The Dunford Family


Our family tree has several branches that connect us to other family names. Click on the links below for information about those branches.

Walsh            McDonough             Burns         Sullivan            Manning           Larkin





According to the Dictionary of English Surnames, published by Oxford University Press in 1997, the surname DUNFORD comes from Dunford Bridge in Thurlstone and Dunford House in Methley, both in Yorkshire, England or as a corruption of the place name Durnford in Wiltshire. “Ford” is an Old English suffix found in Scotland, whereas “Dun” is both a Gaelic term meaning “fortified place” and an Old English term meaning “hill” or “down”.


The name Durnford derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "'dierne ford" for "hidden ford" because of the concealment of the crossing place over the nearby river Avon (Avon is Celtic for "river"). Early documents usually spelled the name Derneford. Other variants were Darnford, Dornford and many Dunfords started out as Durnfords.


Dunford Bridge is located two to three miles southwest along the Dunford Road from Holmfirth, Yorkshire. The bridge is named that because it goes over the Dunford River – which means nothing more romantic than “dirty water”. This area has a parish clerk.


Great and Little Durnford lie on the river Avon, where it meanders between tree-lined banks in Wiltshire, England. They are the closest villages to historic Stonehenge. The main road to the north (the A303) is one of the seven great highways that survived into the middle-ages from Roman times. Beyond Stonehenge the road passes between North and South Cadbury. South Cadbury is thought to be the likely site of Camelot.


There have been stories that the Dunford name came over with the Norman invaders in 1066. It was the practice for the Norman overlords to suffix their possessions to their own name with "de", in the usual fashion of French aristocracy (although the Normans and Norse Vikings not long settled in France were no doubt seen as barbarian imitators by the Parisians of the day).


Liberniger Scaccarig has the earliest reference of this, Roger de Derneford who held the fifth part of a knight's fee in Wiltshire in 1165. He was born in 1135, his father in 1090, and his grandfather in 1040 in Normandy. The names of the latter two are not given, so we cannot tell when the family took on the property of Durnford. Although this may have been the case for many Durnfords, the name Dunford was also prevalent and in latter years many Dunfords had immigrated to America.







The Dunford Name in Ireland


Research I have conducted supports the notion that Dunford is not a common name in Ireland, like Walsh or Sullivan, however the name is well represented in parts of County Waterford. With few exceptions, most of the Dunfords I have come across in civil and church records with origins in Ireland have come from County Waterford. A handful of records found indicate origins in County Kerry and the Dublin area.


The earliest record I found regarding the Dunfords in Ireland is the christening record of Elizabeth Dunford. She was the daughter of Michael and Jane Dunford and was christened on June 20, 1686 at Saint Michan Church on Halston Street in Dublin. This city-center Roman Catholic Church is now 900 years old and was originally the Abbey of Saint Mary. Another early record is of Frederick Dunford born about 1778—his specific birth location is unknown, but he did marry Margaret McFarlan around 1800 and they had several children to include James born in 1806, Annie born in 1809 and Martha born in 1811. Other Dunfords, specifically from County Waterford, include a “Captain” Dunford, who, according to Walkers Hiberian Magazine, married a Miss Walsh in May 1789 at Waterford and had a relation by the name of George Dunford.

There are numerous Dunfords found in Waterford birth, death and land records throughout the nineteenth century. The Dunford name was also significant in the Waterford City area and in and around Dungarvan and what is called the Seskinane District – specifically Bohadoon, Coolnasmear, Ballynakill and Kilnafrahan and Northeast of Dungarvan in the Kilmacthomas District – specifically Glendalligan and Shanabally.




It is believed that Thomas F. Dunford, my great-grandfather is from the Dungarvan area or Seskinane District. Informal information from residents of the area suggest that his branch of the Dunfords may have been from the Ballynakill area near Kilbrien. More research is required before a conclusion can be made about the townland in which he was born.


The Dungarvan Workhouse, established in 1839 and built by June 1841, is a focal point of 19th century history in the area, particularly during the famine years—which affected the Dungarvan region like all other parts of Ireland. Often overcrowded, the conditions of the workhouse were miserable for its inhabitants and disease and death met many of its residents. Dunfords in the area sought refuge in the Workhouse and in some instances died during their stay. In 1880, a Michael Dunford, then 60 years old and listed as a farmer, died of Typhoid Fever in the Dungarvan Workhouse and in 1889, William Dunford, a 27 year old sailor also died in the Workhouse.


I have found several Dunford baptism and marriage records from the Waterford City area from throughout the 19th century, specifically records from the Catholic Parishes of Ballybricken, St John’s, St Patrick’s & St Olave’s and the Parish of the Holy Trinity, which includes St Stephen’s and St Michael’s. St Michael’s Church was incorporated with the Holy Trinity in 1815.


The 1901 Ireland Census recorded many Dunfords living in and around the Dungarvan area. The name was found in Dungarvan proper on Gratton Square as well as in the following townlands: Ballymacmaque West, Deelish, Ballinakill, Kilnafrehan Middle, Knocknagloon, Coolnasmear Mountain, Carrowncushlane, Bohadoon South and Bohadoon North.


Many Dunfords served and died in World War I as members of the British Army. 100 Dunfords are listed on the Debt of Honor sponsored by the British Commonwealth Graves Commission that covers the World Wars. Some of the Dunfords listed were Irish Citizens, serving in the British Army, to include Private Michael Dunford. Private Dunford served with the 2nd Battalion, Leinster Regiment during World War I, and died on January 24, 1917 at the age of 34. Private Dunford was the son of Timothy and Kate Dunford of Duane, County Kerry and the husband of Margaret Dunford of 15 Thomas Street, Dublin. Private Dunford was buried in the Maroc British Cemetery, Nord, France.


William and James Dunford of Knockanee, County Waterford served as volunteers in the Irish Republican Army in 1921. An explosion near Kilgobnet on July 9, 1921 killed them both. They were buried after Mass was said in Kilbrien, North of Dungarvan.


Although not Irish, it is interesting to note that William Dunford served as a hospital steward aboard the HMS Titanic. William was born in Lewis, Sussex, England in approximately 1871. Mr. Dunford was 41 when he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912; he gave his address as 16 Bridge Street, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As the hospital steward he received monthly wages of £4 10s.


Dunford in Gaelic is “O Donndubhartaigh”.



The Dunford Name in the United States of America


The Dunford name began to appear in the Colonies as early 1643. It is highly likely that the Dunfords arriving at this point to America were from England not Ireland, since immigration from Ireland at this time was fairly uncommon. The earliest record I found indicates a connection to the Mayflower and the first settlers of the Plimouth Colony in Massachusetts. Among miscellaneous notes of a William Hoskins from the Plimouth Colony, the following entries were made between 1638 and 1643:


“Willm Hoskine: August 1643 Among males that are able to beare armes between the ages of 16 and 60, New Plymouth. NEHGR 4:255 from a copy of the original record, Shurtleff.


Ann Hind(e) married Mr. William Hoskins of Plymouth, planter, as his second wife, Dec. 21, 1638. (Source: Pope's Pioneers, p. 234.)


