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Base re-dedications honor two Conn. Medal of Honor awardees

By Connecticut National Guard | March 25, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. - Maj. Gen. Fran Evon, the adjutant general and commanding officer of the Connecticut National Guard, announced that ceremonies will be held on Monday to honor the Connecticut National Guard’s two Medal of Honor recipients.

The ceremonies coincide with National Medal of Honor Day, which is dedicated to all Medal of Honor recipients. The first Medals of Honor were presented March 25, 1863.

A rededication of Camp Hartell was scheduled for 9 a.m. and a similar ceremony at 3 p.m. at Camp Niantic.

Although Camp Hartell has been called that for over four decades, Public Act No. 18-21, An Act Honoring Connecticut National Guard Medal of Honor Recipients, will make it official for the Guard’s Windsor Locks-based facility.

The same act will see Camp Niantic renamed as Camp Nett at Niantic, in honor of Col. Robert Nett. As a lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II, Nett spearheaded an attack against a Japanese stronghold despite suffering multiple wounds, leading his company to the capture of a vital strongpoint, according to his Medal of Honor Citation.

“These men embodied the bravery and patriotism this nation’s freedom was built upon,” Evon said. “From this moment forward, two of our largest facilities will bear the names of true American heroes. It is the least we can do to pay tribute to two of Connecticut's greatest sons.”

Nett, who also served in Korea and Vietnam, died in 2008 at age 86.

First Lt. Lee Hartell was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions taken on the date of his death. According to his Medal of Honor Citation, Hartell continued to radio for artillery fire, despite already suffering a wound to his hand and an enemy onslaught closing in on his position. His actions stemmed the enemy attack and enabled friendly forces to fight off the advance and maintain their strategic stronghold.

Until 2010, Camp Nett at Niantic was named after the sitting governor.