City Of Bayonne Honors Korean War Veteran, Retired Police Officer, One Of “The Chosin Few”

City of Bayonne Honors Veteran and Retired Police Officer

Recently, the City of Bayonne welcomed Korean War veteran and retired Bayonne Police Lieutenant Owen Ballweg back to City Hall for a photo with his family by his military portrait.

He is being honored by the County of Hudson this month as a Veteran of the Year, along with veterans from the other municipalities in the county.

Owen Ballweg was born in Bayonne in 1931.  He was a member of Company B of the 21st Infantry Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, which left for the Korean War from Bayonne.

Mr. Ballweg was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve from 1949 to 1952.

During his wartime service in Korea, he was wounded, and received two Purple Hearts.

He survived the brutal Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, becoming a member of the group called “the Chosin Few.”

The Chosin Reservoir battle, which took place during severe cold in late November 1950, was one of the most difficult of the Korean War.

Elements of the First U.S. Marine Division were surrounded and attacked by twelve Chinese divisions around the Chosin Reservoir.  The severe wintry conditions included temperatures around 40 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit).

In the Marine Corps, Mr. Ballweg was promoted from Private First Class to Corporal.

He married Mary Riccio in 1952.  They were married for 67 years.

Owen Ballweg became a Bayonne police officer in December 1955.

Early in his career, the former Marine responded on September 15, 1958, when a Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train slid off the Newark Bay railroad bridge.

In that disaster, 48 people were killed, and another 48 were injured.

Officer Ballweg and other first responders attempted to save passengers.

During his police career, he was promoted to sergeant and lieutenant.

As a superior officer, Owen Ballweg served as Police Garage Superintendent and Supervisor of the Traffic Safety Division.

He retired as a Police Lieutenant on December 31, 1994

Banner Image: Honoring a hero: City officials and members of the Ballweg family got together recently in the Hall of Heroes at Bayonne City Hall with Owen Ballweg, a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War and a retired Bayonne Police officer. Mr. Ballweg was awarded two Purple Hearts following his wounds in Korea. Pictured left to right: Mayor Jimmy Davis, Owen Ballweg Jr., Owen Ballweg Sr., Thomas Ballweg, and Diane BallwegBilotta. The group posed by the senior Mr. Ballweg’s Marine Corps photo.  Image Credit – City of Bayonne

City of Bayonne

Bayonne is a community that retains many of the elements of a small town. One and two family homes, small apartment buildings, and small business predominate. There is a population of 62,000 people who take pride in their hometown and its history. Bayonne residents and their ancestors moved to the city from many parts of the world. During colonial times and the first century of the American Republic, the Dutch, British, and Africans were the first groups to arrive after the Native Americans. Subsequent waves of immigrants came from all over Europe, especially between the 1880s and the 1920s. In recent decades, sources of immigration have largely been represented from countries in Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeastern Asia. Each group has left its mark on the cultural, religious and political life of the community.

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