In August 1965 the Hamden Fire Department acquired its one and only Mack pumper. It was the first new apparatus since 1959, and first new apparatus since 1954 to be painted red. Chief V. Paul Leddy, head of the department for nearly five years, was unalterably opposed to white and there was no way the first pumper acquired during his tenure was going to be any color but red. Check out The Hamden Chronicle article below.
Hamden's 1965 Mack 750 GPM Pumper
Tha Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, September 2, 1965 (Article courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Member Letitia Flagge
Mrs. Flagge Turns 100
Mrs. Letitia "Tish" Flagge, the first Hamden Fire Department secretary and one of our first honorary members, celebrated her centennial birthday on July 13th. Formerly of School Street, Mrs. Flagge now resides at Regency House of Wallingford.
When Mrs. Flagge started in October 1957, she was secretary to Chief Raymond C. Spencer and Marshal Al Purce, and then Chief V. Paul Leddy and Marshal Bob O'Donnell before she retired in 1978.
Upon learning of Mrs. Flagge's milestone late last week, albeit a few weeks late, the HFRA E-Board sent her flowers and a card from the HFRA membership, which were delivered to her personally last Saturday afternoon.
Mrs. Flagge, sharp as ever, was delighted to be remembered by her fellow retirees on her special birthday. She is in very good spirits and sends her thanks and love to all "her firemen," who she said were "always there for me" (as she was for us).
Engine 260 - 2013
1860 Gould Hand Pumper
1946 Mack Model 75
CLICK to enlarge
This year's Engine 260 Muster at Milford's Eisenhower Park, a September tradition among Southern Connecticut fire buffs, featured an 1860 Gould hand pumper owned by Ken and Joshua Pankovic, and a handsome 1946 Mack Model 75 owned by Salvatore J. Pitruzzello of Portland, Connecticut.
One of the dozens of fire apparatus making an appearance was New Haven's former Engine 15, a Seagrave "shorty" (below), built on a short wheelbase to fit into Station 15 on Fountain Street.
At left is the "beer mug" sold at the first Engine 260 Muster in 1972. Subsequent years have featured more conventional glass mugs with handles.
From Cop Cars to James Dean's "Chopped and Decked" Classic:
Hamden and its Mercury Patrol Cars
The 1955 film classic "Rebel Without a Cause" made every kid in those days want to own the same kind of two-door postwar Merc that a real cooool James Dean cruised around in. Ahhh, but the Hamden Police Department had them first.
This 1950 photo from the archives of the Hamden Historical Society shows an unidentified Hamden police sergeant next to several new Mercury squad cars parked outside Hamden's police station, which was located in the south end of the Town Hall until the new station was opened in 1951.
For over four years the Hamden Fire Retirees Association website has been committed to preserving the history of the Hamden Fire Department. We are especially grateful to the members of the Hamden Historical Society, and archivist Joseph Pepe, for their valuable and generous assistance in providing important historical photos and data that would be otherwise unavailable to us.
We encourage our members and other website visitors to visit the website of the Hamden Historical Society. CLICK on the Jonathan Dickerman House drawing at left.