Senator Collins Presents American Flag to WWII Veteran from Sanford

After his heroic actions in WWII, Jerry Dunham returned home and opened Jerry’s Market, which continues to be run by his sons

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Sanford, ME — Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins presented Gerald “Jerry” Dunham, a Sanford native, with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to honor him for his service in the United States Army during WWII, which earned him a Silver Star.  The ceremony, which was held at the Sanford Vet Center, was attended by Jerry’s family, friends, local veterans, and members of the community.

 

“Jerry, the Silver Star you received more than seven decades ago recognizes your valor in combat.  Today, I present to you an American flag that flew over our nation’s Capitol in your honor to recognize your contributions as a soldier and as a citizen,” said Senator Collins.  “With its stars on a field of blue to represent unity, its stripes of red for courage, and of white for the values we hold dear, our flag continues to inspire us.  It is a beacon of liberty that patriots like you have held high for nearly two and a half centuries.  May God bless you, Jerry, and all who serve our country, and may God bless America.”

 

Jerry Dunham was a Private (PVT) in Company B of the 363rd infantry of the 91st Division in the United States Army. On June 5, 1945, for fearlessness, bold action, and combat skill, Brigadier General R.E.S. Williamson awarded PVT Dunham the Silver Star for gallantry in action on April 18, 1945, during the “Big Push” near Zula, Italy. After earning this award, PVT Dunham was promoted to Private First Class (PFC).

 

On April 18th, PVT Dunham, along with two other men, volunteered to crawl forward under enemy machine gun fire in an attempt to knock out a large German pillbox that was stopping the advance of their rifle company.  PVT Dunham threw a hand grenade into one of the three entrances into the pillbox, then rushed up to the entrance and down a flight of stairs. His bold charge took the Germans by surprise, and five men were taken prisoner, together with two machine guns and a large amount of ammunition and grenades.

 

After the war, Jerry returned to Sanford and in 1947 opened Jerry’s Market, a small supermarket. Jerry met his wife, Amber, while minding the store, and they wed at North Parish Church in Sanford in October 1952. They still reside at their home in Sanford and have two sons, Mark and Peter, who continue to run the family business.