Dozens attend veteran street naming ceremonies

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NORTH BRUNSWICK – More than 30 residents and family members turned out for the honorary street naming ceremonies in North Brunswick for veterans John Stavola and the late Nicholas Tacinelli.

Stavola was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 24, 1926, according to the proclamation read during his ceremony on April 24.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 1944 at age 18. He completed his basic training in Camp Blanding, Florida, and then transferred to Camp Kilmer.

He was sent to Europe on the U.S.S. Mt. Vernon and arrived in Marseille, France, to a replacement depot where he was assigned to Co. I 3rd Division. This Colmar Pocket region was one of the last regions occupied by the German Forces, and Stavola was part of that battle until the early winter of 1945. His division, along with other American troops, were instrumental in eliminating the German Army from the region. They made their way throughout Germany and  through the fortifications built by the Germans, according to the proclamation.

Stavola was stationed in Bremerhaven, Germany, after the war was over and returned home in June 1946. He was honorably discharged from Fort Dix on July 4, 1946, but re-enlisted from 1946-48. He was honorably discharged a second time on Nov. 22, 1949.

Stavola received numerous medals for his service which include the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the European Middle Eastern Medal with two Battle Stars, the American Campaign Medal, the Occupation Medal, the World War II Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal of New Jersey, the New York State Medal, the Victory Medal and the French Legion of Honor Medal for Liberating France, according to the proclamation.

Stavola lived in North Brunswick for many years while working for Hermann Forwarding Company and Bunzl as a truck driver. He retired and went to work for the North Brunswick Board of Education until June.

He was married to Marie Saccente Stavola for 65 years and together they have four children: Maryann, John, Janet and James, as well as 10 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.

Stavola Way will now mark the intersection of Bergen Avenue and Newton Street.

The same evening, Tacinelli’s street naming ceremony was held at Sioux Road and Redmond Street.

Tacinelli was born on July 21, 1920, in Paterson, grew up in Franklin Park and then moved to North Brunswick in 1968.

He enlisted in the Army as a private first class on Aug. 12, 1942. He served in World War II as an Army Air Force airplane mechanic aerial engineer. He took part in the mission known as the China-Burma-India Theater of War, where the Allies’ intention was to support and reinforce the Chinese army in their struggle against the Japanese incursion, according to the proclamation.

Tacinelli was honorably discharged on Oct. 2, 1945. He received numerous medals including the Air Medal, the Distinguished Unit Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the European–African-Middle Eastern Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He worked at Triangle Cable on Jersey Avenue for 35 years before retiring in 1976.

He was married to Nicoletta Soranno Tacinelli and together they have one son, David.

Tacinelli lived with his family in North Brunswick for nine years before his death on Jan. 22, 1977.

North Brunswick’s Veteran Street Sign Program allows township residents who were wartime veterans to be recognized by adding their name on a secondary street sign to an existing municipal road.

The paver project at North Brunswick Veterans Park allows residents and non-residents to inscribe a brick with a living or deceased veteran’s name, rank and years of service.

For more information on either program, contact Lou Ann Benson at lbenson@northbrunswicknj.gov or 732-247-0922, ext. 475.