The Yalesville section of Wallingford honors a World War II hero and its World War I veterans with memorials on the village green.
Budleski Memorial Park, at the intersection of Main (CT Route 150) and Chapel streets, was dedicated on May 28, 1944, to honor a local airplane mechanic killed over Germany in 1943.
A plaque at the western end of the green reads, “Budleski Memorial Park. In honor of Stanley P. Budleski, 1st Lt. AAF (Army Air Force), who died in action December 20, 1943. Erected by Yalesville Mens Club, November 11th, 1949.
According to the Connecticut Historical Society, Lt. Budleski enlisted in 1942, and was reported missing in 1943. His death was confirmed the following year.
One of two children of Polish immigrants, Lt. Budleski grew up on his family’s farm a short distance west of the green on Main Street.
He was honored with a parade on the day the green was named in his memory.
A few steps west of the Lt. Budleski marker, a monument honors Yalesville’s World War I veterans.
The monument bears a dedication reading, “In recognition of those who served in the World War, 1914-1919, from the Village of Yalesville.”
The monument, dedicated in 1939 by the Yalesville Mens Club, lists the names of 27 local World War I veterans.
A resting infantry soldier stands atop a circular-shafted monument dedicated in 1902 in Wallingford’s Dutton Park.
The granite monument features a variety of shapes and ornamental details in its different sections. For instance, the monument’s square base is topped by an eight-sided band that in turn gives way to a cone-shaped cylinder. The infantry soldier stands atop a round base.
The monument’s front (south) face bears the dedication “Erected by Arthur H. Dutton Post No. 36 G.A.R. and the people of Wallingford to the memory of the brave men who died that their country might live,” as well as ornate carved wreathes inscribed with the Civil War years. (Similar wreaths on the monument honor the Army and the Navy.) The south shaft also bears a carved eagle.
The east face lists the battles of Antietam (Md.), Gettysburg, Cedar Mountain (Va.) and Morris Island (S.C.).
The north face lists the battles of Atlanta, New Orleans, Port Hudson (La.) and Appomattox (Va).
The west face lists the battles of New Berne (N.C.), Fort Fisher (N.C.), Chancellorsville (Va.) and Petersburg (Va.)
A granite memorial stone placed in front of the monument lists the names and regimental affiliations of 24 Wallingford residents killed in the Civil War. The memorial is not dated, but was clearly added after the larger monument was dedicated.
The cannon at the south end of the park was cast in 1830 at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, N.Y.
A triangular planting bed immediately north of the Soldiers’ Monument honors local residents who fought in the American Revolution. Plaques mounted in the base of the nearby flagpole honor local veterans’ organizations.
A monument at the north end of the park honors residents who fought and died in the Vietnam War.
Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut
A collection of three monuments honoring service in the two World Wars and Korea stand in front of Wallingford’s town hall.
The World War I monument features two large bronze plaques, each with three columns listing local residents who fought in the conflict. The middle panel bears a dedication “in honor and in memory of those men and women of Wallingford who fought in the World War 1917-1918.”
The middle panel also bears a bronze bas relief plaque with marching soldiers and sailors, three of whom are carrying American flags. The monument is stopped with a large bronze eagle.
The town’s World War II monument stands next to the World War I, and features seven plaques, each with three columns of names. The monument is undated, but appears to be of fairly recent vintage. A bronze eagle atop the monument was donated by local veterans’ organizations in 2001.
A separate monument to the Korean War stands near the World War II monument. The Korean War monument has six bronze plaques, also with three columns listing local residents who served in the conflict. The monument also has five round plaques with the emblems of the country’s military service branches.
A separate plaque just below an eagle topping the monument lists the names of six residents killed in the Korean War.
Wallingford’s construction of a separate Korean War monument is relatively uncommon, with many towns in the state including the Korean and Vietnam wars on a joint memorial.