June 7, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
A street co-naming in honor of a World War II hero was held Sunday in Whitestone.
The intersection of 156th Street and Cryders Lane is now known as CPL. John McHugh Way, co-named after the Silver Star recipient who lived on the block for decades.
McHugh fought in the European theater against the Nazis, storming Omaha Beach during “D-Day” as part of the First Infantry Division, and participating in the battles of Aachen, Hurtgen Forest, Crucifix Hill and the Bulge, before being honorably discharged in 1945.
McHugh died in July 2019 at the age of 95.
“Corporal John McHugh was the epitome of bravery, and truly emblematic of what it meant to be a part of the Greatest Generation,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, who held the ceremony on the 77th anniversary of D-Day.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, who attended the unveiling, said he had spoken with McHugh just prior to the 75th anniversary of “D-Day.” He said that McHugh talked about the “chaos and hell” that took place in Normandy on that pivotal 1944 day.
“CPL. John McHugh Way’ will serve as a reminder to all who pass down his street of the service and sacrifice of our ‘Greatest Generation,’” Suozzi said.
Those sentiments were echoed by Assemblyman Edward Braunstein.
“Co-naming the street in front of his Whitestone home as ‘Cpl. John McHugh Way’ will ensure that his spirit, valor, and patriotism will be remembered for generations to come,” Braunstein said.
In addition to the Silver Star, Cpl. McHugh also received the Bronze star, the European Theatre of Operations ribbon, the Combat Infantryman Badge and two Presidential Unit Citations for fighting at Crucifix Hill and the Hurtgen Forest. He was also honored by the country of Belgium with a Fort Eger badge.
McHugh was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame in 2014.