What's New
Search Engine
Photo Gallery
Unit History
Unit Honors
Voices Of Past
F&F Association
How To Submit


ALEXANDRIA, VA Edward Carlton Garrity of Alexandria, Virginia died on Friday, October 24, 2003.

 Born July 5, 1918 in Fitchburg, MA, the son of Edward and Irene Garrity. He grew up and lived in Leominster. He was a graduate of Leominster High School, class of 1938, president of his class, and was prominent in football and track. He was employed at the Cluett Peabody Co., Inc., plant in Leominster prior to enlisting in the Army on October 15, 1940. He reported for Active Duty on January 1, 1941 with the Yankee Division, known as the YD. By 1943 he was a paratrooper in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), after a portion of the YD was used to form this newly activated regiment. He served with the 508th PIR, during World War II, which was attached to the elite 82nd Airborne Division prior to the D-Day Invasion of Europe and remained attached until the end of the war. He made the Army a career, remaining for over 27 years retiring in September 1968 in Alexandria, Virginia at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) 4. His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and two Army Commendation Medals. Next, after a few years of working at the Goddard Flight Center in Maryland and Cafritz Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C., he found his second calling in late 1973 when he embarked on a long and very enjoyable second career with the City Government of Alexandria, Virginia in its Office of Management and Budget. He retired at the age of 80 at the beginning of 1999 after more than 25 more years of public service. After retirement, he enjoyed his garden, raking leaves in the fall, chatting with neighbors, attending 508th PIR reunions and keeping up with local, national, and international news. He loved life, public service, and to commingle with people.

The memorial services will be held at 1:15 p.m., Monday, December 8th, 2003 at Saint Rita's Catholic Church, 3815 Russell Road, Alexandria, Virginia with Father Denis M. Donahue presiding. Burial is to follow at Arlington National Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. A reception will follow at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia.

Surviving are his wife Elsa I. Garrity and son Edward Robert Garrity, both of Alexandria, Virginia. His beloved brother, E. Robert Garrity, passed away four weeks after he did. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or the charity of your choice in Memory of Edward C. Garrity.

(Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Worcester, MA, 30 Nov 2003, page B7 - courtesy Tedd Cocker)

(Photos courtesy Dick O'Donnell)

Grave marker for Edward. C. Garrity in Arlington National. Cemetery, Section 46, Site 538.

At various times  during WW-II, Garrity served in G Company as the Company Clerk and also in Service Company.

Garrity saw further service during Korea and Vietnam and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer (W-4).

Directly behind his grave (see picture on right) stands the mast of the U.S.S Maine.  The sinking of the Maine on February 15, 1898 precipitated the Spanish-American War and also popularized the phrase Remember the Maine! and to Hell with Spain In subsequent years.  The cause of the explosion that sank the ship remains an unsolved mystery.

Copyright and all other rights reserved by the Family and Friends of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association or by those who are otherwise cited,
For problems or questions regarding this web site, please contact