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American Legion honors 60-year member

Don Way, center, receiving a certificate for his 60 years of membership in the American Legion from Jack Mott, commander of the Cazenovia American Legion Post 88, left, and Joe Barrilla, vice commander of Post 88.

Don Way, center, receiving a certificate for his 60 years of membership in the American Legion from Jack Mott, commander of the Cazenovia American Legion Post 88, left, and Joe Barrilla, vice commander of Post 88.

— Cazenovia resident Don Way recently received from the American Legion a certificate honoring his 60 years of membership in the organization.

Petty Officer Second Class Way served in the United States Navy from September 1942 to October 1945 aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bunker Hill CV-17 that sailed the Pacific Ocean with more than 3,000 personnel on board along with torpedo bomber and fighter planes. Way’s military order of service was in the area of supply and commissary. He served in the Pacific fleet under Admiral Nimitz.

One time during the war, his ship was deployed at sea for nine months without ever sighting land. During this period, the CV-17 was under attack by Kamikaze planes that took the lives of 500 marines and sailors and destroyed more than 100 aircraft. Way was awarded the Good Conduct metal along with the Pacific and Asiatic Ribbon with 14 battle stars earned by the crew of the U.S.S. Bunker Hill.

Way joined the Morrisville American Legion Post 163 after the war in 1948. Living in Morrisville, he was married and had a family of three daughters and one son. His various occupations were in the meat business with Acme Markets, Swift and Co. and the Department of Agriculture in Omaha, Neb. He retired to North Carolina and returned to Cazenovia in 2009 to be closer to his family.

Way received his certificate in a presentation ceremony with Jack Mott, commander of the Cazenovia American Legion Post 88, and Joe Barrilla, vice commander of Post 88.

“We thank Don for his service to our country in the United States Navy. He endured the dangers of the high seas and helped protect our freedom. We salute him for his service and loyalty to the American Legion over these many years,” Mott said.

Al Keilen is the public relations officer for the Cazenovia American Legion Post 88. He can be reached at alexwkn@aol.com.

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