News Blog

PO3 Ernest Eugene Sanville

On Saturday, November 21, Brattleboro’s American Legion Post 5 will honor local soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War.

A ceremony, at the post home on Linden Street, will include students from Brattleboro Union High School reading the names and a brief biography of each of the 11 men, followed by a brief address by Dr. Robert Tortolani, a combat battalion surgeon during the Vietnam War.

The soldier biographies, along with family photos, will be posted on the Brattleboro Historical Society website, in succession, in the days leading up to the November 21 event.

Today we remember PO3 Ernest Eugene Sanville

Ernie.Sanville

PO3 Ernest Eugene Sanville

November 14,1943 – August 31, 1968

Ernest “Ernie” Eugene Sanville was born November 14, 1943, in Westfield, Massachusetts, the sixth of fifteen children, to Almon and Marie (Frechette) Sanville. There were his thirteen sisters—Helen, Shirley, Dodie, Marie, Irene, Linda, Margie, GG, Darleen, Nancy, Marcia, Carol, and Teresa—and one brother, Gerald.

The family moved to Hardwick, Vermont and then to Spofford, New Hampshire. Ernie attended St Michael High School.

Ernie had two nicknames—”Bug”, due to his small stature, and, not surprisingly, “Sunshine”, for his ever-present smile and sunny disposition. Later, among his fellow soldiers to whom he provided primary medical care as a hospital corpsman, he was known as “Doc”. In his youth, he had told his little sisters that the phoebes called his name, and he taught them to hear, “Ernie! Ernie!” rather than “Phoebe! Phoebe!”

Ernie had many friends, and his closest were Frank Neveau, Bob Davis, Jack Willette, and Louie Perham.They spent many nights at the local sock hops, bowling alley, and rollerdrome. Ernie also en- joyed hunting, fishing, horseshoes, golf, baseball, and his family, and he loved purple violets and yellow roses.

Humble, private, and well liked, he was shy all his life and held a deep religious conviction. He was especially known as a hard worker, and he possessed an uncanny ability to appear at times when a helping hand was needed. He’d considered entering the priesthood, but he later joked with his wife that he’d dismissed the idea because he could never have mastered Latin.

On July 18, 1964, he married the former Shirley Bruce, having met her at American Optical, where they were both employed. He also worked at country clubs in both Brattleboro and Spofford. Soon after their marriage, the infamous draft lottery took place, and Ernie’s birthday was one of the first to be drawn. He received a draft notice, and since he couldn’t envision himself carrying a firearm with the intent to kill another human, he enlisted in the navy in the hopes of avoiding combat. Because of the results of his aptitude test, he was sent to the Great Lakes to be trained as a hospital corpsman, though he passed out whenever blood was spilled. From there, he was transferred to a naval base Charleston, South Carolina. There, his first daughter, Deanne, was born.

From Charleston, Ernie came home for his final visit before his tour in Vietnam. It was a desperately short month for his parents and siblings as they tried to make the most of their time together. He then went to Camp Pendleton in California for six weeks of training and left for Vietnam in May 1968 with the Marines.

He and his siblings corresponded with letters, and he managed to call his wife, who was pregnant with their second child, a few times. For the most part, he shielded his family from the horrors he lived with daily, his letters light and vague and always closing with “God bless you.” In Vietnam, he served with Marine Infantry Rifle Platoons and later with a combined Action Platoon (CAP). As a member of a CAP unit Ernie cared for ill and wounded Vietnamese civilians, as well as wounded Marines.

On July 19, 1968, his second daughter, Danielle, was born. He never got to hold this child, because he was killed just forty three days later in Quang Nam, South Vietnam, on August 31, 1968, at the age of twenty-four. When another soldier was ill that night, Ernie took his place on patrol. The soldier in front of him stepped on a land mine, and in a split second, he was gone.

Time marches on, and Ernie’s family had to move forward without him. His daughters grew up and gave him ten grandchildren: Daniel Sanville was born to Ernie’s daughter, Deanne, who trained as a teacher. His daughter, Danielle, a registered nurse, has nine children: Like their father, his daughters have deep faith and have raised their children to have the same. Ernie would have been so very proud of them. Semper Fi.

