AUGUSTA — James S. “Jim” Chickering, a Navy veteran of the Korean War, was named Veteran of the Month for June and July at the Maine Veterans’ Home.

Chickering, born Feb. 24, 1930, was living in Damariscotta when he enlisted in the Navy. After completing his training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill., he was assigned to the USS Boxer, a 27,100-ton Essex Class Aircraft Carrier. Chickering entered into active duty on March 13, 1947. In addition to two other deployments, he was sent to Korea at the outbreak of the Korean conflict in June of 1950.

While serving aboard the USS Boxer as a boiler technician, he remembers participating in a “Shellback” ceremony, a day of fun and entertainment for those crossing the equator for the first time. The entire crew, officers and enlisted men, participated in this tradition together. On Jan. 25, 1952, he received his honorable discharge, along with medals for Good Conduct, China Service, Navy Occupation and Korean Service.

Chickering has three daughters, Patricia Browne, Cindy Cressey and Jamie Lyons. He retired from Damariscotta Telephone Company after 34 years of service.

Chickering lived year-round on Little Island on Damariscotta Lake, where he watched over other camps on the island during the off season. In appreciation of his efforts, residents of the island approached John Baldacci, who was governor at the time, to request the name of the island be changed to Chickering Island in his honor.

Chickering’s interests have included fishing, hunting and spending time with family and friends. During his younger years, he enjoyed singing or whistling along to his favorite tunes while his mother played the piano, and at one time won a trophy for “Best Karaoke Singer.”

At the Maine Veterans’ Home, his walls are decorated with dozens of photos of family members and friends.

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