William Hoskine (sic) and his wife Anne sued John Dunford for slander. They asked for £60. The jury found for the plantiffs and assessed the damages at 20s and the charges of the Court; and "John Dunford, for his slanders, clamors, lude and euell carriage, p'ued as well by his owne confession as otherwise, is censured to dept. the gou'ment wthin the space of three months next ensuing, and in the mean tyme wel to behaue himself.”


Although this John Dunford may have been asked to leave the Colony, according to available immigration records, other Dunfords traveled to and settled in America. A person named Dunford, first name not listed, emigrated in 1669 and settled in Virginia. Others followed and included Philip and Anne Dunford in 1711; Thomas Dunford in 1767; James Dunford, who came to New York in 1820; James and John Dunford, probably brothers, who came to New York in 1824; another James Dunford, who came to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1840; and another John Dunford who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1841.


Emigration records from Ellis Island indicate that between 1892 and 1924, 273 Dunfords passed through Ellis Island. Many of these were members of ships’ crews and actually landed in New York numerous times while serving aboard the ships that brought emigrants to the America. These ships most often originated from Liverpool, England and Queenstown (Cobh), County Cork, Ireland. Of the 273 that came to Ellis Island, about 30-35 Dunfords had come to stay in the US with origins in Ireland. According to records, all but one or two came from the Dungarvan area of County Waterford. The records include brothers and sisters traveling together to live with siblings who had arrived to the US just a short time earlier. The records show that most that arrived in New York came to stay in the New York area.


There are numerous Dunfords in Virginia, West Virginia and Utah, specifically the Salt Lake City Area. Their date of origin in the US precedes the Great Famine in Ireland by many years, and research of the Dunford name in the US indicates that these families originated from England.


Like many immigrants of various nationalities, Dunfords served in the military forces of their adopted country. Records show that three brothers; Ezra J., John S. and Randell Marion Dunford, served during the American Civil War as members of the Virginia 48th Infantry. Claude F. Dunford, of Wytheville, Virginia, served as a Wagoneer with Battery C, of the 314th Field Artillery. Private Thomas Dunford served with the 56th Pioneer Infantry/ First Maine Heavy Field Artillery in Germany in 1919. Sergeant Thomas F. Dunford Jr., son of Thomas Dunford of County Waterford, served with the 101st Infantry.


The Dunford name also appears twice on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC. Both veterans listed were members of the US Army and included David William Dunford, SP4, of New Richmond, West Virginia born on September 21, 1948, and killed in action on February 23, 1969; and Frank Bellew Dunford III,  a Staff Sergeant, of Covington, KY born on February 6, 1948, and killed in action on  October 22, 1967.


During the 1980’s David J. Dunford, a resident of Arizona, served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Sultanate of Oman. He had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


There is a Dunford Village in Tazewell County, Virginia; a Dunford Hall at the University of Tennessee; and a Dunford Auditorium at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. And, although not part of the US, there is a Dunford Road in Steveson, British Columbia, Canada.


According to the 1880 US Federal Census the Dunford name appeared 468 times – 34 of those were recorded as born in Ireland. According to the 1990 US Census, Dunford was the 7,341st most popular last name in the United States, equal to .0002% of the population.












Thomas F. Dunford

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Thomas F. Dunford, the son of Thomas and Margaret Dunford, was born on March 16, 1868 in County Waterford, Ireland. It is believed that he was born in the Seskinane District near Dungarvan.


At the age of 19, Thomas immigrated to the United States, arriving in the Port of New York on November 25, 1887. It is likely that his ship sailed from Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland.  His arrival to the US pre-dates the opening of Ellis Island, so it is likely he arrived at the Castle Garden facility at Battery March in New York City. He then made his way to Boston, Massachusetts where he settled and remained the rest of his life.


On October 6, 1897, following completion of the “Primary Declaration of Intent”, he took the oath of US Citizenship and became a Naturalized US Citizen. Witnesses included Joseph Sullivan of 601 Second Street, South Boston and Jeremiah J. Quinlan of 517 East Third Street, South Boston. Friends of Thomas, they had known him for at least seven years according to government papers filed at the time. His residence at the time was 65 O Street, South Boston and he worked as a Teamster or truck driver.


Thomas met Mary E. Manning in the early 1890’s. They were wed in the Catholic Church on August 29, 1894 in Boston, MA. The priest celebrating the marriage was the pastor of their church, Reverend R.J. Johnson.


In 1900, Thomas and Mary lived in a three-family home at 61 I Street, South Boston. Other families residing at this address included the Jones Family, who had seven family members, and the Doolin Family with six members and a boarder by the name of Dennis Sweeney. Thomas and Mary had two children at the time, Thomas F. Jr age 4 years, and John Joseph age 10 months. Thomas worked as teamster.


The 1910 US Federal Census, conducted on April 26, 1910, found a growing Dunford family living at 61 I Street in Ward 14 of South Boston. Thomas and Mary had 8 children born to them, but only 6 sons were living in April 1910 when the census was conducted. Thomas worked as a teamster driving trucks for a paper company located at 246 Devonshire Street, Boston. In 1910, there were two other Dunfords listed as residents of Boston.

In January 1911, Thomas and Mary had their last child, a daughter Margaret. In July of that year Mary died tragically at the age of 38, leaving Thomas to raise a family of six sons and an infant daughter. Just a few short months later, in September, Margaret, his only daughter, died having experienced feeding problems while living with her grandparents John and Johanna Manning at 57 I Street, South Boston.


In 1920 Thomas and his six sons; Thomas Jr., John, George, Leo, James and Walter, lived at 533 East Second Street. Thomas and two of his sons - Thomas Jr. and George - worked for the paper company. Thomas Jr. was a teamster, and George worked as a chauffer or driver. His son John was a soldier serving with the Coastal Artillery Corps in Boston Harbor. Leo, James and Walter attended school, but like most boys their age they held jobs as well – Leo worked as a sorter in a leather house, while James worked as a stock boy at a candy factory.


1930 was a difficult and challenging time following the stock market crash just a year earlier – America was in a great depression and people around the country were out of work. All but one of Thomas’ sons had moved from the family home. Most had started families in and around the South Boston neighborhood where they were born. Thomas and his youngest son Walter, age 20 at the time, lived at 86 Emerson Street paying $22 per month in rent for their apartment. Thomas was unemployed from his job as a teamster in April of that year, while Walter worked as a clerk at the Navy Yard in Boston.


Thomas Jr., a World War I Veteran, had married Elizabeth Haley and was living at 111 Fuller Street in Dorchester where he paid $40 per month in rent – a high price when compared to South Boston. He had begun working as a guard for the US Custom Service – a career he would retire from in later years.


