Photograph of Francis P. Lally recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the corner of South Main and A Streets
. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.
The ordinance approved 20 February 1945 proclaims: “That the square located in West Manchester, where South Main, Boynton, and Woodbury Streets intersects, be officially designated … as “Francis P. Lally Square.” The document was signed by Mayor Josaphat T. Benoit, and a sign was duly prepared and erected with ceremony.
The plaque officially reads: “Francis P. Lally S.K.2/c U.S.N.. Escort Carrier Liscombe Bay. Born Aug 26, 1919. Died Nov. 24, 1943. Off Gilbert Islands.”
Francis Peter “Pat” Lally, born August 26, 1919 in Manchester NH, was the son and eighth child of Irish immigrants Patrick J. & Annie A. (Joyce) Lally. He grew up at 32 Boynton Street [later his parents lived on C Street], graduated from West High School, and went on to attend St. Anselm College. Somewhere along the way he held a part-time job at Sully’s Superette on South Main Street [the store in Manchester, not Goffstown]. He enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 1942, a month after Pearl Harbor, at the age of 22. Immediately after training in Newport Rhode Island he was shipped out.
Eighteen months later, in the summer of 1943 he was allowed to return home to Manchester, New Hampshire on leave. Once leave was over, in August of 1943 he reported, as Storekeeper Second Class, to USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), a Casablanca-class escort carrier. Part of Operation Galvanic, the craft was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sunk off Makin Island, in the Gilberts on 24 November 1943. There were some survivors, but Pat Lally was declared Missing in Action, and later Killed in Action. He was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.
His body was not recovered. His death was recognized on the Tablet of the Missing, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to Manchester’s plaque, the Southwest Little League named a field after him Lally Memorial Field, at 60 Harvell Street in Manchester NH].
Posted on 7 May, 2014 by Janice Brown