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George Hallbach, WWII pilot dies at 92

Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:49 pm

Civic leader, businessman, WWII pilot dies at 92

Published: February 29, 2016 | Last Modified: February 29, 2016 09:20AM
By Bryan Lipiner Record-Journal staff

MERIDEN — Former Rotary Club and YMCA president George Hallbach died earlier this month at Masonic Healthcare Center in Wallingford. He was 92.

Hallbach was born on July 24, 1923 in Meriden, graduating from Meriden High School in 1941, according to an obituary. Hallbach later served in World War II as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force.

He was a member of the 488th Bombardment Squadron in the 340th Bombardment Group and as a B-25 bomber pilot flew nearly 60 missions in the Mediterranean Theater. He also flew in the Brenner Pass, receiving several awards.

After returning from WWII, Hallbach received a Bachelor’s of Science from Cornell University’s Statler School of Hotel Administration, the obituary said.

He started a career in the food industry, becoming director of The Hallbach Company, Inc., The Hallbach Restaurant, Inc. and the Ernest Realty Company. He later owned Connecticut Cafeteria Management in North Haven, retiring about 12 years ago. For over 40 years, companies that Hallbach managed fed private schools, colleges, industrial cafeterias and summer camps throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine and New York.

Hallbach served as president of the YMCA, and in 1979, the Rotary Club. That same year, he received an invitation to attend the International Rotary Convention in Rome, the obituary continued.

Hallbach was a Boston Red Sox and UConn women’s basketball fan. He also coached Little League baseball, and enjoyed bowling, golf and horseshoes.

Greg Hancock, owner of Hancock Pharmancy, said he grew up with Hallbach’s children.

“My father and him were very good friends,” Hancock said “He was a really nice guy.”

Former rotary club president Kevin Curry also shared his memories.

“He was a great guy, a very giving guy,” Curry said. “Really cared about people.”

blipiner@record-journal.com 203-317-2444 Twitter: @BryanLipiner
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