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Walt Plant

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: May 22, 1921 Chicago, IL
Date and Place of Death:    June 26, 2012 Stamford, CT
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Infielder
Rank: Technical Sergeant
Military Unit: Heavy Weapons Platoon, 96th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

 Walter J. Plant, Jr. - the eldest son of a door-to-door vacuum salesman, Walter and his wife, Grace - was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 22, 1921.

Plant played amateur baseball on Chicago’s south side for the Chicago Pirates and signed to a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941. He joined the Paducah Indians of the Class D Kitty League before being optioned to the Greenville Lions of the Class D Alabama State League. The 20-year-old infielder batted .236 in 37 games with Greenville and finished the season back at Paducah, where he played 34 games and hit .198.

In 1942, Plant started the season with the Green Bay Bluejays of the Class D Wisconsin State League before joining the LaCrosse Blackhawks of the same league. Plant batted .243 in 25 games with LaCrosse.

Plant entered military service in October 1942, and was stationed at Camp Adair, Oregon, before leading a heavy weapons platoon of the 96th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater. Technical Sergeant Plant was wounded in late 1944, during the assault on Leyte, but returned to action for the assault on Okinawa, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star and wounded a second time.

Unable to continue playing baseball due to his injuries, Plant began a long career as a teacher in the early 1950s. He taught physical education at inner-city schools in Chicago for several years before relocating to Stamford, Connecticut in 1955.

Plant became a biology teacher at Dolan Junior High School. He moved to Rippowam High School when it opened in 1961, and retired as head of the science department in 1981. Plant's family said that he was a beloved science teacher "who was celebrated by his students for his passion, humor and his occasional handstands on the lab tables."

Walter Plant - who was married for more than 65 years to the former Mary Lombardi, a Stamford native – passed away on June 26, 2012, aged 91. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.


Walter Plant

Date Added April 28, 2020

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