. from the Spanish influenza pandemic, and was buried in St. Lawrence Cemetery in West Haven.
More about Private Cardo and his namesake great-great-grandnephew is in another story on the HHS website.
Lieutenant Stephen W. Smith, Jr,, U.S. Naval Reserve, World War II – Smith Drive
Steven W. Smith was born in Walpole, Mass. in 1915. He lived in Spring Glen when he registered for service in 1940. Unfortunately, no other details of his service are available. He died in 1942 and was buried in East Walpole Cemetery.
Private First Class William J. Carroll, U.S. Army, World War II – Carroll Road
William Carroll was born in 1920 in West Haven. He was a machine operator at Acme Wire Co. in Hamden when he registered for service in 1941. He was killed in action in 1943 while serving in the 401st Engineers Battalion and was buried in Carthage, Tunisia.
He was posthumously award the Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, and the Army Good Conduct Medal.
Airman Third Class Edward A. Lent, U.S. Air Force, Korea – Lent Road
Edward Lent was born in 1931 in Madison, Conn. and lived in Hamden Plains. A member of Hamden High Class of 1949, Ed was a star third baseman on the school baseball team. While in aircraft action near Hill 334 in North Korea on June 12, 1952, he died from multiple fragment wounds. He was buried in Hamden Plains Cemetery.