John had married Margaret Burns several years earlier and was living at 61 P Street paying $18 per month in rent. The other two floors of the three family home at 61 P Street were occupied by his in-laws Thomas and Annie Burns (who paid $25 per month in rent), and his wife’s sister’s family William and Helen Quigg (who paid $18 per month in rent). The Quiggs had four children at the time – Walter, William, John and Helene. William, a World War I Veteran worked as a taxi-cab driver. John’s brother Leo and his wife Lenora, the sister of John’s wife Margaret, lived with John and Margaret in their apartment. Leo had married three years earlier and worked as a checker in a factory – they did not have any children. In 1930, John and Margaret had three children – Grace, Marguerite and James. John worked as a driver for Railway Express along with his brother George. George had married Alice Powers and was living at 62 O Street, just around the corner from his brother John. George paid $20 per month in rent and at the time had three children – Mary, George and Teresa. James had already begun his studies for the priesthood and was living at St John’s Seminary on Lake Street in Brighton.


During his life, Thomas was a member of Division 13 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (A.O.H.). An organization dating back to the Civil War in South Boston. The group met every second Sunday in Dahlgren Hall on D Street. The AOH was an organization that provided recent immigrants with a place to talk about former times in the "old country", and learn new customs in their adopted land.


Thomas was also a member of St Peter and Paul Court and the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters. The Catholic Order of Foresters was founded on 30 July, 1879, when some members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Boston, desiring to have a Catholic fraternal insurance society, organized one on the plan of the Foresters' courts and called it the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters. It was so chartered, and its membership was confined to the State of Massachusetts, except in one instance, where a court was formed at Providence, Rhode Island. On 1 January, 1909, the official report stated that there were 235 courts organized, with a membership of 27,757. Of the members 9,679 were women. The insurance in force on 31 December 1908, was $27,757,000.


Thomas lived for many years at 19 Gavin Way in South Boston. He died on March 16, 1950 at the age of 82. He is buried in New Calvary Cemetery, Mattapan, Boston alongside his wife, son James, daughter Margaret, grand-son John and grand-daughter Ruth.


Thomas F. Dunford Jr.


The first son of Thomas and Mary Dunford, Thomas F. Dunford Jr. was born in Boston on March 15, 1896.  He served as a Sergeant in the US Army during World War I and was assigned to the 101st Infantry. During his time in combat he was wounded and gassed. He worked for many years as a Customs Officer in Boston retiring from that occupation. Thomas married Elizabeth Haley and had three children, Francis, Edward and Elaine. He was a member of the American Legion, Milton Post No. 114, and lived on Buckingham Road in Milton, MA. Thomas died on March 17, 1970 at the age of 74.


John J. Dunford


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JOHN JOSEPH DUNFORD was born in Boston Massachusetts in July 1899, on I Street in South Boston. The second son of Thomas F. and Mary E. (Manning) Dunford, he attended local public schools. In 1911, his mother died when he was only 12 years old.


World War I had begun for the United States of America on April 2, 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, stating that "the world must be made safe for democracy". Two days later the Senate concurred and on Good Friday, 1917, the House followed suit. The vote in Congress was overwhelmingly in favor of war.

On May 18, 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act authorizing registration and draft of all men between the ages of 21 and 30 for military service. The first American Expeditionary Force under General John Pershing landed in France on June 24, 1917. Shortly after, on June 24, 1917, the Rainbow Division, commanded by Colonel Douglas MacArthur and representing every state of the union arrived in Europe.

By the end of the year 180,000 American soldiers had arrived in France. By the end of the war 2,000,000 men had been sent to Europe.

In 1918, John Dunford, then just 19 years old, and not waiting to be drafted, enlisted in the United States Army at Division 9, South Boston, MA as a Private on October 18, 1918. During his initial tour of duty, he attended basic training at Camp Devens, Massachusetts as a member of 2nd Company, 4th Recruit Battalion, 151st Depot Brigade. Following his basic training he served at Fort Warren on George's Island in Boston Harbor during the final days of World War I as a member of Battery D, 33rd Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps.





Serving just a few months, he was honorably discharged on December 23, 1918, shortly after the armistice treaty with the German government was signed on November 11, 1918. His discharge certificate following his first enlistment (there would be three total) described him as 19 and 3/12ths years of age, 5 feet 7 inches tall with gray eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. His assigned service number, which he would retain during subsequent enlistments, was #2454661. His occupation at the time of entry into the service was listed as "assistant chemist" which suggests that he worked in a neighborhood drug store at the time.


His discharge certificate for this period read "expiration of term of service as per demobilization order from the War Department dated 11/15/1918 and par 19, S.O. 291 Hqrs U.S.A. Cantonment, Camp Devens, Mass dated 11/21/1918". On July 8, 1919, he was issued the Bronze Victory Button for his service.


Less than a year after his first enlistment had ended honorably, John Dunford enlisted for the second time on September 8, 1919 at Fort Warren, where he was again assigned to the C.A.C. or Coast Artillery Corps. Prior to this enlistment his occupation was listed as a laborer. He was assigned to the 7th Company in the Regular Army and served for one year. During this enlistment, on July 17, 1920, his approved application for the Victory Medal without Clasp was forwarded by his Commanding Officer Captain E.H. Metzger. John received his second honorable discharge on September 12, 1920.


Just a few short months later on December 27, 1920, John Dunford enlisted for the third time in as many years at Fort Slocum, New York. His occupation prior to this enlistment was listed as a "teamster". At 5' 7", with brown hair and a ruddy complexion, he began a three year enlistment as a member of the 8th and 144th Companies, Coast Defense Corps, Fort Amador, Canal Zone, Panama. On April 14, 1922 he was promoted to Corporal and then on June 24th of the same year he was promoted to Sergeant. John is pictured to the left – second in from the left standing wearing the campaign cover.


Sergeant John Joseph Dunford, U.S. Army was honorably discharged at Fort Hamilton, New York on January 7, 1924 having served combined enlistments of 4 years, 2 months and 20 days.


John married Margaret Burns about 1919 and had two daughters, Grace and Marguerite, and four sons John, James, Joseph and Vincent. John died in infancy. The family lived at 830 East Second Street South Boston. Nicknamed “Ned”, he worked for many years as a dispatcher and driver for the Railway Express Agency.


John died suddenly on December 17, 1950 while attending Sunday Mass at St Bridget’s church, he was 51. His son Joseph, a PFC in the Marine Corps, was serving in Korea at the time having just returned from the Chosin Reservoir.



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George H. Dunford

George was born on February 12, 1901. He married Alice Powers and had four daughters, Alice, Lucille, Mary and Teresa, and two sons George Jr. and William.  The family lived on O Street and East Third Street, South Boston. George worked as a driver for Railway Express and died suddenly on December 20, 1954, he was 53.


Leo Dunford

Leo was born on March 3, 1903. He married Lenora Burns, the sister of his brother John’s wife, Margaret. They had one daughter, Leona who was born in 1930. The family lived on N Street in South Boston. Leo worked as a steel worker and retired from the Walworth Manufacturing Company, a company based in South Boston. He was also active as a union leader with the steel-worker’s union. A member of the Knights of Columbus, Pere Marquette Post, he died on March 7, 1983 at the age of 80.


