100-Year-Old WWII Vet “Uncle Wally” Jamison Remembered As Hero

Marge and Wally Jamison join members of their family and many friends at a special celebration for Wally’s 100th birthday. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON – Township officials, family and friends of Stephen “Wally” Jamison are mourning his loss.

  Jamison, affectionately known to members of the community as “Uncle Wally” passed away on August 14 having turned 100 years old earlier this year. That milestone event was marked with a special parade and party on February 18 that involved the local VFW, military representatives, state officials and Mayor Michael Reina.

  Wally was one of the founding members of the Cassville Volunteer Fire Company and they noted his passing, stating he would be remembered as a “true hero to this company. Not only starting our fire company, he was also part of many different organizations and groups in the town of Jackson.”

  He was also involved with the founding of VFW Post 4703, AMVETS and served as Jackson Police Department director.

  Jackson Police Officer Mike Basso who coordinated the parade for Jamison’s birthday celebration which was a joint effort between the Jackson PBA 168 and Jackson VFW Post 4703, described him as “a national treasure and true American hero. With such an impressive resume, I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t made a movie about him yet.”

  The Army veteran volunteered as an extra in a documentary film to honor his great grandfather, Ellison Jamison, for his service in the Civil War. The documentary is now being shown at the Monmouth Battlefield.

  Jamison was a proud military man who served as private in the 95th Infantry Division. He was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, CIB, and many others for his bravery while serving in World War II.

  He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and did his basic Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and specialized training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

  Jamison was shipped overseas and landed in Warminster, England in August, 1944 and was reassigned to the European mainland, landing on Omaha Beach, France. He entered combat just prior to crossing the Moselle River in Thionville, France.

  He was assigned to Marone’s Marauders and then Task Force Bacon. He was involved in the liberating of the city of Metz, France, which at the time was the most fortified city in the world, protected by nine interlocked forts. They proceeded to the Saar River and Wally was wounded on November 29, 1944, during the Battle of Metz, and just before the city of Saarlautern, Germany.

Wally Jamison accepts a coin from one of several motorcycle clubs that were part of his parade that led to a huge gathering to celebrate his 100th birthday. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  In the process of moving from the field hospital in Germany to England, the transport plane had to be diverted to Le Bourget Airport in Paris. The plane struck a fuel truck crossing the runway and tore off a wing. Wally was taken to England for a short period of time before returning to the U.S. He was transferred to Ashford General Hospital in White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia to recuperate for five months.

  He was employed by the Ocean County Road Department for 45 years, working his way up from truck driver to the general foreman in charge of the northern section of the county. He was also in charge of the Bridge and Transportation departments, and for two years he was the director of Jackson Police Department and the Road Department. Prior to serving in the Army Wally worked as a civilian for the Colonel in the Maintenance Department at Fort Dix. Wally furthered his education at the Luscombe School of Aeronautics in Lawrenceville.

  During his service to the community, Wally witnessed a car accident in 1959 and stopped and saved Ms. Tia Long who had been choking to death. In addition, he came upon a house fire and found a distraught mother outside of the home. Jamison went into the burning house and saved two children and upon exiting the house, came upon an unconscious police officer and dragged him out to safety, earning the Medal of Valor from the Cassville Fire Department in 1962.

  A year later, he showed his heroic nature once again by saving the life of Larry St. Laurent, as a good Samaritan, who was helping the Cassville Fire Department combat a major forest fire that encompassed the entire county. Larry and Wally had become entrapped by the fire, and Larry became overcome with panic and hyperventilated.

Jackson World War II veteran Wally Jamison with members of the Jackson Police Color Guard. (Photo courtesy Jackson PBA 168)

  Jamison witnessed the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst Naval Base on May 6, 1937.

  He was predeceased by his parents, Viola MacCann Jamison Brown and Harold Jamison; his brother, Richard Jamison; his sister, Florence Jamison; his great grandson, Stephen Albino; and by his stepfather, Edward Brown.

  Jamison is survived by his wife of 41 years, Margaret Anne “Marge” Jamison; his children, Linda Williscroft, JuneAnn Albino, Stephen Jamison Jr. and his wife, Denise, Marc Jamison and his wife, Debi, and Dawn Buckley and her husband, Tom; his 11 grandchildren; his 14 great grandchildren; his 3 great-great grandchildren; and by many beloved nieces and nephews.

  Funeral arrangements include visitation to be held on August 20 from 2 to 6 p.m. and on Monday, August 21 at 8:45 a.m. at the George’s Hassler Funeral Home at 980 Bennetts Mills Road in Jackson.

  A funeral service will be held on Monday at 9:15 a.m. at the same location. For directions, further information and to send condolence messages to the family, visit hasslerfuneralhome.com.