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Kirby, George

George Kirby Merchant Marines WWII

Date of Birth: 12-Jun-27
Died On: 4-Apr-90
Street Address: 36 Orchard Ave
Branch of Service: Merchant Marines -WWII, US Army - Korea - Company L, 223rd Infantry , 40th Infantry

Veteran Code: MM-19

BIOGRAPHY Search for Newspaper Articles on this Veteran
George Joseph Kirby

George Kirby was born in Rye 12-Jun-1927. He lived with his family of eight at 36 Orchard Ave. The family were parishioners of the Curch of the Resurrection, and George was a member of the merchant committee. George's parents were Marion Winkler and John "Jack" Kirby. George was one of seven children. His siblings were sisters named Adelaide, Marion and Joan and brothers, John, James and Thomas

George attended Resurrection School in Rye and Rye High School . He was active in his high school life and was a member of the Football team. George was also into theatre and was cast as the policeman in the school play "Night of January Sixteen". At school, George was nicknamed, ''Big Red'' and he brightened his classmates with his jokes and wise cracks.

George chose early graduation from High School, graduating in January 1945 in order to serve in WWII. He joined the U.S. Merchant Marines and would serve in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946. Five years later, during the Korean War in 1950, he enlisted into the U.S. Army. George was promoted to Sergeant First Class and served in Company L, 223rd Infantry, 40th Infantry Division.

In Korea, the 40th Infantry Division participated in the battles of Sandbag Castle and Heartbreak Ridge. In these campaigns, the division suffered 1,180 casualties, including 311 who were killed in action, and 47 who later died from wounds received in action. Total division casualties in Korea included 376 killed in action, 1,457 wounded in action, and 47 dead of wounds.

George would marry Carol Lee Delgado on June 7th 1959 in Resurrection Church in Rye, where he was a parishioner. They would have three children.

George Kirby was a letter carrier for the Rye Post Office for 34 years, retiring, in 1984. He was a volunteer fireftghter and was elected Rye Fire Chief in 1970 and served as chief until 1972. He was a member of the Port Chester-Rye Ex-Fire Chiefs Association. George was co-owner of "Over The Bridge" a restaurant located in the Dublin section of Rye, currently "The Rye Roadhouse". He was a great cook and for many years operated his own catering business "Piece of Cake Catering" for many corporate and private events.

George Joseph Kirby retired letter carrier, veteran of 2 wars, died of cancer April 4th,1990 at United Hospital Medical Center in Port Chester, He was 62 and was a lifelong resident of Rye.

At the time of his death, George was survived by two sons, George A Kirby and John T. Kirby, daughter, Carin Kirby, two brothers, James Kirby and John Kirby, all of Rye: and three sisters, Adelaide McGee of Harrison, and Marion Maloney and Joan O'Keefe both of Rye. His wife Carol died March 27, 1970.

Christopher Pecora
RHS 2021

Post Script I - George had two first cousins who died in WWII, James Kirby Taylor and John E. Bassett. Other family members who served in WWII include his brother John A. Kirby his uncle Charles Winkler, two other cousins Thomas O'Reilly and Stephen O'Reilly and two brothers in law Thomas J Maloney and Thomas F McGee. All are honored on the Rye City Hall WWII Memorial.

Post Script II - After George's death, his many friends started a golf tournament in his memory. The annual "George Kirby Golf Tournament" for the benefit of the Rye Senior Citizens, has been played for over 30 years. In his name the tournament has raised hundreds of thousand of dollars to help finance progams for the senior citizens of Rye, NY.

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