The Town of Winthrop will honor the Cash and Murray families for their distinguished service in World War II and the Korean War at a ceremony Sunday morning on Point Shirley.
The square, located at the corner of Taft and Shirley Streets, will be officially named Cash and Murray Family Memorial Square.
Five Cash brothers, Albert Cash (U.S Army), Edward J. Cash (U.S. Army), Walter J. Cash (U.S. Navy), Joseph S. Cash (U.S. Navy), and Colin J. Cash U.S. Navy) and their brother, Joseph Murray, who was raised by the Cashes’ mother (Margaret McDonald), will be forever memorialized by the two-foot sign with metallic gold vinyl lettering. Interestingly, Mrs. McDonald’s cousin, Angus L. McDonald, was the Premier of Nova Scotia and the Secretary of the Navy for Canada during World War II.
Albert, Walter, and Colin went on and completed full, professional careers in service to the country. The Cashes’ older brother, Daniel, served at the Naval Boat Yard in Portsmouth, N.H., while their older sister, Catherine Papeneau, served in the Hingham Ammunition Depot and later assembled K-Rations during World War II. All told, the families served their country for more than 75 years.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tim Merlino, grandson of Albert Cash, who served his country from 1936 to 1961, has done extensive research about the Cash-Murray records of service and uncovered some amazing facts about the heroic brothers.
“Joseph Cash was the youngest of the brothers and he was 16 years old when my great-grandmother drove him down to the Merchant Marine office and signed a waiver so he could join,” related Merlino. “Two months later, he was off the coast of the Caribbean island of Bonaire when he was torpedoed. When he turned 18, he joined the Navy. Walter Cash was out to sea as well and he was torpedoed and sunk. He ended up being in a lifeboat when the U-Boat actually surfaced and the captain and crew had guns pointed at them. Walter, who was about 6-foot-4 and 220, held his ground and didn’t back down. They didn’t like bullies.”
Albert Cash served in World War II and the Korean War and facilitated a lot of the Unites States’ movement of equipment in to Vietnam. He received a Bronze Star for his life-saving actions under fire during a typhoon.
“I’m very proud of my family’s history,” said Merlino.“I have followed in my grandfather’s footsteps. He was a hero and a great role model.”
Merlino attended Norwich University and in 2005 he joined the Connecticut National Guard as a mechanic on helicopters. In 2007, he attended warrant officers candidate’s school and flight school.
Other Cash-Murray offspring also followed the brothers’ lead and served the country.
Albert’s son, was a U.S. Army sergeant during the Vietnam War. A second son, Richard Cash, served in the Merchant Marines. Joseph Murray’s son, Dennis, served in the Marine Corps.
The ceremony in Winthrop holds special significance this year. “This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Warrant Officer Corps,” said Merlino. “The original warrant officers were the Mine Planter Service in the Coastal Artillery. My grandfather was a mine planter. Warrant officers came about as mine planters. Being the 100th anniversary, I wanted to do something to honor him. I hoped that Winthrop would pay tribute to the six brothers and with the naming of the square in their memory, it’s a great way to pay tribute to both families.”
Sunday’s day of honor for the Cash and Murray families will begin with a marine service at 9 a.m. at the Winthrop Yacht Club. At 10 a.m., there will be a memorial service at St. John the Evangelist, followed by the memorial dedication of Cash and Murray Family Memorial Square at 11:30 a.m.
Merlino will be one of the keynote speakers at the ceremony. “I’m just going to tell some of the incredible stories of the family, who understood the definition of selfless service,” he said. “They truly deserve the title of the Greatest Generation.”