During the month of April, the 475th flag to fly atop Old Glory Tower in the North End honors the memory of Army PFC George Chieppa, Sr. of New Bedford. The following information was submitted by his daughter, Sandra Lopes to help fulfill a request made by her mother, Charlotte (Westgate). Chieppa was married to Charlotte for more than 50 years when she died in January 1999. It was always her wish that some day the flag would fly atop the Old Glory tower for her husband. Chieppa served in WWII in the battles and campaigns of New Guinea, Bismark and Archipelago, from 1942 to 1946. He was part of Co. E 593rd EBSR (Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment) Amphibian Brigade, as a light truck driver, serving 26 months overseas in the Pacific theater. During Chieppa's four years in the service, he received the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign Ribbon with Bronze Service Arrowhead, American Theatre Campaign Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Lapel Button. Chieppa was living in Hanford, Calif. when he registered for Selective Service, but knowing that he would soon be called up, he returned to Massachusetts so he could be drafted from his home state. He was honorably discharged from Ford Devens on Jan. 11, 1946. He received a disability pension for having contracted malaria while serving. He suffered from the effects of this disease for many years. Prior to his military service, Chieppa worked for Frates Dairy Co. on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford. He was one of the original delivery drivers for Frates Dairy. After his military discharge, he worked at Ace Cabinet and finally for the City of New Bedford Department of Public Works, from which he retired in 1975. He was a long-time member of the American Veterans, Post 0062. Chieppa was born in New York City but lived most of his life in New Bedford and attended New Bedford schools. He lived on Acushnet Avenue for many years in the house he grew up in, that his father had built. After both he and his wife retired, they moved to Melville Towers, where he was known for all the countless errands he ran for the residents during the 21 years he lived there. The late Joseph Theodore, a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient began the practice of flying veterans' flags above the Old Glory Tower 38 years ago. Linda Ferreira, a marketing representative at Ashley Ford in New Bedford, researches the life histories of area veterans. Paul Neary, General Manager of the dealership raises the memorial flags on the veterans' behalf. Those who would like to honor a veteran by flying a flag at Old Glory Tower can contact Ferreira at (508) 996-5611 or at marketing@ashleyfordsales.com
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