James E. Dunford

James Edward Dunford was born on October 16, 1904 in South Boston, the fifth son of Thomas F. Dunford Sr. and Mary E. (Manning) Dunford. A member of Saint Vincent’s parish in South Boston, James was a graduate of Boston College, and studied for the priesthood at St John’s Seminary in Brighton. He was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 5, 1931, by the late Cardinal O’Connell. After becoming a priest, he was assigned briefly as an assistant priest in Sacred Heart parish, Watertown. In the fall of 1931 he was assigned to St. Bridget’s, Framingham, where he served as curate for 10 years under the re-knowned military pastor, the Reverend Michael J. O’Connor. Reverend O’Connor had served as the chaplain of the 101st Infantry, Yankee Division, in World War I. Reverend O’Connor had remained in the National Guard on his return from France, and retired as a general.


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While assigned to St. Bridget’s, Father Jim participated as a member of the Massachusetts National Guard and served as the Massachusetts State Police Chaplain.

 On January 16, 1941 Father Jim entered active military service. As a member of the 26th Yankee Division of the Massachusetts National Guard, his unit, along with National Guardsmen from Illinois and North Dakota, were brought together to form the United States Army’s Americal Division on May 2, 1942. Designated the 132nd, 164th, and the 182nd Infantry Regiments, they and associated units were led by Brigadier General Alexander M. Patch, and assigned to the Army’s Pacific theater.

Elements of this division were the first U.S. combat troops to engage the enemy in any theater in World War II.


During the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Americal Division, with Father Jim assigned as the Division Chaplain, fought in numerous battles. The battles included: the Second Battle of Henderson Field (23-25 October 1942); the Battle of Koli Point (5-11 November 1942); the Battle of Kokumbona & Poha River (18-23 November 1942); The Battle of Point Cruz & the Matanakau River (8-22 November 1942) and The Battle of Mt. Austen (12-17 December 1942). Battles fought in December 1942 through to February 1943 included Gifu Ridge, Bonegi River and the final offensive that ended on 9 February 1943.



For his bravery, while assigned to the Division on Guadalcanal, Father Jim was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In May 1943, Father Jim was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel and later took part in the battle of Bougainville and the Philippines. (Fr Jim is on the right in the picture below.)




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Following his active military service, he returned to the United States and continued serving as a Chaplain in the Massachusetts National Guard, the 26th Yankee Division, and the Massachusetts State Police. He was named an assistant priest at St. Mark’s in Dorchester, serving there from January 3, 1946, until his appointment as pastor of St. Cecilia’s in Ashland, Massachusetts in 1957. While assigned to St. Cecilia’s, Fr Jim also served as Chaplain to The Cardinal Richard Cushing Hospital and the Framingham Juvenile Court. At the courthouse he would often work with youngsters before they were brought before the court. In one newspaper account of his service in this role he said, “no matter what people say, a court record can hurt a youngster later in life. I believe they should be given every chance for a new start. I only wish it were always possible”. There is little doubt his work in this area made a significant difference in many lives.


Father Jim retired from the Army in 1962 as a Brigadier General.


Father Jim died on March 24, 1964 at the age of 59. A funeral Mass was said on Monday March 30, 1964 at St. Cecilia’s in Ashland, Massachusetts. The Celebrant of the Mass was Rev Msgr. Joseph W. Sullivan, pastor Holy Rosary-Winthrop, the Eulogist was Rev. Walter M. McDonough, Assistant, St. Charles parish, Woburn. Auxiliary Bishop Eric McKenzie and Bishop Jeremiah F. Minihan presided. Assisting were Mr. Gerald Dunford of Graymoor, Washington D.C., a deacon and nephew of Father Jim – the son of his brother George. State, civic and military officials were among the 1,000 people who attended the Mass at St. Cecilia’s.




Walter Dunford

Walter was born on December 19, 1909. He married Barbara and had five daughters, Helen, Marie, Anne, Rosemary and Ruth. Ruth died when she was only two. The family lived on East Second Street in South Boston. As a young man Walter worked as a clerk in the Navy Yard in Boston. In later years he worked as a Laborer. Walter died suddenly in June 1961 at the age of 52.



Grace Eleanor Dunford

Grace Dunford was born on October 28, 1920, the eldest child of John and Margaret (Burns) Dunford. Grace married John Gribos, a veteran of the US Navy Seabees and World War II. John was a career Boston Police Officer, serving from 1949 to 1981 at Station #14 in Brighton. John and Grace had three children Margaret Ann (b. 1943), John (b. 1950) and Francis (b. 1957). John and Grace live on Sylvester Road in Saint Brendan’s Parish, Dorchester, Massachusetts. For many years John and Grace owned cottages on Lake Monponsett in Halifax where members of the Dunford family often gathered during the summer months. Grace and John Gribos pictured in 1942.


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Marguerite Beatrice Dunford

Marguerite Dunford was born on December 18, 1924 the second daugher of John and argaret (Burns) Dunford. Margie married Bernard Cowing. Margie and Bernard had three children Bernard Michael or “Mickey” (b.1944), Brian Richard (b.1958) and Sean James (b. 1962). Margie and her family lived for many years on East Fourth Street in South Boston, moving to Provincetown on Cape Cod in the late 1960’s. Margie was a Justice of the Peace and Bernard worked as a photographer and banker. Margie and her mother Margaret in 1942 are pictured below.



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John Joseph Dunford

John Dunford was born in 1926, the first son of John and Margaret (Burns) Dunford. John died as an infant and is buried with his Grandfather Thomas, his uncle Rev James E. Dunford and his grandmother Mary E. (Manning) Dunford in the New Calvary Cemetery, Mattapan.

James Edward Dunford

James Dunford was born on April 11, 1928, the second son of John and Margaret (Burns) Dunford. James married Shirley Kingman, daughter of Parker Kingman and Lyndell Sylvester. James served in the US Navy from 1945 to 1949 aboard the USS Albany, a cruiser, the USS Wisconsin and at the US Naval Base Saipan. James was a Brockton Firefighter for many years and he and Shirley had three children Ned John (b.1952), Jane Ellen (b.1955) and Margaret Lynn or “Peggy” (b.1958). James loved Cape Cod and often rented a cottage in Truro with his family during the summer. Jim and his wife Shirley are pictured below.


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Vincent John Dunford

Vincent was born on August 2, 1934, the fourth son of John and Margaret (Burns) Dunford. Vincent married twice – first to Teresa Janet Marques - they had one son Michael Vincent (b.1957), and then to Winifred Flaherty, daughter of Coleman and Bridget Flaherty of South Boston – they had one daughter Mary Catherine (b. 1978). Vincent worked for many years as a longshoreman in and around the Port of Boston and died on April 10, 2000 in South Boston at the age of 65. Vinnie is pictured below in 1948.


