The City of Manchester’s Board of Alderman passed several ordinances on 16 December 1947, signed by Mayor Joseph T. Benoit. One stated as follows: “That the square located where Amory Street, North Main Street, and Coolidge Avenue intersects be officially designated and hereinafter known on all official records…as ‘Maurice J. St. Germain Square.’” The bronze plaque reads: “SGT. MAURICE ST. GERMAIN. BORN JULY 15, 1916. DIED DECEMBER 7, 1941. HICKAM FIELD HAWAII.
Maurice J. St. Germain was born on 15 July 1916 in Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. His parents were Canadian immigrants–Valerien & Azilda (Provencher) St. Germain. Maurice attended local schools–including West High School. According to the application his father filled out for a headstone, Maurice enlisted in the Army on 13 March 1934, at the tender age of 18.
On May 7, 1940 when the United States Census was taken, then 24-year-old Pvt. Maurice St. Germain was stationed at the U.S. Army’s Fort Slocum in New Rochelle NY. [now closed and dismantled] By December 1941 he had been assigned to the 23rd Material Squadron, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 17th Air Base Group, Hickam Field, Oahu, Hawaii.
Most people remember the “Day of Infamy, 7 December 1941, as the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese bombers. Few realize that other installations on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were also devastated, including that of Hickam Field. It was “Hell in Paradise.” The attack came in two waves. The third group of the first attack wave consisted of Mitsubishi A6M ZEKE fighters.Their target was the aircraft at Ford Island, Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Barber’s Point, Kaneohe. The first group of the second attack wave consisted of B5N bombers. Half of them attacked the aircraft and hangars on Kaneohe, Ford Island, and Barbers Point while the other half attacked the aircraft and hangars on Hickam Field.
Pockmarks and shell holes are visible today, after all these years, from the heavy damage to the neatly lined up aircraft, the hangars and the barracks. By the time the wave of
carnage was over at Hickam Field, nearly 200 were dead and the majority of aircraft damaged or destroyed.
Among the casualties was Pvt. Maurice J. St. Germain. He was awarded the purple heart posthumously. His remains were not able to be sent home until after the hostilities ended. Maurice finally was laid to rest 23 Dec 1948 at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. In January of 1949 Maurice’s father requested an official military marker, which was sent and installed in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
NOTE: I would be deeply grateful if any relatives who have more information and/or a photograph of Maurice St. Germain would contact me through this blog.
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]
7 December 1941: The Air Force Story
Hickam Air Force Base (current news)
=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY of Maurice J. St. Germain=====
Aimie St. Germain b abt 1841 in Canada; m. Lucie Coallier. She b. abt 7 Sep 1842-44 in Canada, d. 27 October 1894 in Manchester NH, age 52 yrs 1 mo 20 days. She was b. in Canada. Buried St. Augustine Cemetery.
1881 Census of Canada > Quebec > Montreal City > St-Mary’s Ward
Aime St. Germain M 40y Quebec
Lucie St. Germain F 37y Quebec
Ulric St. Germain M 13y Quebec
Valerien St. Germain M. 11y Quebec
Joseph St. Germain M 8y Quebec
Cordelia St. Germain F 6y Quebec
Dieudonne St. Germain M 4y Quebec
Villiana St. Germain F 2y Quebec
Regina St. Germain F 1m Quebec
Children of Aime & Lucie (Coallier) St. Germain:
1. Ulric St. Germain, b abt 1868
2. +Valerian St. Germain, b 4 January 1870
3. Joseph St. Germain, b abt 1873
4. Cordelia St. Germain, b abt 1875
5. Dieudonne St. Germain, b abt 1876
6. Villiana St. German, b abt 1878; d. 26 December 1935 in NH
7. Regina St. Germain b abt 1879; m. 26 Jan 1903 in Manchester NH to Theophile Peloquin, son of Pierre & Catherine (Ladefauche) Peloquin.
8. Henry Hormidas St. Germain, b abt 1883; m. 26 November 1906 in NH to Evelina/Evelyn Hamel, dau of Charles & Delima (Brother) Hamel. He died 23 Aug 1947 in Hartford, Windsor VT
9. Alphonse S. St. Germain, b abt 1886; m. 16 October 1923 in Manchester NH to Eve Rose Dancause, dau of Joseph & Flavis (Charest) Dancause
Valerien St. Germain, son of Amie & Lucy/Lucie (Coallier) St. Germain, b. 4 Jan 1870 at St. Constant PQ Canada, died 23 February 1959 in Manchester NH ; m. 30 July 1891 in Manchester NH to Azilda Provencher, daughter of Leon & Leonie (Therrien) Provencher of Drummond, Quebec, Canada. She b. 22 March 1873 at St. Monique PQ Canada, and died 4 October 1952 in Manchester NH. They resided 367 Thornton Street Manchester NH; He immigrated in 1887 and she immigrated in 1881 both naturalized (Valerien was naturalized in 1901). Occupation: teamster In 1930 he was a truck driver for a cotton mill.
1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 287 Lake Ave
Vallerian St. Germaine 40 Canada marr 1x 19 yrs Can Can Can press man cotton mill
Azelia St. Germaine 36 Canada 9 children 7 living
Arthur St. Germaine son 16 Canada
Omer St. Germaine son 13 NH
Eva St. Germain dau 11 NH
Regina St. Germain dau 8 NH
Alphonse St. Germain 6 NH
Alfred St. Germain 4 NH
William St. Germaine 2 NH
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 367 Thornton Street
Valerien St. Germain 60
Azilda St. Germain 57
Eva St. Germain 30
Antoinette St. Germain 27/28
Alphonse St. Germain 26
Alfred St. Germain 24
William St. Germain 22 plumber
Maurice St. Germain 13
Irene St. Germain 7
1940 US Census > NY > Westchester > New Rochelle > Fort Slocum
St. Germain, Maurice J. 24 NH US Army
Children of Valerien & Azilda (Provencher) St. Germain:
1. Regina St. Germain, b. 18 May 1892 Manchester NH
2. George St. Germain, b. 18 May 1892 [twin]; died 21 May 1892 91 Concord Street in Manchester NH; buried St. Augustine Cemetery
3. Arthur H. St. Germain, b abt 1893 in Quebec Canada; m. 1 June 1926 to Mary E. Ryan, dau of John A. & Annie (O’Reilly) Ryan
4. Hormisdas (male) St. Germain, b abt May 1, 1895 in Quebec, Canada; died 13 October 1896 in Manchester NH, age 1 yr 5 mo 13 days, of cholera; buried St. Augustine Cemetery
5. Omer “Omis” St. Germain, b. 26 April 1897 Manchester NH, died 1963; m. 28 Sep 1925 to Lucienne Lemay, dau of Richard Payeur & Eliza Drolet
6. Marie Jeanne “Eva” St. Germain, b. 2 July 1899 Manchester NH, died October 1967 in Hillsborough Co. NH; buried Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
7. Antoinette St. Germain b 1902 NH; died 1953
8. Alphonse St. Germain b 27 January 1904 NH; died 6 October 1966.
9. Alfred St. Germain, b 1906 NH; died 1963.
10. William St. Germain, b abt 1908 NH; m. 10 October 1932 in Tilton, Belknap Co. NH to Alice M. Thompson, dau of Amos J. & Delia (Leboeuf) Thompson
11. +Maurice J. St. Germain [this story written about him]
12. Irene St. Germain b abt 1923 NH