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Queens Chronicle

Street to be named after late veteran

Councilwoman and American Legion Post 1424 to honor hero Tom Winberry

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:41 am, Thu Jun 13, 2013.

The intersection of Metropolitan and Ascan avenues in Forest Hills will be given a new co-name on Sunday, June 9 to honor the late Thomas Winberry.

Winberry, who died in 2011 at the age of 78, joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 and served in the Korean War at the age of 19.

Upon his return, he joined American Legion Post 1424, eventually becoming commander and the lead organizer for the annual Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade.

“I was the one who suggested the co-naming,” former 1424 post Commander Gene Burch said. “He spent 40 years with the Legion, then was Post commander for eight years and county commander for one year. He did a lot for us.”

In addition to his service and his work with Post 1424, Winberry was also an NYPD mounted officer and later worked at the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica.

During his time as an officer, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for helping to rescue a swimmer who was drowning in the East River. He also was cited more than 15 times for acts of courage.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who will be attending the ceremony next week and introduced the co-naming proposal in the City Council, praised Winberry for his service.

“If there was one person that defined public service, Tom Winberry would be it,” she said in a statement. “Tom was a staple figure in the community known for selflessly going over and beyond for many of the community’s civic associations and events such as the Memorial Day Parade and Annual Turkey Giveaway.”

At the ceremony, the intersection that sits just several doors away from Post 1424 will be named “Thomas X. Winberry Way.”

“We have a lot of local ceremonies and meetings and we’re constantly in the community,” Burch said. “Tom was involved for so long that it felt right to put his name there. Anything for the community, we’re always there to help.”

In addition to local officials and members of the community, Burch, who knew Winberry for about 25 years, said the veteran and police hero’s widow and children would be at the ceremony.

The event will be held at the Metropolitan and Ascan intersection at 10 a.m.

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