One gas station, a grocery store that can easily be described as tiny, a post office and a tourist information center that looks not much bigger than a childs playhouse. All of that plus 600 people living in a collection of dilapidated houses, that describes Danforth, Maine. It isn't much to look at and could easily be the target of many cruel jokes about hick towns and every phrase that describes a hick town. Except the fact that there IS a veterans honor roll memorial.
The small memorial area is hosted on the corner of a clapboard sided building that likely was the town hall of Danforth beginning in the early 1900's. That was when the population of the town was more than double of today. The place has been dying since the end of World War II, each census count whittling a bit more from the prospects of a once happy and economically viable village.
The honor roll names the sons and daughters from Danforth that have served since World War I. The village has never been shy about sending its' young men to war. About 225 recited the oath of enlistment during World War II - that was about sixty percent of the eligible draft age men in the 1940 census. Ten brothers and cousins of the Gillis family suited up and nine of the Mailman family served. And it looks like there may have been only one son that did not return, SSgt Sidney E Davis, USAAF.
Davis was flying aboard a B-17 #42-5072 of the 367th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group. The aircraft was shot down over Belgium on 5 April 1943.
Recently a nearby American Legion post began an effort to raise $25,000 to erect a more permanent maemorial. That taes time and I hope tht are able to accomplish the goal. I have been to many, many, places where the monuments are large, ornate and impressive. This collection of plastic tages mounted to board is certainly not impressive in appearance - it mirrors the town itself. But the sacrifice this honor roll represents is tremendous. This town has invested in America as few others have.