SOUTH PARIS — Theodore Mayo has been named Veteran of the Month at the Maine Veterans Home.

Ted Mayo was born on Feb. 29, 1924, and grew up in Rumford. In 1940 most of the world was at war and Mayo decided to join up. He was only 16 at the time and in order to get in he had to alter the year of his birth to 1921. It worked and he enlisted in the 103rd Infantry, Co. B, 1st Battalion. Induction took place in Portland, then his company was sent to Camp Blanding, Fla., Camp Shelby, Miss., and Fort Ord, Calif., for training.

Early in 1942 his company was shipped to New Zealand, where they waited to be sent to New Caledonia, the staging area for Guadalcanal. From there, Co. B joined in the battle for the Russell Islands. While in the Solomon Islands, Mayo was transferred to Co. F, out of a rifle platoon and into a heavy weapons platoon.

His next assignment was in the Philippines. He fought at Luzon and was wounded during that battle.

In 1945, his company was sent to fight the Japanese in Santa Maria, also in the Philippines. After the area had been cleared of the enemy, Mayo had time to meet the mayor of Santa Maria and attend a cockfight.

At the Maine Veterans Home this year he met two nurses from Santa Maria. They told him they were sisters and that their great-grandfather had been the same mayor of Santa Maria that Mayo had met 64 years before.

Mayo was discharged on July 26, 1945. For his service he was awarded the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with bronze star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, four Bronze Stars and the Maine Honorable Service Ribbon with  Silver Star.

When Mayo returned to Rumford, he married Jeannette, “the most wonderful girl in the entire world”, on Dec. 1, 1945. Together they raised six children. Mayo worked as a millwright for Oxford Paper, was a bus driver, a dairy farmer and milkman. He enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, his camp, cooking, playing golf, playing games with his family and telling campfire stories.

Mayo was active in his community and participated in the PTA, scouting, coaching and his church. He and Jeannette were married for 60 years and were the grandparents of 11 grandchildren.

Mayo came to the Maine Veterans Home in 2008 and resides on the C-Unit. He enjoys visits from his family and talking to the staff.


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