Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, August 10, 2008, pg. 4
August is the month when World War II ended, with “V.J. Day” (Victory over Japan) on August 15, 1945. A year after the War ended, Albion honored its WWII veterans with a big parade and celebration. It was held on Saturday, September 14, 1946. Chairman of the celebration was E. Floyd Hoaglin. It was the biggest civic celebration in Albion since the 1935 Centennial.
The big feature was a 48-minute parade which stretched from Washington Gardner High School to past the reviewing stand at Superior-Erie Sts., then all the way to Sheldon Memorial Hospital. Leading the parade was Mayor W. Clark Dean and chairman Hoaglin bearing a large sign which stated “Welcome Home.” The parade was filled with floats from various industries. Union Steel Products featured several items the firm had manufacturing during the War, such as bomb casings, landing mats, and torpedo parts. Lonergans as well displayed its War production items. Veterans of the War marched in uniform if they so chose.
There were numerous events and activities throughout the day, which included an Albion City Band Concert at Victory Park. For the record, there were 3,500 hot dogs sold, 3,500 ice cream bars, 100 cases of pop, and ten half kegs of beer dispensed that day. In the evening, an $800 fireworks show lasting 40 minutes was held at Victory Park. It was the first post-War fireworks display in this part of the state.
From our Historical Notebook this week, courtesy of the Buinowski family, is a photograph of the Albion Malleable Iron Company float at this parade. Washington Gardner High School is in the background. Standing in uniform in front on the float is a handsome unidentified U.S. Marine (does anyone know who it is?), and in the back is Victor Buinowski (OK, he was handsome, too) in his Army uniform. The float contained 81 mm. bombshells and caps produced at the Malleable. The sign states, “Albion Malleable Iron Co. 189,199 Tons melted from Pearl Harbor to V.J. Day. 356 Men in Service.” The Malleable took out a full page advertisement in the Albion Evening Recorder listing the names of all their men who served in the War since October 16, 1940. The ad also listed the names of those Malleable employees who were killed during the War: They were: Lynford Graham, Clifford Snodderly, George Bennett, Bernard Rinne, Harry Alchin, Joe Williamson, John Hoffman, and Jack Williams.”
How many of our readers remember the 1946 World War II Welcome Home Victory Parade in Albion?
The 1946 World War II Welcome Home Victory Parade
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic