Andrew J. Hewitt, who has served in the Army, Navy and Merchant Marine and who was critically wounded during German attacks on American shipping In the waters off Normandy shortly after the invasion of France, has assumed his new duties as manager of the Guild Theatre in Norwood.
Now only 22, Hewitt closed his war career when he received an honorable medical discharge from the Merchant Marine at New York in November of last year after nine trips to war zones. Previously he served for 14 months in the Navy, making eight trips to the European and Mediterranean Theatres and seeing action in the invasion of North Africa. He was released from the Navy on a medical discharge in September of 1943 and joined the Merchant Marine the following February.
Hewitt got his first taste of military life as a member of a National Guard outfit at Manchester, N. H. for nine months. He was given a special release when that branch of the service was federalized.
In July, 1942 he joined the Navy and served until September, 1943. During that time he saw action at Filda. Safa and Casablanca in the invasion of North Africa by allied forces which marked the beginning of the long assault against the Germans and Italians.
He was released from the Navy and joined the Merchant Marine five months later. Participating in invasion operations in the English Channel, Hewitt served at St. Lo, St. Pierre and Cherbourg, bringing in supplies for American and British troops who had pushed inland from the coast of Normandy.
On July 22, 1944, Hewitt was aboard his ship at St. Pierre when an attacking German airplane exploded when hit by fire from the ship. Hewitt was injured in the back and right arm In the explosion. Taken ashore to a field hospital at St. Pierre, he received two pints of blood. Five days later he was evacuated by plane to an Army hospital in England, where he was confined until October 11, 1944.
He was sent to the Merchant Marine Rest Center on Long Island, N. Y„ later spent some time at a hospital on Staten Island, and then returned to the Re*t Center where he was released from the service.
In addition to his overseas bars, Hewitt holds the Mariner’s Medal of Honor, awarded to members of the Merchant Marine for wounds received as a result of enemy action. and six invasion stars, three for the Navy and three for the Merchant Marine.
Hewitt, who now makes his home at 22 Cottage street, Norwood, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hewitt of Manchester, N. H. Before coming to Norwood he was assistant manager of the Strand Theatre in Gloucester.
(All articles originally appeared in the Norwood Messenger unless otherwise noted)