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James E. Platt

Chief James E. Platt, 82, husband of Margaret F. (Curtin) Platt of Chebacco Terrace, Essex, died Sunday December 11, 2011 in the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bedford following his long illness.  

Born in New York City June 21, 1929, the only child of the late William J. and Frances (Bartlett) Platt, he was raised in Newburyport and attended West Newbury  public schools.

In 1947 he became a licensed pilot.  During the years of the Korean War he served in Korea with the Army  as a tank mechanic. In the heat of action he survived four days pinned beneath  a disabled tank. Returning to the States he was an on-site witness to one of the early hydrogen bomb tests at White Sands, New Mexico. Honorably discharged  as a Sergeant, he returned to Newburyport soon to become the owner and operator of the Plum Island Airport. During these years he also served as policeman with the Newbury Police Department, serving as Chief from 1965 to 1969. He went on to serve as Police Chief in Newbury for four years and Ashburham for the next four years. Chief Platt came to Essex in 1974, serving as Police Chief until his retirement in 1991. During many of these years he owned and operated the Essex Bay Lobster Company. In his retirement he served summers as the Essex Harbormaster while wintering in the Florida Keys where he enjoyed fishing.

Chief Platt was a former member of the Rowley V.F.W. Post #5707. He was a member of the Laurel Grange of West Newbury since 1953, enjoying a sixty-eight year membership. He was a Past Master, active for many years in various Grange events and running lively Saturday Night record hops. He was also a Mason, belonging to the Newburyport Lodge for many years.    

In addition to his wife of forty-two years he is survived by two sons, John H. Swallow and his wife Lauren Noonan of Beverly and Michael T. Swallow of Hampton, NH; six daughters, Elizabeth J. Breau and her husband Robert of Newburyport, Jacquelyn Snow and her husband Wayne of Seabrook, Constance Carson and her husband Christopher of Hampton, NH, Frances Perry and her husband John of Newburyport, Susan Swallow of North Reading and Kathlene A. Sandrell of East Longmeadow; thirteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was the husband of the late Anna J. (Newhall) Platt.

His funeral will be held Friday, December 16, 9 am from the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich, with a Mass of Christian Burial offered at 10 am in  St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 52 Main Street, Essex.  Interment with Army Honors will follow in the Spring Street Cemetery, Essex. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours are Thursday 4 to 8 pm. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Essex Police  Benevolent Association, c/o Essex Police Department, 24 Martin Street, Essex, MA 01929. 

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