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Joseph F. Dunford Sr


Joseph Francis Dunford was born on November 27, 1930 in South Boston. The fourth child of John and Margaret Dunford. A graduate of South Boston High School in 1948, he enlisted in the Marine Corps right after school, getting his mother to sign a waiver since he was only 17. He attended recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina in July 1948. He graduated in October as a member of Platoon 144 of the Fourth Recruit Battalion, and was promoted to the rank of Private First Class. His drill instructors included SSGT S.F. Kiger, SSGT A.D. Wills and CPL R.J. Tiedemann. SSGT Wills went on to serve in Korea and actually ran into Dad on a hilltop. For some “unknown” reason SSGT Wills was then CPL Wills, typically not the direction a Marine Corps career would follow. According to Dad, there were not any hugs exchanged, but it just shows you how small the Marine Corps can be sometimes.  Following graduation from Recruit Training, Dad was assigned to the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger and then reported to 8th Marine Regiment as a basic infantryman, Military Occupational Specialty 0311.

He spent the remainder of 1948 and 1949 assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He served on a “Med Cruise” or Mediterranean Cruise with 8th Marines from June to October 1949 visiting many ports, to include Tangiers. In March 1950 he was assigned to Marine Barracks, Yorktown, VA, home to a US Naval Mine Depot. On May 20, 1950, Dad and two platoons from the barracks, attired in their dress blues, participated in a Memorial Day Parade in Yorktown. The detachment had an end-strength of about 150 Marines.


“In the first days of July 1950, as the United States struggled to help defend the Republic of Korea against an invasion by the communist north, the U.S. Marine Corps readied units at Camp Pendleton, California, for immediate deployment.”


As the under strength 1st Provisional Marine Brigade set sail for Korea, a call went out to active Marines across the country looking for volunteers. Needless to say achieving any targeted numbers was not an issue. Each guard company, stationed at Marine Barracks throughout the US were allowed to send 25 volunteers. Dad was one of those sent from Norfolk, VA. Boarding a troop train, he departed the East Coast and after picking up other Marines at countless stops across the country, arrived at Camp Pendleton. Assigned to the first replacement draft for the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, he and others prepared to embark for the Republic of Korea, a country the Marines knew very little about. While processing at Camp Pendleton the Marines were outfitted with equipment, processed and fed World War II vintage C-rations.


The First Replacement Draft Arrives

Upon arrival at Chang-won on the 21st of August, the unit received its first big replacement draft from the States. It was at this point that Dad joined the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade as a member of 2nd Platoon, Baker Company 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He and many others had departed Camp Pendleton, and flown to Pusan, Korea by way of Wake Island and Yokuska, Japan. After arriving at Pusan he and the others were put on trucks and moved to Masan, a place the Marines called “the Bean Patch”. Assigned to carry a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), he participated in training with the unit, and got acquainted with the BAR. As a former rifleman with 8th Marines, this was his first experience carrying a BAR. The battalion conducted varied infantry training for the next several days to include: rifle platoon tactics, weapons training, 81mm mortar instruction, and anti-tank assault instruction.


“A funny story was going around about this time. The Army had heard that the Brigade had moved down and taken up positions to their rear and that there wasn’t much sense for the Army to fall back as the Marines had orders to shoot them if they did”.  - Captain Ike Fenton


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2nd  Naktong Counteroffensive 3-5 September 1950: 1st Provisional Marine Brigade attached to the 2nd Infantry Division

On September 1, 1950 at 1000,  “the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines  received a warning order to standby for immediate movement, on order, to the Hanan sector Naktong River sector to reinforce US Army forces. At 1100 orders were received, directing the battalion to send out combat patrols to the southwest due to enemy penetration of friendly front lines. Before patrols could be dispatched an order was received, directing the 1st Battalion, to prepare for movement to Miryang to be used as 8th Army reserve for the Naktong River area”. (source: Special Action Report – 1st Battalion 5th Marines)


Baker Company boarded a train at 1700, arriving at the assembly area at 2400. The following morning, 2 September, at 0800 they moved out to Yongsan. At 0030 on 3 September, 1st Battalion and Baker Company followed in trace of 2nd Battalion. The plan was to pass through the Army positions and attack. There was some delay, but at about 0900 the two battalions were on-line and ready to jump off. Under intense small arms, machine gun, mortar and artillery fire 1st Battalion, with Companies A and B abreast, moved across an open rice paddy to seize the high ground to the immediate front while 2nd Battalion was to take the high ground to the right front.


“At 0925, while crossing the rice paddies, “B” Company started receiving intense automatic weapons fire which pinned them down and halted the advance. The Battalion Commander directed the forward air controller to call down an air strike on Battalion Objective #1. Air support was immediate and succeeded in destroying the enemy positions from which “B” Company had been receiving fire”. “Progress was very slow due to the crossing of 800 yards of rice paddies and constant enemy small arms fire from the 1st Battalion Objective”. “At 1050 enemy heavy machine guns started firing on “A” and “B” Companies from positions on the forward slope of the 1st Battalion Objective”. The Battalion Commander directed 4.2” mortar and artillery fire on these positions. At 1055 as the fires lifted, the companies were positioned to start the assault. At 1115, “B” Company had succeeded in seizing the portion of objective #1 within their zone of action and were receiving enemy machine gun fire from the reverse slope of objective #1”. The Battalion Commander ordered 81mm mortars be fired on the reverse slope and that flame throwers be moved to “B” Company for use on appropriate targets. Following re-supply that afternoon, objective #2 received 5 minutes of artillery preparation fires before “A” and “B” Companies moved out in the attack. “By 1630 both “A” and “B” Companies had seized Battalion Objective #2 and were directed by the Battalion Commander to consolidate their positions and dig in for night defense”.


After crossing the rice paddies, Dad met David Douglas Duncan, the war correspondent and photographer, who took Dad’s picture (see below) that was later published in This is War. Duncan had been accompanying Baker Company since their arrival in Korea in July. His book This is War is dedicated to members of Baker Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment. It is interesting to note that this was the first time we (The United States Marine Corps) actually employed two of our battalions abreast in an attack. Up until now, we had attacked with battalions in column, one following in trace of the other”-Fenton.


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“There was no enemy activity during that night and the 1st Battalion was prepared to continue the attack the following morning at 0800”. “It had rained most of the night… the men were soaking wet…and anxious to get this thing over”.


On 4 September 1950 at 0800, “A” and “B” Companies moved out in the attack with the mission of seizing the portion of 5th Marines Objective #1 in the 1st Battalion’s zone of action. BLT 3/5 moved through and relieved BLT 2/5 on the right flank of BLT 1/5.


At 0820, the Company Commander of “B” Company reported the capturing of two Russian type T-34 tanks on his company’s right flank, the tanks were unmanned and in excellent condition.

The advance continued very rapidly meeting no enemy resistance and many small groups of enemy were observed running in a disorganized manner away from advance elements. In all cases artillery fire was called down which killed and wounded many of them, and a total of 12 prisoners were captured by 1240.


By 1505, “A” and “B” Companies had completed the seizure of 5th Marines Objective #1. The Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, received orders from the Regimental Commander to halt the advance and to remain on Regimental Objective #1 until further orders were received”.


Just a short time later, while continuing the attack, “B” Company began moving across some rice paddies and received enemy automatic weapons fire from high ground to their right front. The Company pulled back to a covered position while an air strike was directed on the enemy positions. That night “A” and “B” Companies secured the high ground and settled in for a relatively quiet night, with no enemy activity reported. However at about 2400 the Battalion CP position received heavy caliber enemy mortar fire resulting in one KIA and two WIAs.