2LT Stanley Martin Baker

On Saturday, November 21, Brattleboro’s American Legion Post 5 will honor local soldiers killed in action during the Vietnam War.A ceremony, at the post home on Linden Street, will include students from Brattleboro Union High School reading the names and a brief biography of each of the 11 men, followed by a brief address by Dr. Robert Tortolani, a combat battalion surgeon during the Vietnam War.

The soldier biographies, along with family photos, will be posted on the Brattleboro Historical Society website, in succession, in the days leading up to the November 21 event.

Today we remember 2LT Stanley Martin Baker.
American Legion Post 5 KIA Tribute 2015 - Stanley Baker

2LT Stanley Martin Baker
April 27, 1938 – May 20, 1967

Stanley Baker was born in Brattleboro, son of Robert and Margaret Baker. He was raised in the “Algiers” village in Guilford. He was educated in the one room school house in Algiers and attended Brattleboro High School.

Stan’s love of people was always evident no matter where he went. His love of family was always a priority. His respect for others, learned at an early age from a loving mother, who led by example. His faith in God carried him through tough times and allowed him to go wherever he was led, so he lived life to the fullest, and, as he said, “Until my number is up.”

As a young person he became a skilled wood- worker and would later in life make in-laid wooden trays and small tables.

He loved animals and as teenager he earned the money to purchase a horse, his beloved pinto named “Lady.” Upon purchase, he rode that horse from Bernardston, MA, to Algiers.

His love of music began in his home, where he learned to play guitar. There was no television so many hours were spent playing guitar with his brother, accompa- nied by his mother at the piano. Joined by his sister, all sang.

Stan joined the Army in 1956, during his senior year in high school and completed his high school in the service.

When the Vietnam War broke out, Stan was se- lected for Officer Candidate’s School at Fort Benning Georgia when in 1966 he was com- missioned a Second Lieutenant and a member of the Special Forces “Green Beret.”

Stan went to Vietnam after Fort Benning and served as a special Forces Team Leader. He died in combat on May 20, 1967 in Kien Tuong Province.

In addition to his brother Dennis and sister Bethany, both of Guilford, Stanley is survived by his three children: Sherry Sacchetti, Bradley Baker and Bryon Baker.

Historical Society Annual Public Meeting is Sunday

The Brattleboro Historical Society celebrates the many ages and stages of downtown with a slide show at its annual meeting on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. at its History Center on 196 Main St.

Four years ago, newspapers statewide reported a seemingly insurmountable fire at the Brooks House. This fall, Vermont Life trumpets the building’s resurrection with a “Miracle on Main Street” cover story. The Historical Society program will illustrate how that Main Street change is just one of many over the past years, decades, and centuries.

Since its founding in 1982, the Historical Society has worked to shelter and share locally significant facts and artifacts so that present and future generations can learn from the past.

The all-volunteer group maintains a History Center at downtown’s Masonic building (open Thursday and Friday, from 2 to 4 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.), a Municipal Center research/resource room (open Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon) and the Jeremiah Beal House in West Brattleboro.

BRATTLEBORO PRINTING AND PUBLISHING HERITAGE MEETING

The Brattleboro Historical Society and Friends of Brooks Memorial Library are collaborating to generate ideas about how to increase community awareness and interest in Brattleboro’s 200-year printing and publishing heritage.

Community members interested in this topic are invited to a brainstorming meeting on Tuesday, September 15 at 7PM at the Brattleboro History Center in the Masonic Center at 196 Main Street.

The purpose of the meeting will be to gather ideas for ways to interest and engage our community in learning more about the influential roles that Brattleboro’s publishing and printing industries have played throughout our history.

By the early 1800s, Brattleboro was recognized as a major printing and publishing town in Vermont and New England. Ever since, these industries and businesses have made major economic, cultural and social contributions to the town and community. Today, with the emergence of digital publishing and printing, Brattleboro continues to be an incubator and innovative leader in the electronic world of printing and publishing.

For more information about the September 15th meeting, contact the Brattleboro Historical Society at brattprintpub@gmail.com or contact the Historical Society directly.