Tonawanda News — Kenmore resident Carlton Small received military medals during a special presentation on Monday, 70 years after serving in World War II.
Rep. Brian Higgins, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana and Village of Kenmore Deputy Mayor Tim McCarthy presented the honors, including a bronze medal, to Small.
“Pfc. Small bravely answered the call when his country needed him and we, as a nation, are grateful for his commitment and selfless contributions,” Higgins, D-Buffalo, said. “It is truly our honor to present Mr. Small with the medals he earned as a lasting legacy of his dedicated service.”
Small was born in Buffalo and was drafted into the Army at the age of 20. He began his service in December 1942, and was deployed to the South Pacific during the war.
In the summer of 1994, Small was involved in the Battle of Driniumor River. Although the United States was able to maintain control of western New Guinea, the 112th Calvary Regiment lost more than 60 percent of their men during the battle.
Small was honorably discharged in 1946.
“America has been blessed with men and women like Carlton who unselfishly sacrificed so much in World War II that others could remain free and then returned home to build our homes and our nation into the world’s greatest democracy,” Caruana said. “It is an honor to be in his presence.”
The bronze star is awarded to members of the military who distinguish themselves by heroic service while they are engaged in an action against an armed enemy.
“Private Small’s exemplary performance of duty in active ground combat was in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 112th Cavalry Regiment 1st Cavalry Division and the Army of the United States,” the certificate awarded to Small reads.
He also received the American Theater Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp, Combat Infantryman Badge, Honorable Service Lapel Button and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star.