State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) had the pleasure of inducting World War II veteran Allan Atwell of Clifton Park into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame on May 21st in Albany.
“Mr. Atwell is an amazing individual,” Senator Farley said. “He was a typical small town, upstate boy who went into the Army at age 18 in 1943, and the private first class ended up aiding in the liberation of France in 1944. Not only did he protect our Country, he was a protector for France as well.”
Senator Farley was referring to Atwell’s storming the Omaha Beach in Normandy. That was only a year after he graduated from Breesport High School in Chemung County. Atwell was assigned to the 28th Infantry Division and was in numerous combat situations, including the Battle of the Bulge.
“We call our WW II veterans the ‘Greatest Generation,’” Senator Farley said. “No doubt, Mr. Atwell is an outstanding representation of this Great Generation.”
The New York State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
“This ceremony was held right before Memorial Day, a holiday that commemorates the heroic actions of our fallen military and thanks current veterans and service personnel for their contributions to our Country,” Senator Farley said.
Atwell has earned many military and civic awards and honors, including the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and European Theater of Operations (with four battle stars). He received a French Legion of Honor Medal in 2012. He was “knighted” and inducted into the National Order of the Legion of Honor on Veterans Day during a ceremony at Lycee Francais de New York, located in Manhattan.
“Mr. Atwell not only put his life on his line for his Country during World War II,” Senator Farley said, “he also continues to give back to his Country by performing community service, and continues to help fellow veterans.”
Atwell is a past Commander and current Chaplain of Clifton Park/Halfmoon VFW Post No. 1498. He is also an active member of the Elks Lodge 2466 and the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church. He currently serves as President of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Battle of the Bulge Veterans Association. He is a photographer for the Jonesville Volunteer Fire Department, and Chairman of Clifton Park’s Emergency Services Advisory Board. He was instrumental in the re-dedication of a World War II monument in Garnsey Park.
In Atwell’s private life after the war, he worked for the New York Telephone Company in Breesport. He moved to Clifton Park in 1969 and continued to work for the company, later known as Verizon. He retired in 1985. He continues to reside in Clifton Park with his wife, Neva. He is the proud father of five children.
“Mr. Atwell gives us a legacy of protecting our Nation, saving France, helping end World War II, serving his community and fellow veterans, and also instilling military pride into our next generation. I am proud to announce Mr. Atwell’s granddaughter is also in the military, and is a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy,” Senator Farley said. “Part of her career is also protecting our Nation, but this time from Somali pirates.”
Mr. Atwell’s name appears on a World War II monument in Rexford and will now appear in the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame contains biographies of veterans, like Mr. Atwell, from across the State. It can be viewed online by visiting the New York State Senate’s website (http://www.nysenate.gov/veterans-hall-of-fame).