On 5 September 1950, following the erroneous strafing of “B” Company’s front line by a friendly P-51 type aircraft that resulted in one casualty, 1st Battalion continued an advance towards 5th Marines Objective “A”. BLT 3/5 moved across the rear of BLT 1/5 and tied in with “A” Company on the left flank. BLT 1/5 maintained contact on the right with elements of the 9th Infantry Regiment (U.S. Army). The advance moved quickly and unopposed until about 0935 when enemy mortar and artillery fire commenced, falling on the 1st Battalion’s front line from enemy positions on Obong-ni Ridge. “B” Company reached the high ground around 1100 and received orders to halt until BLT 3/5 and the U.S. Army unit on the right could link up.  “A” and “B” Companies were receiving enemy small arms fire at frequent intervals during the halt.


“At 1420 the enemy launched a counter-attack against “B” Company with approximately 300 troops. The counter-attack was launched very rapidly from flanks and well concealed positions. The enemy used large quantities of small arms fire, automatic weapons fire, mortar fire, and hand and rifle grenades. At the same time the counter attack started the Company Commander of “B” Company reported three enemy tanks moving down the road toward “A” and “B” Company positions. The Battalion Commander directed 81mm mortar fire be placed to the immediate front of “B” Company’s positions and that the anti-tank assault platoon go forward and take up suitable positions for anti-tank defense”. The “B” Company 3.5” Rocket team had stopped the first tank, expending all its ordnance. Two US M-26 tanks were knocked out by the enemy tanks, near another US M-26 that had previously been knocked out. At this point the remaining four US M-26 tanks moved to firing positions to cover any potential enemy advance. The anti-tank assault team successfully knocked out the second and third enemy tanks and put the final kill on the first enemy tank. “While the tank action was going on “B” Company, with the aid of 81mm mortar fire, had succeeded in stopping the counterattack.. “B” Company’s casualties during the counterattack were: 2 killed and 23 wounded”.


“At 1725 orders were received to prepare to be relieved on position, under cover of darkness, by elements of the 23rd Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, and for a route march to the vicinity of Yongsan where the 1st Battalion, in regimental order, would be trucked to Pusan, Korea”. Enemy activity was light that night, however “B” Company did receive machine fire from the vicinity of Obong-ni Ridge.


On 6 September 1950 at 0630, elements of “K” Company, 23rd Infantry Regiment, affected relief of the 1st Battalion on position. The 1st Battalion moved out in route march following BLT 3/5 and joined the main column at 0230.


The route march arrived in Yongsan at 0430 and awaited transportation to Pusan. At 1430 trucks departed the assembly area for Pusan and by 2130 1st Battalion had arrived at the assembly area at the Port of Pusan.




Arriving at Pusan on 6 September 1950, the Battalion was given the opportunity to clean up in one of the warehouses. The following day the men were re-equipped with clothing and small arms and prepared for the upcoming landing.


“We experienced great difficulties in equipping the men with 782 equipment (canteens, first aid kits etc..), weapons, shoes and clothing. It was an impossibility to get BAR magazines. The company rated 19 magazines per BAR, a total of 171 per company. I was only able to get enough to give each BAR man six magazines! We had lost a lot of these magazines when men were hit and evacuated – still in possession of their magazines. Many more were lost in rice paddy fields. There just weren’t any replacements for BAR magazines in Pusan. Also there were no replacements for BAR belts. My BAR men had to carry the lower halves of packs hooked to their belts with telephone wire for their BAR magazine carriers” – Captain Ike Fenton, De-brief.


In preparation for the upcoming landing “B” Company joined “C” Company from the states and 17 men assigned to the Company’s machine gun platoon. Additionally, other officers and men were assigned to the unit bringing the company back up to T/O wartime strength – 5 officers and 215 men.


On 11 September the company embarked aboard the USS Henrico and sailed for Inchon the following day. Information regarding the mission was not received until 12 September. The operation order and aerial photos were very detailed and “it was important that every man know exactly where to go upon landing” – “even fire teams had objectives”. “The landing would be made directly against the downtown area of the city, at an hour which would allow just two hours of daylight and at a place where the tide rose and fell approximately 30 feet in a three hour period”.


“On the afternoon of 14 September the Henrico and the ships carrying the 5th Regiment joined the rest of the Task Group and proceeded in column to the Inchon landing area”.


The landing began on 15 September at approximately 1730 – Company “A” hit Red Beach and made up the first three waves. Company “C” comprised the fourth and fifth waves and landed about H-plus 20. There was much confusion during the next two to three hours due to the failure of the boats to land in their assigned areas. Although the coxswains knew where Red Beach was, they did not have a good sense of where this Beach tied in with the others – that combined with the fact that the boats were taking fire from Observatory Hill pushed them a little off course. As Company “C” began to re-organize, Company “B”, assigned as the Battalion’s reserve was committed and ordered to pass through Company “C” and continue the attack, and seize Observatory Hill. It was beginning to get dark, which actually became an advantage for Company “B”, as the men moved from house to house and along the streets very quickly, successfully seizing the objective. They moved to the top of the hill at around 2000 but were not able to tie in on the left or right until around 2330. The resistance had been light and Company “B” had suffered six wounded in action.


As the Marines landed on the beach that day they experienced a very heavy volume of fire from a variety of weapons to include - antitank weapons, machine guns, mortars and artillery. The fire subsided as darkness fell and the unit conducted night patrols about 500 to 600 yards forward of what had been the enemy’s battalion command post on the top of Observatory Hill. The following morning there was no sign of enemy in the area.


The Battalion “moved rapidly” through the City of Inchon on the 16th and had cleared the city by 1300 or 1400. The 1st and 5th Marines then moved along the Inchon-Seoul highway and by nightfall had traveled approximately seven miles east of Inchon, just west of Ascom City. There was light resistance, some enemy tank activity that were destroyed by Marine Air and the 2nd Battalion. The enemy was pulling back to Kimpo Airfield. The 1st Marines encountered some heavy resistance in the area of the Seoul Highway while the 5th Marines pressed on to Kimpo Field. The 2nd Battalion was ordered to attack the field while 1st Battalion was to push on to Yong-Dungpo and “secure the high ground east of Kimpo”. As the 2nd Battalion reached the airfield resistance intensified and several fire fights erupted in the area. The 1st Battalion moved to the high ground east and southeast of the airfield with Companies A and B on line and Company C in reserve. While they moved into position, the 1st Marines was about 2000 yards to the right rear of 1st Battalion engaged in a heavy fire fight.


At dawn on the morning of September 18th an enemy unit of about 200 men moved along the left flank of 1st Battalion intending to attack 2nd Battalion’s position. Unaware that the 1st Battalion had taken the high ground and seen their movement, the enemy moved to attack the 2nd Battalion. 1st Battalion was able to notify 2nd Battalion of this impending attack and provide enfilade fire from the high ground. The combined fire of 1st and 2nd Battalion “practically wiped out the enemy force to a man”.


