Posted by Jim Farrell
on Tuesday, April 18th 2017:
Martin (Matty) Teahan was born Dec 3, 1923, on 138th Street in the Bronx. His entire family, friends, and world revolved around Saint Jerome’s Church. Matty would go to church every Sunday and graduate from Saint Jerome’s School in 1938. At age 17, Matty volunteered to become a paratrooper for the famed 82nd Airborne Division. Sadly, Matty lost his life on June 6, 1944 (D-day) during the invasion of Normandy. Saint Jerome’s has a plaque for its parishioners who died in World War II, and Matty’s name appears on it.
In March 2016, Matty’s D-day rifle was found by an active duty French General, who would invite Jim Farrell, Matty’s nephew, to visit Normandy to see the majestic rifle. During the visit in June 2016, Jim and his wife Monica were met by the Chief of Staff of the US Army General Milley at Matty’s Grave. Taps was played, and General Milley and his wife prayed with us. Ahh, but the story does not end there.
The French General Patrick Collet, our General Mark Milley, and myself knew we had to bring my uncle’s historic rifle back home where it belongs. It is a special piece of history. It took many months and hurdles, but finally, on Dec 1, 2016, the rifle came back home. It was brought over by the French Army Chief of Staff General Bosser, who presented it to me at a state dinner at General Milley’s quarters on Fort Myer VA.
It was truly and honor for Monica and me to be presented Matty’s rifle, as I believe this is Matty’s way of coming home. General Bosser said those eloquent words, “Martin, his rifle, and you are one as family again.” The rifle is now on Display in General Milley’s office at the Pentagon. In 2019, General Milley, and my family will officially donate the iconic rifle to the new Army Museum (opens in 2018) located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
My family, Monica and I are thrilled Uncle Matty, as his rifle are back home. We strongly believe it is his way of coming home to his family in the form of a rifle. I am currently writing a book on Uncle Matty and his rifle’s journey, that will launch in October 2017. The book launch will be on October 20, 2017, at Fort Bragg, NC. The book launch will be at Uncle Matty’s unit, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s annual reunion. I believe Uncle Matty’s journey should conclude with a mass in his name at Saint Jerome’s Church at 138 Street and Alexander Avenue in the Bronx. Saint Jerome’s is where this amazing story began and rightfully should end. I am happy to report Father Javier Correa will be saying mass in Matty’s honor on Sunday, June 4, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. Many of Matty’s nephews and nieces will be attending. I hope to meet some new and old friends at this great honor for my Uncle Matty. Matty’s best friend from Saint Jerome’s was Peter Donahue Sr.; Peter has passed away, but miraculously we were able to locate his son Peter Donahue Jr., who will be attending the mass.
Where: Saint Jerome’s Church – 230 Alexander Ave., Bronx, NY 10454
When: Sunday, June 4, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Our family will be meeting at the Bronx Brewery after the mass
Contact: Jim Farrell, 732-995-0
Reference ID: BX81786