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Paul Augustine La Hive

PVT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co B, 3rd Platoon


Born 1917 in MA, Died 1988


County of residence at enlistment: Norfolk County, MA
Other residence(s): Quincy, MA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: decorators and window dressers
Notes: Formerly Co A
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; 603rd Engineer Battalion Christmas Roster; Company B Names and Addresses roster; photo from 1935 high school yearbook

Paul LaHive was born on February 26, 1917 in Quincy, MA, the middle of three children. His father was a bookbinder; the 1910 census notes that he was in the business with two of his brothers.

Paul grew up a block from Wollaston Beach in Quincy, and graduated from North Quincy High School, where he was known as "Curly," in 1935. He appeared to have brains, brawn, and leadership ability, since he played football, made the honor roll, and chaired the Class Day Committee.

He found work as a commercial artist in advertising (per the 1940 census). He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, and on September 3, 1942, he married Rose Kathleen Foster, a Wollaston neighbor. Less than three weeks later he enlisted. At that time, his occupation was categorized as "decorators and window dressers." But he must have already made up his mind to join the Quincy police force, since he was appointed a regular reserve officer on June 23, 1943, while he was stationed at Fort Meade with the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion.

Paul served in Europe with the unit and was discharged on September 21, 1945. Back in Quincy he became a patrolman on the police force, and gradually worked his way up the ladder.

He and Rose would go on to have four children: James, Patricia, Susan, and Karen. (Two of them would become physicians.) By 1954, Paul was a sergeant, and by the late 1950s a lieutenant. In 1957 he and a fellow lieutenant, Francis X. Finn, were both appointed administrative assistants to the Quincy chief of police. He and Finn were both on a fast track, though Finn was younger, and their careers would be intertwined.

In April, 1961 Paul finished first in the captain's exam and Francis Finn finished second; both were promoted to captain.  In 1966, when they took the civil service exam for eligibility for promotion to department chief, Finn topped the list and Paul finished second. By 1967, Captain Finn was chief of police and Captain LaHive was head of the Quincy detective bureau.

Paul was embroiled in controversy in 1971 when he publicly alleged that many law enforcement officials, including police chiefs, were "on the take" from organized crime. Chief Finn relieved him of his duties as head of the detective bureau a day or two later. Paul was reading Chief Finn's statement to the members of his department when he collapsed with a heart attack.

He was interviewed from his hospital bed, saying that he planned to have a press conference as soon as he received the medical OK. But then the whole brouhaha seemed to die down.

The following year Chief Finn was a finalist for the job of Boston police commissioner, but he withdrew from consideration in order to stay on the job in Quincy. Paul might have become chief if Finn had left; he served briefly as acting chief in 1974, and in 1975 was still a Quincy police captain serving under Chief Finn.

Paul retired sometime after that, and died on November 11, 1988. (Chief Finn retired in 1990.)


1935 high school yearbook (see link below)


1917 birth record

1935 high school yearbook

1940 census

1940 draft card

1942 wedding announcement in Boston Herald (MA)

1942 enlistment record

1943 article in Quincy Patriot-Ledger (MA) re his appt as reserve officer with police department

1957 article in Boston Traveler (MA) re his career

1962 article in Boston Record American (MA) re his finishing first in Captain's exam

1965 Quincy city directory

1966 article in the Boston Herald (MA) re his finishing 2nd in Chief's exam

1967 article in Burlington Free Press (VT) about his job in Quincy

1971 article in the Boston Globe (MA) re a controversial statement he made accusing law enforcement officials of being "on the take" from organized crime

1971 article in the Boston Record American (MA) re a press conference he planned to hold regarding the controversy

1974 article in the Boston Herald (MA) indicating that he served for a time as acting chief

1975 article in the Boston Globe (MA) indicating that he is still a police captain in Quincy

1988 VA death record

1988 Find a Grave record

1988 Social Security applications and claims index

1988 death notice in Boston Globe (MA)

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