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The Joseph F. Tierney Collection
(Joseph was a member of HQ Battery)

   Joe Tierney was born in 1912 in Natick, Massachusetts. He moved to the Bronx in the late twenties, finished high school, and worked his way through Fordham University, graduating in 1934. He did attend Boston University Medical School for a year, but finances ran out and he returned to New York, where he worked for New York Telephone.

   In 1935, he enlisted as a private in the 607th Coast Artillery reserve; he applied for and was accepted as a commissioned reserve officer in 1936. In 1939 he married Ruth Magenheimer of Hollis, NY and began his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative with the Searle Company.

   In November 1940, he was called to active duty and assigned as Executive Officer of Battery A, 21st Coast Artillery at Fort Dupont, Delaware. On December 7, 1941, a few weeks before he was to be released from active duty, he was buying gas for his car and the attendant informed him about the attack on Pearl Harbor. All leaves were cancelled and at 4 p.m., his battery was manning a three-inch gun and preventing ship traffic from entering the Delaware River.

   In September 1942, he was ordered to Ft. Sheridan, Illinois with a very pregnant wife. His oldest son, Mark, was born on the post in October and Joe joined the 225th. With a new family in hand, he trained with the battalion at Ft. Sheridan, in North Carolina, and embarked for England in December 1943. He was 31 years old and served with the 225th until the end of the war. He returned to the states in September 1945.

   Joe separated from the service and rejoined his old company, but stayed active in the Army reserve. Relocating to suburban Pennsylvania, Joe and Ruth raised two sons, Mark and Gerry, and enjoyed four grandchildren. He retired from Searle in 1972 and from the Army Reserve in 1964 as a Lt. Colonel.

   As a reservist, he served as President of both the Reserve Officers Association and the Military Order of World Wars in Philadelphia. In the 1980s he also arranged and attended some reunions of the HQ company of the 225th. He attended the last one in 1993, the year before he passed away in 1994.

Joe, like millions of others, is part of the "Greatest Generation." They put their life on hold for a greater cause, leaving the comforts of home and their families to rid the world of hate. They returned and picked up where they left off — often not looking back nor demanding special privilege.

   The text above and all photos and postcards comprising this collection were contributed to Skylighters by his son, Gerry.

Postcard from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. The 225th was deployed over a wide area around the city during their training in high-altitude tracking of aircraft in the Spring of 1944. Click on the image above to view an enlargement.


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