On September 19th the Battalion continued the attack toward Yongdunpo encountering some “stubborn resistance” with three companies on line. “B” Company continued toward Hill 118 covering 2300 yards of terrain in just over an hour. The company was able to outflank the enemy, which had crossed the Han River and prevented “C” Company from moving. As “C” Company called in air support and artillery, the enemy began withdrawing only to run into “B” Company who “wiped out most of them” and took many prisoners.


That night “B” Company pulled back to an assembly area near Kimpo Airfield to prepare for a river crossing the next day. The 1st Battalion crossed the river the next day as planned and remained in regimental reserve. From September 19th to the 22nd the 5th Marines continued its advance to Seoul with 1st Battalion on the right flank. “Opposition was scattered, although there was some sniper fire and a great deal of mortar fire”. On the morning of 22 September the planned attack by 1st Battalion and the ROK Marines on Seoul was delayed. The 1st Battalion was then assigned to make an enveloping maneuver far to the right, cut through a rice paddy field, and seize Hill 105 from the western slope. The Battalion encountered a heavy volume of fire throughout the day – casualties in “A” Company were particularly heavy. Toward the end of the day it was decided that a coordinated attack would be required to seize Hill 105. After 30 minutes of heavy artillery fire and a heavy air strike the hill was secured at around 1900. Casualties were fairly heavy – “B” Company had one killed and six wounded.  A counterattack that night, which brought the enemy close to the Marine positions, was met by numerous hand grenades which discouraged the enemy. The Marines stayed on the hill and on the 24th a second counterattack was thwarted and nearly the entire enemy force of 50 were killed.


Late on September 24th “B” Company was relieved by “A” Company and moved back to an assembly area near the 1st Battalion’s CP. “From this time until the fall of Seoul on the 27th of September, the 1st Battalion saw very little action”. 1st Battalion then followed the 3rd Battalion into Seoul and participated in one last fire fight near the Government Palace. The company bivouacked in a school and spent the days conducting patrols in the assigned area. During this time they found numerous warehouses of American equipment, arms and clothing that had been captured by the North Koreans. On 30 September the Battalion moved to an area 9-10 miles northwest of the city, taking positions on the high ground. On October 5th the company moved in trucks back to Inchon to prepare for another amphibious operation on the east coast.

On October 13th Captain “Ike” Fenton was replaced by 1stLt John Tobin.


Chosin Reservoir


Following the successful liberation of Seoul, the Marines of the 1st Division conducted another amphibious movement and landed at Wonsan after almost two weeks aboard ship awaiting the completion of mine clearing operations in and around Wonsan Harbor. The Marine landed on October 27, 1950 and headed north. On 27 November 1950, (Dad’s 20th birthday) Baker Company loaded on 6X6 trucks – about 13 men per truck - and headed north to a location about 34 miles away. 5th Marines was moving to join 7th Marines, unaware of the Chinese build-up in the area and how close the Chinese were to the 7th Marines’ positions. Baker’s end-strength at the time was 213 men, with six men assigned to “light duty” because of injury or wounds. The trucks began driving on the winding narrow road to Hagaru-ri at the reservoir’s southern most end. In about eleven days the Company would be back at this same location engaged in dawn hand-to-hand combat on a ridge north of the village against the Chinese threatening to break through the company’s lines. The convoy drove west and north and after about 10km passed over the Toktong Pass. This would be the spot that F-2-7 would be encircled and battered for the next week. It was also the spot that Baker Company would pass through again on foot breaking a trail in knee deep snow on their way “out”. The unit continued along the ridge line for about another 12km and stopped at about 2100 just north of Yudam-ni, a place on the western tip of a finger of the Changjin Reservoir. The Yudam-ni area became the main hub for both 5th and 7th Marines.




Night came and the men got off the trucks and began the “Chosin Stomp” to get their circulation going. Riding in the trucks under the canvass, the men did not see much of the countryside during this movement. It was 15 degrees colder in this area and reached 10 degrees below zero by dawn. The company then set up a temporary staging area in a barren and snow covered field just a few yards off the road. Three pyramidal tents had been set up by the advance party sent out ahead of the Company. Baker Company, using small diesel fueled pot bellied stoves, used these tents as warming huts. The troops would rotate in and out after five or ten minutes. The Marines spent the night in the field catching what sleep they could and watching the tracer fire along the ridgeline a few hundred yards to the northeast. The battle they watched was between the Chinese and 7th Marines, defenders of the high ground, engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Baker Company did take fire that night from an occasional 60mm Chinese mortar that would over-shoot the ridgeline and land in the company’s position.


At about 1:00AM on 28 November 1950, D-2-7, positioned along the ridge’s southeast flank was overrun by the Chinese. Only a handful of men hung on. Baker Company was ordered to prepare to move out and effect a relief of lines for 7th Marines.


The 2nd and 3rd platoons, along with the mortars moved to the base of the mountain, about a ½ mile away and established the Company CP. 3rd Platoon, followed by 2nd Platoon, then moved up the hill (hill #1240)and onto the ridgeline still held by what was left of D-2-7. 1st Platoon moved to the CPs immediate front along a trail to the top of the hill where they linked with 3rd Platoon. The right flank was left open due to the distance required to link up with E-2-5, but the visibility was excellent so they relied on a visual tie-in rather than thin out the line. After a brief encounter with some members of 7th Marines who mistakenly thought the Baker Marines were Chinese, the Company arrived at the position that had been held by D-2-7. Bodies of Marines and Chinese were on the ground laying were they fell – parkas had been removed from the Marines bodies and the “acrid smell of battle still permeated the air”. The Company could not dig in on the position because the ground was frozen solid. The remaining members of D-2-7, only 16, were told to move down to the CP area.  From this position members of Baker could watch E-2-5 in hand-to-hand combat on the next hill over (hill #1282) only 500 yards away to the northwest. There were numerous grenades thrown as the Chinese attacked uphill – although direct support artillery was available it was largely ineffective due to the terrain – mortars worked best in defending the Marines’ position.


The Company waited on the hilltop for orders to move out and attack, unaware that the division was in bad shape and encircled. Men were told to lighten their load – shed and destroy any unnecessary gear and keep one sleeping bag for every two men – they piled and burned the rest. Supplies were air dropped, but for the most part the Company lived on tootsie rolls for the next dozen or so days.



The night marches began as the unit moved down the same road they had traveled while on trucks just a day before, the Company was attacked in isolated incidents and frost bite was commonplace. The only sleep anyone got was an occasional cat nap while standing in sometimes knee-deep snow. When the Company arrived at Hagaru-ri they engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the Chinese and began to feel the impact of attrition on its end-strength, the machine gun section was down by 50%.


The Marines destroyed seven divisions of the Chinese Communist army as the division “attacked in a different direction” and escaped by sea at Hungnam. The weather conditions were brutal throughout this campaign as temperatures were well below zero with wind chills driving them even further into negative numbers. The Marines marched for miles in the cold, hazardous conditions while fighting the Chinese on their flanks. The success of the operation was due in large part to the ability of the Marine rifleman to move out of the mountains while functioning on no sleep and little to eat. Death was all around and frostbite a common occurrence.


