January 31, 1892 (Norwalk, CT) – November 19, 1967 (Norwalk, CT)
Married to Ida Litoff on April 7, 1929 in New Haven, Connecticut
Three children; a son, Benjamin (1930-2017), and two daughters, Celia (1931-2015) and Dorothy (1938-).
Last local address: 135 Stuart Avenue, Norwalk
Enlisted on December 17, 1917
Unit: 26th Division (Yankee Division), 102nd Infantry Regiment, HQ Company

Was a dance instructor prior to joining the service.

Photo contributed by a grandson, Barry Polley.

Wounded severely on November 3, 1918. Awarded the Purple Heart Medal.

After the service, served as Commander of the Yankee Division’s Norwalk Post for several terms, Commander of Post 141 of the Jewish War Veterans organization, and President of the Commuters Garage Company. Owner of Hank’s Broadway Novelty Store at 5 Railroad Avenue, then 104 Washington Street.

From The Norwalk Hour November 16, 1932


Samuel C. Polley, Senior Vice Commander of the Yankee Division Club, has been presented with the Purple Heart Medal by the War Department. The medal was presented for military merit and wounds received in the Argonne Woods battle on November 1, 1918. Mr. Polley saw nearly 18 months of overseas service during the war.

From The Norwalk Hour November 21, 1967


Samuel C. Polley, 75, of 135 Stuart Avenue who served with a headquarters unit of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th Yankee Division, and was gassed and wounded in World War I, died suddenly at his home Sunday morning from a coronary attack. He was the husband of Mrs. Ida Litoff Polley. Besides his wife, Mr. Polley is survived by a son, Benjamin Polley of this city; two daughters, Miss Dorothy Polley and Miss Celia Polley, both of New York City; two grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. Max Schachter of this city and a brother, Manuel Polley of Miami, Florida. Services were held at 1:30 p.m. Monday from the Ganung Funeral Home, 84 South Main Street, with Rabbi Israel Yavne of Beth Israel Synagogue, officiating. The interment took place in Independent Hebrew Cemetery. Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion, Jewish War Veterans Post, and the Yankee Division Veterans Association were represented by delegations at the service. Pallbearers were Leonard Abramson, Herman Zeitlin, Samuel Finkelstein, Irwin Yedon, Sheldon Miller, State Rep. Bernard Breeman, and Attorney George J. Lepofsky. Mr. Polley was born in Norwalk, the son of the late Barney and Anna Polley. He was the proprietor of Hank’s Smoke Shop at 5 Railroad Avenue, recently moving to 104 Washington Street because of re-development. He had operated a service station for about 25 years at the corner of Franklin and Monroe Streets. Earlier he had operated a dancing studio in the city. He was a member of the Jewish War Veterans, Yankee Division, and the American Legion, and was a member of the Independent Hebrew Society. He had been a member of the old Roton Point Volunteer Life Guards Association. Mr. Polley enlisted with the New Haven “Blues”, the famed 102nd, in 1917, and was assigned to the Signal Section of Headquarters Company. Mr. Polley was in the Battle of Seicheprey. Mr. Polley was in the attack on Marchevielle in which a number of Norwalk soldiers were reported missing or dead. He, too, was thought missing in action. A letter, dated September 28, 1918, from France, established that he had been removed to the hospital at Limouges. Mr. Polley was active for many years in the Yankee Division Association with his comrades of the 102nd.

Buried in Independent Hebrew Cemetery, 135 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section A, Row 4, Plot 33. Photo by webmaster.


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.


  1. Thank you for your devotion to this very important work, in the service of all who seldom or never know enough to appreciate their identity. Suddenly discovering our past, our roots, is astounding.
    It adds unexpected and cherished, meaning to our lives.


      1. Hi Jeff How can I leave/post a comment of appreciation from my family and myself? Geraldine and Nat are so very pleased and honored. Your work has given new life and meaning for my father and and his grandchildren.


      2. Dorothy, you already have left two very kind comments about the work. Those comments are available to the public. When you go to your father’s web page: , and scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll see all of our comments as will everyone else. It’s as public as any other method to honor the work. I appreciate it all.

        The post was originally made public in August 2021. Since that time, your father’s page has received 106 views with 23 of those 106 coming in January 2023 alone.

        Warm regards,
        Jeff DeWitt


  2. Hi Jeff my name is Geraldine Wharry I am one of Sam Polley’s grandchildren (a total of 5). We are eternally grateful for this page honouring our grandfather. It has given us more insight into his greatness and achievements. We do not know ourselves well enough until we can discover more about our family history. Our grandfather was very quiet about his achievements and the difficulties he experienced during the war. We did not know exactly which battles he fought. I have since researched the Argonne Forest battle and there are no words to describe both the horror he experienced, and the bravery he showed. Without it, I wouldn’t be writing this message today, living a thriving life in London UK. In community leadership, Sam was able to support the men who experienced the war with him. Although I never had a chance to meet my maternal grandfather, it brings me joy to know he continued to be a hero, in honour of his comrades and of the ones left behind. We are so proud of him.


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