Welcome Home Gallagher Road
by Staff ◊ Jul 01, 2011
On June 24, Hamden dedicated Gallagher Road in honor of SFC John T. Gallagher, an Army soldier of Vietnam. During a covert mission in Laos on January 5, 1968, Gallagher’s helicopter went down after a direct hit from enemy fire. Unfortunately, Gallagher and the other Special Forces on board were considered M.I.A. due to heavy enemy opposition and the inability to conduct a rescue mission.
Gallagher Road is located in the Highwood neighborhood and connects nearly twelve acres of land to The Hamden Business Park. The new nine-hundred linear foot road includes all utilities: gas, electric, public water, and sanitary sewer. The Gallagher Road was designed by a professional engineering firm, Milone and MacBroom.
Gallagher Road runs through a site of 11.9 acres, formerly known as Dadio Farm. After the demolition of abandoned old structures – a vacant house, barn, and garage – the land was subdivided into four lots. One lot is owned by the Town for future use as a new fire station and headquarters. The remaining three lots are for commercial use with the intention to expand The Hamden Business Park. Lot 4 is 2.5 acres and is available for purchase for commercial use. The redevelopment of the three lots will result in over $5 million in tax base growth and will create many new jobs.
To fund the construction of Gallagher Road, the Town of Hamden received a grant for $550,000 from the Federal Department of Commerce under the Economic Development Administration (EDA), “Public Works Program.” The Town of Hamden matched the funds with local and Stimulus (AARA) funding, bringing the project to about $1.1 million – under the expected budget.
John T. Gallagher was born on June 17, 1943, and in 1962 he enlisted in the U.S. Army in order to express his passion for the military after he graduated from high school. After being honorably discharged in 1966, Gallagher reenlisted and was stationed at Fort Bragg where he completed training to become an Army Ranger Green Beret. He then succeeded in Special Forces training and volunteered to head to Vietnam in 1967.
In May of 2007, Gallagher’s remains were positively identified by DNA testing. A group memorial and burial was conducted at Arlington National Cemetery in August of 2007 for those aboard the crashed helicopter. Now, John T. Gallagher’s remains are buried at Centerville Cemetery on Washington Avenue in Hamden – his hometown.
“[The dedication] is a wonderful way to remember Mr. Gallagher for his important service to our country. It is also great to see that we can continue to honor our servicemen and women by naming this road after them,” stated Fred McCarthy, member of the Veterans Commission and Retired Commander of American Legion Post 88.
Photo: Dedication of Gallagher Road