LOCAL PATRIOT AND NATIONAL PURPLE HEART HALL OF HONOR CO-FOUNDER JOSEPH FARINA PASSES AWAY
Born on January 26th 1921, Joseph Farina was a native of Newburgh, NY. He attend ended Newburgh schools and graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 1939. Shortly after graduation from NFA, he joined the 156th Field Artillery, New York National Guard. His unit was called into Federal Service on September 16th 1940 and stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. When war was declared on December 7, 1941, he volunteered to go overseas and was transferred to Jackson Barracks in New Orleans to await assignment. As a high-speed morse code operator, he was assigned to a secret mission to the Philippine Islands.
Senator Bill Larkin, who worked side by side with Farina on veterans projects said, “Joe was my brother,” “His drive to see his mission through to completion was awe inspiring. I know for sure that the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor would never have been built if not for his passion and never-quit attitude. This is a man who never was interested in the spotlight, only getting the job done. I will miss our conversations and our friendship. Our veteran’s community will miss this juggernaut whose accomplishments and contributions were immeasurable.”
Joseph was re-assigned to the Southwest Pacific Theatre of Operations under the command of General MacArthur. His initial assignment in New Guinea was as radio operator at General MacArthur’s Advanced Headquarters. He remained involved in the New Guinea campaigns for well over a year. He was then assigned to Biak Island and then on to Leyte and Luzon in the Philippine Islands. He attained the rank of Sergeant and served with honor and distinction in the Southwest Pacific and the Philippine Island in World War II. He received numerous decorations including four battle stars and two Presidential Citations.
Farina was the recipient of numerous awards including the Walter T. Kunowski Award for Americanism, the Nicholas Brooks Memorial Award from the Town of New Windsor, the Zeal Award from CWV Dept. of New York and the Genesis Legacy Medal, which was established in his honor to recognize individuals throughout the country that have lived a life of service to our veterans. Farina was also selected to attend the Hudson Valley Honor Flight for his service in World War II
Pictured in the photo below, Joe Farina is holding the high speed telegraph ckey from when he was a radio operator in the South Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Dave Paone)