THE LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD COMPANY'S
ON OCTOBER 9 STEVEN WEISS WROTE:
I am the Director of Research for the "Officer Down Memorial Page" (www.odmp.org), which is a on-line law enforcement memorial that honors every known law enforcement officer that has been killed in the line of duty. Each officer has his or her own memorial page with provides details of the incident in which the officer was killed We also display a photo of the officer (if available) and his agency patch. Our site is the most visited Law Enforcement Memorial on the Internet, getting more visitors per year that the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (NLEOMF), in Washington DC. One of the other things that we do is historical research to attempt to uncover officers who have been killed in the line of duty, but have been forgotten by their agencies over time. In the past few years we have uncovered hundreds of officers, some of who have been added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington DC. Recently we were contacted by a man who was looking for information on the death of his grandfather, whom he stated was a LIRR Patrolman in 1926. After some research, I was able to find an article in the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" that read as follows:
"SPECIAL COP CRUSHED BY L.I. FREIGHT TRAIN
"William Buckley, 44, of 493 Chauncey St., employed by the Long Island Railroad as a Special Patrolman, was killed yesterday afternoon by a freight train at Atlantic ave. and Logan st. Buckley, who was regulating traffic at the crossing when the train in charge of Engineer Peter Forget of 8756 126th st., Richmond Hill, started to back into the freight yard. Before Buckley could jump the train struck him."
In addition, I was able to obtain employment records of Mr. Buckley from the MTA. They state that Mr. Buckley was
employed with the LIRR. Under the caption "Department" it says "Pol." and under "Occupation" it says "Crossing Watchman".
Would you happed to have any information on what the duties of a "Crossing Watchman" for the LIRR were in 1926. The family of Mr. Buckley has always been under the impression that he was some type of law enforcement officer for the LIRR, which is what the article from the "Brooklyn Eagle" seems to state by calling him a "Special Patrolman". However, the term "Crossing Watchman" lends to the possibility that he was some type of civilian employee who had the duty to warn people of oncoming trains at various railroad crossings. Any help you can provide inn clearing up what the duties of Mr. Buckley may have been would be much appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you. The incident occurred on December 23, 1926.
Steve Weiss, Director of Research
The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.
PO Box 1047
Fairfax, VA 22038
ON OCTOBER 18 GEORGE CUHAJ WROTE:
Very nice LIRR Hisotrical Site. I come from a railroading family, my grandparents and uncles worked for the PRR mostly at Sunnyside, and my dad did 27 years with the NYCTA mostly at 207th Street. I grew up in Astoria, and in 1994 moved to Central Wisconsin. My mom still lives there and I do get back to visit. I am the collector in the family now, mostly Subway stuff, and some other things, like tickets and medals. I've been interested in Railroad Heroic Service Medals for a while, and was familiar with the PRR issue, but attached are two scans of a medal done in 1928 with the Pennsylvania name replaced by the Long Island name on the obverse, and the LIRR seal on the reverse rather than the PRR seal. The medals were originally ordered by the PRR in 1924, and in 1929 two LIRR crossing watchman were awarded them, so they ordered 5 medals with the LIRR name! (That is documented in the Brown Univ. archives which house the Gorham Mfg. Co. files.) The names of the LIRR employees are Philip H. Gingras and John Monahan. I've bought this LIRR medal to go along with my PRR medal (from 1924-1946 only 107 were ever awarded). I'm currently involved in a bunch of genelogical research on Philip...born in 1898, lived in the Bronx with his brother in 1930. Listed in that census as a RR employee. But do not have yet have info on his death (I've written the RR Retirement Board), nor on the heroic action yet. The Date on the medal is the date of the event. I have not been able to check the microfile of the LI Star, Press, or the other papers of the era (or of 1929 when the medal was presented). Perhaps you can offer some leads? I give you permission to create a page and include these images on your site (they come from the auction house which offered the medal.) I'll certainly fill you in with the story as I come up with it.
George Cuhaj Iola, Wis.