Cleveland Historical Society
Presents Guest Speaker Chris Crawford
“Tuffy’s War” a story of the service of Army medic
Charles Leonard Tufts
In November of 2015, Chris Crawford and her husband traveled from their home near Fort Drum south on Route 11 for a day of antiquing. They stopped at The Farm, a flea market and antique shop. After sorting through boxes of dusty old books, Chris found a book titled “How I Won the War”; Tufts. Inside the book on page 1 was written “Diary of Troop “D” 94 Cav Rcn Sq Mecz & their medical aid man Tufts.” This interested the Crawfords as they have researched war history and belong to WW2 reenactor groups.
Chris wanted to find out who Tufts was. After researching the internet, she found that he was Charles Leonard Tufts, also known as “Tuffy” from Cleveland, NY. She visited Cleveland and learned more about this man by speaking with former fire chief Jack Cottet and a visit to the American Legion Post 858 where there is a nice display of Tuffy’s service. Tuffy returned from the war and resumed his employment at Allied Chemical, served as a member and chief of the Cleveland Fire Department for many years, was one of the founders of North Shore Ambulance and served as a trustee for the Village of Cleveland.
Many of the people in the Village of Cleveland knew Leonard or Tuffy who lived on Center Street at the house where Center and Clay Streets split. He was always present at fire department and ambulance functions, but few of us know what he did during his service for our country.
On July 27, Chris Crawford will be the guest speaker at the Cleveland Historical Society at 1:00 p.m., 6 North Street. She will talk about how she discovered who the owner of this diary was, what she learned about his service as a medic during WW2 and her blog, “Tuffy’s War”. Chris and her husband will bring some war uniforms and items that would have been used in Tuffy’s unit. The museum at the Friendship House next to the former St. James Episcopal Church will be open for a display of the WW 2 items. The Cleveland Historical Society will have a free ice cream social after the presentation. The event is free and open to the public.