Departure from Korea

Dad had a friend by the name of Bobby Mosher. Dad and Bobby grew up together and had tried to join the Marines. Dad was accepted, but Bobby had a heart murmur. Dad joined the Marines while Bobby joined the Army Air Corps. After a short time Bobby was discharged for the same health problem that kept him out of the Marines. I can only imagine what he was like (determined and dedicated come to mind) because he then ended up joining the Navy as a Corpsman. The military, being the small world that it is, got only smaller in December 1950.


In early December Baker Company and the rest of 1st Battalion had just been withdrawn from the Chosin and were in Masan, also known as the “bean patch”. Dad made his way to a warming tent and ran into his old buddy Bobby Mosher, a corpsman assigned to 1st Marines. He had been looking for Dad and his unit and when he found him, Dad had just removed the combat boot on his left foot. As any casual observer of this conflict knows, frostbite caused a significant number of casualties during this campaign; PFC Joe Dunford was not spared. Not only had his foot been frostbitten it had actually started to turn gangrene. As Dad tells it, if not for Bobby Mosher he would have put his boot back on, or tried anyway, and gone on with his unit. Bobby would not hear it and actually got the corpsman from Dad’s unit to check him out. Dad was embarked shortly thereafter and departed Korea on or about 12 December 1950.


“For the Marine Corps the last five months of 1950 brought combat in Korea that for sheer drama, valor, and hardship matched the amphibious assaults of World War II – except, fortunately, in casualties.” Semper Fidelis, The History of the United States Marine Corps; Allan R. Millett.


Following his discharge from Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, Dad continued his service as a Marine, accepting orders to Marine Barracks, Hastings, Nebraska in the winter of 1951. On 24 April 1951 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. After a short stint in Nebraska, he seized an opportunity to return to the Fleet Marine Force and returned to his “home” with 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune. He served with 2nd Battalion 8th Marines, returning to Vieques Island off the coast of Puerto Rico from 15 September 1951 to 13 November 1951. On 15 February 1952 he received his Good Conduct Medal for the period 22 July 1948 to 21 July 1951. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on 13 March 1952 and was honorably discharged on 21 July 1952.


The First Provisional Brigade received a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and a Presidential Unit Citation from the United States for the period August 2, 1950 to September 6, 1950 for actions in and around the Pusan Perimeter. The 1st Marine Division received two Presidential Unit Citations for the periods: September 15, 1950 to October 11, 1950 for actions in and around Inchon and Seoul, Korea and for the period November 27, 1950 to December 11, 1950 for actions at the Chosin Reservoir.



The President of the Republic of Korea takes profound pleasure

in citing

for outstanding and superior performance of duty during the

period 26 October 1950 to 27 July 1953


for the award of



Landing at Wonsan on 26 October 1950 the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) advanced to Yudam-ni where they engaged the Chinese Communist Forces. The heroic and courageous fighting of the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced), which was outnumbered but never outfought by the Chinese Communist Forces; coupled with its fight against the terrible winter weather in this return to Hungnam, has added another glorious page to the brilliant history of the United States Marines. After regrouping and retraining, the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) rejoined the United Nations Forces and began the attack to the north which drove the aggressors relentlessly before them. The enemy spring offensive during April 1951 which threatened to nullify the recent United Nations gains was successfully repulsed by the First Marine Division (Reinforced) and when other Republic of Korea Forces were heavily pressed and fighting for survival the timely offensive by this Division gave heart to peoples of Korea. In March 1952 the First Marine Division (Reinforced) assumed responsibility of defending the western flank of the Eighth Army. In carrying out the responsibilities of this assignment the Marines won everlasting glory at Bunker Hill. Continuing active operations against the Communist enemy until the Armistice, the First Marine Division (Reinforced) inflicted heavy losses upon the aggressors and successfully repulsed their assaults upon strong point Vegas and Reno during March 1953, and during July 1953, just prior to the signing of the Armistice, again threw back the enemy in several days of severe fighting at strong points Berlin and East Berlin. Although suffering heavy losses during these engagements, the First Marine Division (Reinforced) was at all times successful in maintaining the integrity of the United Nations’ positions within their assigned sector. The First United States Marine Division (Reinforced), by its unparalleled fighting courage and steadfast devotion to duty, has won the undying affection and gratitude of the Korean people. During its entire campaign the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) remained true to its motto of “Semper Fidelis”. In keeping faith with the highest traditions of its own country the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) kindled new hope in the breasts of all free men and women in the Republic of Korea. This Citation carries with it the right to wear the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon by each individual member of the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) who served in Korea during the stated period.










Joseph F. Dunford (Continued)

Joseph returned home to South Boston and began work with the Boston Edison in 1952. On 10 November 1954 he was appointed to the Boston Police Department and began his instruction at the Boston Police Academy. On November 27, 1954 he married Katherine V. Walsh at Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston. The reception was held at the Philomethia Hall at Boston College.


His first assignment as a Patrolman with the Boston Police Department was Station 4 in the South End of Boston working nights - 4:00PM to Midnight or Midnight to 8:00AM. In 1972 he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to Station 11 in Fields Corner. He was subsequently assigned to head the Team Police Detail in the Columbia Point Housing Project in Dorchester during the period of court ordered school busing in Boston. In 1977, after attending classes during off time and weekends, he received his bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement from Northeastern University and in February 1978 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned to Station 3 on Morton Street in Mattapan. He was promoted again to the grade of Lieutenant Detective and assigned to Station 1 in downtown Boston where he led the City’s Drug Control Unit. In 1984 he was appointed to the rank of Deputy Superintendent and was assigned as the Deputy Bureau Chief for Investigative Services. In 1994, after nearly 40 years as a Boston Police Officer, he retired and took up the game of golf and got his first hole-in-one in 2001. He is a member of the VFW, AMVETS and the Disabled Veteran’s.


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Katherine V. Dunford

Katherine was the eighth child of Coleman and Bridget Walsh, born in South Boston on February 13, 1930. She attended parochial school in the Gate of Heaven Parish, and graduated from Gate of Heaven High School in 1948, where she played basketball. She married Joseph Dunford in November 1954 and they had a family of six sons to include Joseph (b. 1955), John (b. 1957), Paul (b. 1958), Michael (b. 1960), James (b. 1963) and Thomas (b. 1964). The Dunford family moved from the second floor of 890 ½ East Broadway South Boston in 1966 to 93 Narragansett Road Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1975 they bought a cottage at 33 Farragut Road in Marshfield, Massachusetts. In 1957-58 Katherine began working at the Industrial Credit Union in a variety of positions. She retired from the credit union in 2002 after more than 40 years working with the Campana Family. Katherine and Joseph now have 12 grandchildren living in Massachusetts, Maryland and California. Since 1992 or so, Katherine and Joseph have spent 10 weeks a year on Marco Island off the gulf coast of Florida with many of their friends from Massachusetts.


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