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John Tighe

U.S. Army
WWII | Battles of the Pacific

A lifelong Staten Islander, John “Vince” Tighe was born on August 5, 1912 to Irish immigrants John Joseph Tighe and Margaret Connolly. Vince grew up with two brothers and two sisters and lived in Tompkinsville, New Dorp, Grasmere, and Stapleton. As many kids did at the time, Vince started work at an early age delivering groceries in Stapleton and working at the docks at as a young teen.

In 1942, Vince married his ‘love’, Isabel Burns, and moved to Locust Ave. in New Dorp.

After being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, Vince was promoted twice to the rank of Sergeant. He served in the Pacific Theater with the 8th Army from 1943-1945. He was involved in many battles in the region, including the Battles of Leyte and Luzon. By the time the war was over, he had been recognized with several awards, including the Purple Heart. One of the stories that has come down through the family involved the sinking of the troop transport ship he was on in the Coral Sea. Hit by torpedoes, the men on board had to tread water for nearly eight hours until they were rescued by the Australian Navy. He lost his wedding ring during his extended time in the water.

When Vince returned home, he settled in nearby West Brighton to raise a family. Isabel and Vince had three children, Patricia (Tighe) Fleming,

John “Jack” V. Tighe, Jr, and Michael Tighe. Vince worked as a longshoreman at the Staten Island Docks in Stapleton. After his wife Isabel died on December 31, 1954, Vince’s sister Margurite and his father, John, helped to raise the family in their home on Hartford Avenue. Both of his sons were drafted; Jack served in Vietnam from 1967-1968 and Michael was at the DMZ in Korea from 1968-69.

Vince was always very proud of his Irish heritage and his military service. He passed away on October 16, 1993.

Sponsored by The Tighe Children and Grandchildren

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