George J. Vavas
1941 - 1945
Europe & North Africa
George was born Nashua, New Hampshire on June 16, 1917 to a large Greek family. He
along with his 3 sisters: Dorothy, Jean, and Tulah, and 2 brothers: James and Tony, and
their parents moved to Bulls Head, Staten Island. The house was on Richmond Avenue
and was demolished to make way for the Staten Island Expressway. As the eldest son, he left high school to help support his large family.
He was among the first group drafted to serve in WWII in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and did not return until the end of the war. I was told many stories of my father’s experiences such as when he and a buddy got on the Queen Mary by mistake, the invasion of Normandy, rescuing his buddy E. who was injured, from a building in Paris only seconds before it was bombed, and his time in Sicily, Corsica, and Tunisia and in
North Africa. He told us about cutting down the enemy’s lines. They would cut ours and he would have to fix them.
My father kept in touch with a number of his Army buddies. They would stand in a circle swapping stories at our family BBQs. My mother, Helen, and E.’s wife were friends for life also. George worked as a deliverer for a beer and soda distributor on Manor Road after the war.
In 1959, our family moved to Florida and George was diagnosed a couple of years later with Multiple Sclerosis. I remember the trips to the V.A. hospital in Coral Gables to visit him. In 1964, we moved back to Staten Island on Lake Ave, and he spent a short period in the V.A. Hospital in Brooklyn. He was admitted to a Nursing Home a year or so later.
My father loved music and would often play records on Sunday afternoons and dance around the living room in Florida before he got really sick. He was also an excellent carpenter. I always admired the patience and diligence he had while working on a project and his quiet wisdom. He was a good man and served his country well. R.I.P and God Bless! George Vavas passed away on June 14, 1971. His siblings are all gone except for his sister, Dorothy.
Sponsored by Karen Webb