WW II veteran to lead Memorial Day parade

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World War II Army Air Corps veteran and longtime Great Neck resident Melvin Goldberg will march in the 91st annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade Monday as its grand marshal.

“It’s an honor,” said the 92-year-old veteran on being grand marshal. “I’m just glad to be alive.”

Goldberg was chosen after leader of the Great Neck Veterans Group –— of which Goldberg is a member — and 2014 parade grand marshal Melvin Sachs suggested it to Suzette Gray, legislative aide to North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Lee Seeman and liaison to the Great Neck Memorial Day Parade committee.

Sachs said Goldberg was reluctant to be grand marshal at first, but that he is also “entitled” to the position.

“Of all the Great Neck veterans, he’s the most qualified,” Sachs said. “He was very active in World War II — he made many trips over Germany, and he’s an upstanding citizen in Great Neck.”

Goldberg enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1942, just months after graduating from the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in government and economics statistics. He eventually rose to the rank of 1st lieutenant, he said.

The army then sent him to navigation school, he said.

“The army decided it was the best place for me,” Goldberg said.

On each mission, Goldberg said, 10 men occupied each bomber, and the navigator’s job is to make sure the plane gets to its destination if the plane falls out of formation with the other planes.

During the war, Goldberg received four Battle Stars, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Goldberg said he could not accurately describe his time fighting overseas, but said he joined the army because the cause was just.

“We knew why we were fighting,” Goldberg said. “We had an enemy.”

Goldberg served in the army until October 1945. After World War II, Goldberg said, he also served as captain in the U.S. Army Reserves.  

He moved to Great Neck in 1963 so his children could attend Great Neck public schools, he said.

Goldberg is a retired executive from the communications field, and has been a producer, associate producer and moderator for many PATV programs, including “Veterans’ Stories” World War II,” “World War II: Women on the Homefront” and WWII to the Present,” according to PATV’s website.

The parade will start at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Middle Neck Road and Susquehanna Avenue, and will continue north on Middle Neck Road to the Village Green, located at the intersection of Middle Neck and Beach roads.

After a memorial observance at the Village Green, veterans groups and the Great Neck fire departments will march to All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 855 Middle Neck Road, for a final salute.

World War II Army Air Corps veteran and longtime Great Neck resident Melvin Goldberg will march in the 91st annual Great Neck Memorial Day Parade Monday as its grand marshal.

“It’s an honor,” said the 92-year-old veteran on being grand marshal. “I’m just glad to be alive.”

Goldberg was chosen after leader of the Great Neck Veterans Group –— of which Goldberg is a member — and 2014 parade grand marshal Melvin Sachs suggested it to Suzette Gray, legislative aide to North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Lee Seeman and liaison to the Great Neck Memorial Day Parade committee.

Sachs said Goldberg was reluctant to be grand marshal at first, but that he is also “entitled” to the position.

“Of all the Great Neck veterans, he’s the most qualified,” Sachs said. “He was very active in World War II — he made many trips over Germany, and he’s an upstanding citizen in Great Neck.”

Goldberg enlisted in the U.S. Army in December 1942, just months after graduating from the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in government and economics statistics. He eventually rose to the rank of 1st lieutenant, he said.

The army then sent him to navigation school, he said.

“The army decided it was the best place for me,” Goldberg said.

On each mission, Goldberg said, 10 men occupied each bomber, and the navigator’s job is to make sure the plane gets to its destination if the plane falls out of formation with the other planes.

During the war, Goldberg received four Battle Stars, the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Goldberg said he could not accurately describe his time fighting overseas, but said he joined the army because the cause was just.

“We knew why we were fighting,” Goldberg said. “We had an enemy.”

Goldberg served in the army until October 1945. After World War II, Goldberg said, he also served as captain in the U.S. Army Reserves.  

He moved to Great Neck in 1963 so his children could attend Great Neck public schools, he said.

Goldberg is a retired executive from the communications field, and has been a producer, associate producer and moderator for many PATV programs, including “Veterans’ Stories” World War II,” “World War II: Women on the Homefront” and WWII to the Present,” according to PATV’s website.

The parade will start at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Middle Neck Road and Susquehanna Avenue, and will continue north on Middle Neck Road to the Village Green, located at the intersection of Middle Neck and Beach roads.

After a memorial observance at the Village Green, veterans groups and the Great Neck fire departments will march to All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 855 Middle Neck Road, for a final salute.

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