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Chester County Press

Kennett Square slates Memorial Day Parade

05/04/2017 12:42PM ● By Stone Lieberman
A parade to honor military servicemen and women past and present will be held in Kennett Square on Memorial Day, Monday May 29, 2017. The parade will kick off at 10:00 a.m. at Kennett High School, 100 E. South St., Kennett Square.
The parade route will follow South Union Street, Cypress Street, North Broad Street, State Street and North Union Street. It will conclude with a memorial service at Union Hill Cemetery, 424 N. Union St., Kennett Square.
The Kennett Square parade is one of the largest Memorial Day parades in Chester County, attracting approximately 15,000 spectators. “There’s such a variety – there is something for everybody,” said Bill Taylor, chairman of the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade Committee. “It’s a large parade with approximately 1,500 participants.
Taylor, in his 13th year as chairman, said the history of the parade dates back to World War II. “The American Legion started the parade after World War II, but it had gotten smaller and faded as the older veterans (passed away),” he said. “In 2005, when Kennett had their sesquicentennial, we had a town celebration and they asked me to (revive) the parade. Since then, it has been continually growing. This year’s two-hour parade promises to be a great patriotic event.”

Grand marshals for this year’s parade will be Korean veterans, Mario G. Lorenzut (above) and Thomas W. Nale III (below).

  The parade will be led by a Marine color guard unit. Among the military units expected to march in the parade are the Delaware Military Academy Band and Cadets, Coatesville High School Junior ROTCs, William E. Taylor U.S. Naval Cadets, Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactor units, fife and drum corps and more. Many of our local veterans will be riding in antique convertibles and antique military vehicles or marching in color guards and other military units.
Civilian units such as the Joseph A. Ferko Mummers String Band, the Chester County Emerald Society Bagpipe Band, local high school marching bands, drumlines, barbershop quartets, bluegrass band and gospel singers, are all expected to be in the parade. Parade spectators can also expect to see bicycles, fire trucks, Scouts, Little League players, service clubs and much more.
The ceremony at Union Hill Cemetery will be conducted by Kennett Square American Legion and VFW Post. A luncheon will be hosted at the American Legion Hall on Broad Street for veterans and their families who participate in the parade.

The grand marshals for this year’s parade will be Korean Veterans, Thomas W. Nale, III and Mario G. Lorenzut.

Thomas W. Nale, III served in the Air Force from 1951-1961 during the Korean war. He has been a resident of Kennett Square for over 50 years and worked at All American Engineering Company for many years. He trained at Maxwell Air Base in Alabama, also Barlow, Perrin & Pine Castle Air Force
Bases in FL and Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Assigned to Korea 7th Fighter Bomber Squadron to fly and instruct pilots. Sent to Heartbreak Ridge, flew in 63 combat hours until the war ended in 1953 and awared the Air Medal.
In 1954, sent to Itazuks Air Force Base in Japan. Became fully qualified as an Atomic Bomb Flight Commander. Returned to Great Falls Air Force Base in MO as a instructor pilot. In 1955, went to WV University for an Aeronautical Engineering Degree. Joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard to fly F86H. In 1958, transferred to the Delaware National Guard.
While on night instrument training flight at low altitude, the engine failed, and the aircraft caught fire. He deliberately crashed into an open field to avoid a house. He was burned over 55% of his body, compression fractures in his back and internal injuries resulting in the loss of a kidney. His right arm was amputated due to the burns and he stayed in the hospital for 2 ½ yrs with many operations and recovery. Retired 1961, he retired from the Air Force with 9 ½ years of service.

Due to the cancelation of the 2016 parade, World War II veterans Ralph D. Doss and Raymond Natale, Sr. will be honored as well.

Doss, who enlisted in the Navy on March 20, 1943, served on the USS Sigourney and USS Duluth in the Pacific. Doss earned the Pacific Theater Ribbon, the American Theater Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged on February 10, 1946. Doss worked as a self-employed house painter in the Kennett Square area.

Natale, who entered the Army in June 1944, is the last of five brothers who served in World War II. Natale served in England, France and Belgium and was part of the invasion of Germany with his field artillery battalion. He was discharged in 1946. Natale was a Pennsylvania state trooper until his retirement.

For more information about the parade, contact Bill Taylor at 610.444.3810 or at [email protected]. More information is also available at MemorialDayParade or visit