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Benjamin Ellis Perry

CPL in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, HQ Platoon


Born 1921 in MA, Died 1987


County of residence at enlistment: Worcester County, MA
Other residence(s): Worcester, MA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: commercial artists
College education before the war: 1 year
Notes: Rank changed from PFC to CPL per New York Area Leave List
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson;  Bernie Mason Company D Roster; signature on NAZI Banner at; photo courtesy David Perry

Ben Perry was born on June 27, 1921 in Worcester, MA, the older of two children. His father had been a wire worker in 1930, but was a factory foreman by 1940; his mother worked in retail. He grew up in Worcester, although the family lived in Holden, MA for a few years in the 1930s. Ben graduated from Classical High School in 1939, where his yearbook stated that "his interests are in art," and that he hoped to study art, with a particular focus on dress design, at Syracuse University.

His enlistment records show that he had a year of college, but by the time he registered for the draft, on February 15, 1942 he was working for M.J. Whittall Associates, a manufacturer of fine "Anglo-Persian" carpets in Worcester.

He enlisted on August 28, 1942, listing his profession as commercial artist (probably still the Whittall job). He served in Europe during the war in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion.

Sometime in the 1940s, he married Ruth Frances Meyer and they would go on to have six children: Benjamin Ellis Perry, Jr. (also an artist; he served in Vietnam and later died from exposure to Agent Orange), Lisa, Earl, Christina, Adrienne, and David.

Several Worcester city directories show him working as a salesman at Coughlin's in Worcester in the 1950s and 1960s. Little else is known about his life and work.

He died on April 7, 1987 and is buried at St. John's Cemetery in Worcester.


1939 yearbook (see link below)


1930 census

1939 high school yearbook

1940 census

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1957 Worcester city directory

1961 Worcester city directory

1987 Find a Grave record

1987 Massachusetts death index

2013 son's obituary (provides information on Ben's children)

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