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Norman Bosworth MacChesney

SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, 2nd Platoon


Born 1921 in NY, Died 1997


County of residence at enlistment: Rensselaer County, NY
Other residence(s): Troy, NY
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: student
College education before the war: Grand Central School of Art
Notes: Rank changed from PVT to SGT per New York Area Leave List
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; 603rd reunion mailing list; Col John Walker List; Bernie Mason Company D Roster;Bernie Mason Company D Roster; Bernie Mason photo of Company D in Trier with names on back; photo from The Troy Record, November 3, 1945.

Norman Bosworth MacChesney, known as "Boz," was born on February 19, 1921 in Troy, NY. He was an only child; his father was a banker and active in many community organizations. His British-born grandmother lived with the family while he was growing up.

Boz graduated from Lansingburgh High School, and rounded off his studies at the Hoosac School, a prep school in Hoosick, NY. He went on to study at the Grand Central School of Art in New York City, but his art studies were interrupted by the war. He registered for the draft on February 15, 1942 and enlisted on September 17, 1942. Like other NYC art students, he was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion and saw service in Europe with the unit.

He was discharged from the Army on October 21, 1945 with the rank of SGT. A November, 1945 article in The Troy Record, with the headline "Soldier's Unit Fought with Rubber Guns, Dummy Tanks," describes at length his work with the Ghost Army. Yet he didn't tell them everything. "Sergeant MacChesney intimated that there were a lot of tricks the 23rd had used which he was not discussing. 'Maybe the War Department wouldn't like to have all of the cats let out of the bag yet,' he said."

After Boz returned to Troy, he married a local woman, Marjorie Aston, on August 31, 1946. They would go on to have two children: Sandra and Robert Bosworth.

Immediately after the war, Boz got his real estate license and then added insurance sales to his resume. During the late 1940s/early 1950s he also managed several city and federal emergency housing projects in Troy.

Boz followed in his father's footsteps, becoming an active participant in community and professional life in Troy. He was a member of the Masons, as his father had been; in 1957 his father, past monarch of Iran Grotto at the Troy Masonic Temple, installed Boz as the new monarch, and then Boz invested his father as treasurer.

He also served on the boards of the YMCA and the Rensselaer County Junior Museum. He was active in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and served as assistant treasurer; he was also selected in 1970 as president of the Troy Area Churchmen's League, an Episcopal organization. He was a Boy Scout volunteer; a member of the Rotary; chapter chair of the American Red Cross; treasurer of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge; a member (and president for a term) of the Troy Area Independent Insurance Agents; and a director and VP of the NY State Association of Insurance Agents.

In 1964 he co-founded Nicoll & MacChesney, an agency which offered a broad range of personal and commercial insurance. His son eventually took over the business, and was president in 2018 when the agency was acquired by Marshall & Sterling.

Boz died on November 10, 1997, and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy.


1945 in article below


1921 birth record

1925 New York state census

1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1945 article in The Troy Record (NY) about his being part of the Ghost Army

1945 engagement announcement in The Times Record (Troy, NY)

1946 marriage record*1giwu1*_ga*MTQ3NDgyNzI0NS4xNjY4NzIyMjE5*_ga_4QT8FMEX30*MTY2ODk1MDc1Mi41LjEuMTY2ODk1MTU1OC4yNS4wLjA.

1946 ad in The Times Record (Troy, NY) showing the start of his insurance career

1951 article in The Times Record (Troy, NY) about his work with several Emergency Housing Projects

1952 notice in The Troy Record (NY) about the birth of his second child

1954 article in The Times Record (Troy, NY) about his role at the Troy Masonic Temple

1957 article in The Troy Record (NY) about his installation as monarch at the Troy Masonic Temple

1964 article in The Times Record (Troy NY) about his being named Secretary of the YMCA Board of Direcdtors

1965 article in The Times Record (Troy NY) about his being named to the board of the Rensselaer County Junior Museum

1970 article in The Troy Record (NY); he is president of Churchmen's League

1970 article in The Troy Record (NY): he is asst. treasurer of St. Paul's Episcopal Church

1987-1994 US Public Records index

1997 obituary in The Daily Gazette (Schenectady NY)

1997 Social Security applications and claims index

1997 US Veterans Gravesites

1997 VA death record

2018 notice about the sale of the insurance agency he founded

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