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.
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).
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