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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Captain
Age: 53
Year of Death: 1983

Albert F. McGovern Sr.

Albert Francis McGovern, Sr., was a lifelong resident of Bridgeport, CT. His mother and father were Helen McGovern (nee Rall) and Edward McGovern; he had an older brother, Edward, and a younger brother, William–who was his fraternal twin and also served in the Bridgeport Fire Department. Al attended Warren Harding High School, class of 1948, and served in the US Navy from 1949 to 1952 as a Gunner’s Mate, Third Class aboard the heavy cruiser USS Newport News; as a member of the first crew, he was a Plank Owner. He broke his leg skiing in Spain while deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, so he never encouraged ski vacations with his family! He married Julia Santolupo in April 1955, and they had 5 children: Albert, Jr., Elizabeth, Gregory, Diane and Gary. Al joined the Bridgeport Fire Department in 1959 and had the ranks of Firefighter (Tillerman on a Hook and Ladder Truck at Station 3); Pumper Engineer at Engine 8; Lieutenant at Station 7 / 11 (merged 2 stations); Captain at Station 14. He succumbed to a heart attack while loading hose back onto the engine after he and his crew had extinguished a smoky basement fire on the evening of March 21, 1983. His funeral procession was a mile long and wound throughout the City of Bridgeport so each fire station could pay their respects; the Bridgeport Police Department brought their motorcycle unit out of retirement to honor Al and to guide this long procession safely–it contained 2 former mayors and the current Mayor of Bridgeport, all of whom knew Al personally through church or his children’s sports teams. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Stratford, CT after a Catholic funeral Mass held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, the parish church where he lived (on Sylvan Avenue) in the Whiskey Hill neighborhood. He was a member of their Holy Name Society and their Pre-Cana team.

This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.

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