That belt buckle was given to now Retired Chief Bob Manson, aka *******, in 1975. Chief Manson is a member of this site.
It was given to him when he was the Captain of the busiest Engine Co in the World, FDNYs Engine Co 82. It was given to him by Firefighter Miloslav, then the Senior Man of Ladder Co 31 at the time. "Milly" as he was called, was later promoted to Lt and assigned to Engine 69. Milly, who was retired has since passed away.
I am HONORED to call Chief Manson a friend, as well as so many other FDNY Firefighters who fought those fires during the busy FDNY War Years. Whether in the South Bronx or any other ghetto area within the New York City border at the time.
I know many of you have seen this before but if you haven't, this is the story of Engine 82, commanded then by Captain Bob Manson (*******), Ladder 31 and Battalion 27.
Just drove up to Cape Cod, MA and drove through a town called Dennis. Thought about visiting the Dennis FD but then I would have to try to explain Uncle Wilfred. I did the right thing and kept driving.
The top photo of now Retired Chief Bob Manson, aka *******, who is a contributor on this site telling us of those very busy War Years. Like so many others here, I just wish that I had gotten to know him some 40-50 years ago.
Also THANK YOU for the picture of the late Lt Miloslaw, as I am told nicknamed "Milly", then of Ladder 31. The senior firefighter at the time who had that Captain Engine 82 belt buckle made up to give to Captain Manson in 1975.
I'm sure the pictures you have presented here of then Lt Miloslaw, are worth more than a thousand words as they sure tell a story in themselves.
A story of so many very dedicated firefighters who PROVED THEMSELVES "Over and Over", why they will ALWAYS be known as; "The GREATEST GENERATION of FIREFIGHTERS", ever in the history of the entire American Fire Service.
Best of luck to good friend and site member Steve Elliott - Battalion Chief - Albemarle County VA. Steve was selected to be his Department's Training Officer. He moves up from his line position to take on new responsibilities for an excellent fire department. Steve is a "firefighter's chief" - a real professional and an excellent leader. He is also a close friend to members on this site and a strong supporter to FDNY and other departments when in need.
Best Wishes Steve, aka "fltpara16", on your new position within the Albemarle County FD.
I have confidence that the Brothers/Sisters on the job there will greatly benefit from your experience and knowledge, and they will greatly appreciate your sharing a few of those FDNY stories with them.
Thank you all. My last day in the firehouse was October 2nd. It was strange to walk out of the firehouse for the last time as a Shift Commander on the morning of October 3rd. The good news is the Battalion Chief that is taking command of the shift is an excellent Chief and served as a Captain for me before being promoted. October 12th will be my first day as the Division Chief of Training and the beginning of a new adventure. I am sure I will be calling on the members of this site for advice, support and some good stories to pass along to the next generation coming up in this great job!