Mechanicville veteran honored; was seriously injured in WWII
MECHANICVILLE A city resident who was grievously wounded during World War II was honored April 16 as Saratoga County's Deceased Veteran of the Month.
Cpl. Dominick A. DePaul grew up in Mechanicville, joined the Army in February 1941, and served in an anti-aircraft and artillery battalion, seeking action in North Africa, the Sicily campaign, and in France.
DePaul was shot in the hip and elbow near Saint Lo, France, on Aug. 24, 1944, and suffered a life-threatening wound. He was in a body cast and went through multiple operations on his hip, spending some time in a body cast, before he was discharged in July 1947.
"The injuries he sustained plagued him throughout his civilian life," said county Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan R. Grattidge, R-Charlton, who was among those who honored DePaul at the ceremony at the county offices in Ballston Spa.
"He was a beautiful person. He was in constant pain," said his nephew Dominick Fruci of Mechanicville. Fruci joined the Navy during the Vietnam era, and remembers his uncle crying to see him go. "He told me, you don't have to do this," Fruci said. "I'll remember that as long as I live."
DePaul died in 1975, at age 59, with the bullet that hit him never having been removed, because it was so close to his spine.
DePaul received a Purple Heart, of course, and also had four Bronze Battle Stars and a number of ribbons.
DePaul was one of the lucky Mechaniville residents who returned from the war alive, even with his wound.
The city, which was then a thriving mill town with about twice the population of today, lost 53 residents during World War II.
The county has honored more than 300 people since its "Honor Our Deceased Veterans" program started in 1999.