Remembering John Regan

In the special 90th anniversary edition of Connections, published in the fall of 2018, we interviewed John Regan and his son, Jim Regan. John worked at Syska for 47 years before he retired. Jim, a senior principal and leader of the Eastern Region, has reached 40 years.

Unfortunately, John died in February of this year at the age of 96. Jim, who was with him at the time, says “he was a great father and a great friend, and he will be sadly missed.”

In the Connections article, John reminisced about his time at Syska, which he joined in 1946. In those days, calculations were done by slide rule and drafting was done by hand. He also shared fond memories of Adolph Syska and John Hennessy, the firm’s founders.

But the article did not cover what John did before Syska. “Like many of his generation, my dad never talked about the war,” says Jim. As it turns out, John received a Silver Star Medal, which is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action.

The official citation recounts John’s actions in St. Vincent, France on September 11, 1944: “CPL. REGAN with his wire crew entered the fire fight against three attacking companies of enemy troops and materially assisted one Infantry Squad to pin down enemy troops until Artillery fire could be delivered to break up the attack. Then, with complete disregard for his personal safety, worked under enemy observation and continuous Artillery and Mortar fire for nine hours installing and maintaining wire lines for observation. When knocked down by a mortar burst, his face powder burned, and the wire line blown out of his hands, he set an example of extraordinary heroism in performance of duty by continuing work on those lines. CPL REGAN at approximately 1330 hours acted as Liaison Officer for an Infantry Platoon Commander, and directed Artillery Fire on mortar and machine gun emplacements, causing their neutralization and withdrawal. This entire action assisted materially in the holding and procuring of an important terrain feature necessary for our observation. CPL. REGAN’s gallantry in action and devotion to duty are in accord with the highest traditions of the military service.”

John also served in combat during “The Normandy Invasion” and at the “Battle of the Bulge”.

We are honored that this war hero spent his civilian career with us, and that his son Jim is carrying on his legacy at Syska.

Hero, father, friend, and colleague: Rest in peace.