Camillus For the better part of two decades, Robert Cudworth has marched in the Camillus Memorial Day Parade.
This year, he’ll ride in a convertible as the honored guest, the grand marshal of the 66th annual parade.
Cudworth, a Camillus resident for the last 56 years, was a Lieutenant in the U.S Marine Corps, fighting battles of Guam and Iwo Jima.
Now, as a member of the Marine Corps League, the Camillus Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club, the parade honors Cudworth for his service in the military and to the Camillus community.
“Heroes don’t brag and Bob is a genuine World War II American hero,” said parade chairperson Don Laxton. “He works tirelessly in support of his community, that’s what makes him stand out. He doesn’t like to even talk about it, he just does things. Bob has been a fixture in our community for many, many years.”
Cudworth moved to Camillus in 1956 after taking a job with an advertising company in the city. He received his degree for the industry while enlisted — between the time he joined as a reserve member of the Marine Corps, and the time he was called to boot camp a few months later, Cudworth was able to finish his studies and complete his degree at Syracuse University.
“I probably got my best marks that last year,” he said.
That year was 1943. He was called off to boot camp, and then to the war. He fought battles in Guam and Iwo Jima, which he has recapped in a memoir about the battle. He was still a student when the war started, and he joined the reserves as a way to have control over his own destiny, so to speak.
“Everyone told us, ‘you don’t want to be drafted into the Army,’” he said. “I had friends in the Marines and I admired them as a group, so I joined.”