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Remembering World War II
Paul James Connery
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Name: Paul James Connery Rank: Private First Class Service Number: 20717310 Service: Company M, 3rd Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps Reserve Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: January 31, 1922 Place of Birth: Bristol, Bristol County, Rhode Island Date of Enlistment: July 24, 1942 Age at Enlistment: 20 Height: 6 feet, 1 inch Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Gray Date of Death: December 15, 1943 Age: 21 Cemetery: Saint Mary's Cemetery, Bristol, Bristol County, Rhode Island Paul James Connery was the son of William Henry Connery (1879-1960) and Ethel Mary (Stevenson) Connery (1886-1965). Paul was from a large family with 10 siblings – William Henry Connery Jr (1913–2000), Harold E. Connery (1915 or 1916-2008), Joseph Connery (1917-), Ethel Mary (Connery) Hilton (1918-2010), Robert C. Connery (1920-2001), Francis Stephen Connery (1924-1992), Philip Connery (1926-1926), Raymond John Connery (1927-2020), Alicia B Connery (1929-), Charles Connery (1930-). Paul’s mother was born in Nova Scotia, recorded as being born in Pictou County (as per her Rhode Island marriage record to William Henry Connery on June 19, 1912). Paul’s father was born in Rhode Island. Paul’s brother Harold served a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the US Navy and earned the Silver Star during WWII. Paul’s sister Ethel married sailor – Spencer Crofts Hilton (1914-1972) served in the US Navy too. Paul registered for the US Draft on June 29, 1942, in Bristol, Rhode Island. After enlisting with the US Marine Corps, he was assigned to Company M, 3rd Battalion of the 21st Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps Reserve. The last major battle for the Marines on Bougainville was the engagement at “Hellzapoppin Ridge," where some of the toughest fighting of the campaign occurred. The Japanese were dug in on the steep slopes and crest of the ridge. After the discovery of the Japanese positions, it was found that the only way to dislodge the enemy was by a frontal assault. Between December 12 and 18 the Marines, primarily the 21st Marines, struggled to gain the ridge. Time and again they would get a foothold, only to be forced to abandoned it a little later. After a series of air strikes on the last day of the battle, the Marines were able to reach the crest. Over 200 of the defenders had died by the time struggle ended. Private First Class Paul James Connery was killed in action during this same fighting in Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Paul’s family chose to repatriate his remains to the United States, rather than have him interred at a cemetery in the Pacific and he was interred at the Saint Mary's Cemetery in Bristol, Bristol County, Rhode Island.
Sources: findagrave