World War II Project: LaBarbera – Trotto

LaBARBERA, CHARLES (or SALVATORE) (1913-1996). Sergeant, United States Army. Usually referred to as Charles, but sometimes called Salvatore Jr., he was born in Brooklyn to Salvatore and Rosina. According to census records, both of his parents were born in Italy; his daughter details their place of birth as Palermo, Sicily. His father worked as a soap maker and bricklayer, as per census records of 1920, 1925, and 1940. Charles had five siblings, Frank, Frances, Rosetta (Sadie), Dominic and Marie and the family lived at 553 Pine Street, Brooklyn, from 1925 to 1940. The 1940 census reports that he was working as a truck driver, delivering lumber.

As per his World War II Army enlistment record, LaBarbera had one year of high school and was unemployed. He enlisted on April 30,1942, at Fort Jay on Governors Island, as a private. He may have served in the Army Air Corps: as per the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was enlisted in the Army, but his daughter reports that he was involved with airplanes; there was no Air Force at the time. She further states that he rose to the rank of sergeant (confirmed by the photograph of him in uniform).

There is no record of what LaBarbera did for a living after the war. New York City marriage records and his obituary reveal a marriage to Josephine Imbriale in 1954. Charles and Josephine had one child, Rosemarie. According to his obituary, Josephine predeceased Charles, dying in 1990. She is also buried at Green-Wood. His obituary indicates he was survived by his daughter, Rosemarie D’Amario, her husband Vincent, grandchildren Vincent and Gina, and four siblings, Frances, Sadie, Dominick and Marie. Crestwood Mausoleum, Crypt #506E.

Charles LaBarbera

LANE, LORING (1916-1944). Lieutenant, 60th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, First United States Army. The only son and eldest of three children, Loring Lane was born to Alfred Loring Lane and Emily Aldrich Lane. The well-to-do family lived at 395 Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, according to state and federal census records through 1940. At various times the household included Loring’s maternal grandmother, Susan Aldrich; his aunt, Alice Aldrich Barnes; and a live-in servant.

The house at 395 Washington Avenue has its own Brooklyn history. The original owner in 1872 was Freeborn G. Smith, owner of Bradbury Pianos, a manufacturer in the city. Smith was a self-made business success and community benefactor who dabbled in Brooklyn politics. In 1906, the house was purchased by Dr. William Blythe Lane, a Civil War surgeon, who made his fortune in the insurance business.  It’s possible that Dr. Lane is related to the Lane family that became the next owners of this home, still standing in the Clinton Hill Historic District. Both Freeborn Smith and Dr. Lane are buried in Green-Wood.

Loring Lane attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School (now Poly Prep Country Day School), graduating in 1936. During his school years, he was involved in theater, stage-managing a Christmas play at a neighborhood church, as reported in the Brooklyn Times Union, in 1933. He received an athletic award as captain of the school’s rifle team in his senior year, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

At Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, Lane pledged Alpha Kappa Pi fraternity in his freshman year, and eventually served as vice president of the chapter. In 1938 he was a member of the Engineers rifle club, eventually becoming captain. He appears in group photographs in the Lehigh University 1937 and 1938 Yearbooks. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1940. After serving with R.O.T.C. during his college years, he received his officer’s commission at that time,.

In September 1940, Lane became engaged to Kathryn Rafetto of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Kathryn attended Moravian Seminary and College for Women in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; the couple likely met at inter-college social events. Loring and Kathryn married in October, 1941. By then, Lane was working at R. H. Macy. The couple took up residence on East Tremont Avenue in New York City, according to their wedding announcement in the Allentown Morning Call. Lane entered the service in January 1942. He went on to further training at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, and at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi.

Second Lieutenant Loring Lane was sent overseas in August 1944. In October, he was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart. Upon recovering, he was sent back into action. From December on, his division was engaged in defensive action in western Germany at the onset of the Battle of the Bulge. Lane died in Germany on December 23, 1944, at the age of 28.

The circumstances of his death are unclear, which is not surprising, given the chaos and confusion of war. He was initially listed as missing in action in early January 1945. In early February, Kathryn Lane was informed that Loring had been killed in action the previous December. However, he was also listed by the International Red Cross among prisoners of war in Stalag 12A-9b in Limburg, Germany. This listing status means he may have been executed or killed while trying to escape.

Kathryn Lane eventually remarried in 1948. Loring Lane is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands. There is also a cenotaph to his memory in the Lane family plot at Green-Wood.  Section 124, lot 14488 (cenotaph).

LANZARO, JOSEPH (or JOE) SALVATORE (1906-2000). Captain, 14th Regiment, Company I, New York Guard. Joseph Lanzaro was born in Brooklyn, along with his sister, Alma, and brother, Dominick. His father and mother, Salvatore and Maria (Bellavigna), were both born in Italy, according to the 1910 census.

Lanzaro’s father, Salvatore, served in the 2nd Infantry Regiment in Italy during the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1895-96. His survival, as happens so often in war, was due to a quirk of fate. The day that his outfit was to be shipped out for a battle, he was too ill to accompany it and was left behind. The entire outfit soon was wiped out. After his discharge from the army as a corporal, Salvatore worked as a blacksmith in Naples before emigrating to the United States in 1896.

Salvatore Lanzaro died of influenza in 1914, leaving Joe’s mother, Maria, as head of household, as listed in the 1925 New York State census. Her eldest brother, Edmundo Bellavigna, moved in to become the father figure in the family. Maria continued to operate the “soda water” business—S. Lanzaro & Company Mineral Waters—started by her late husband, according to the Lanzara-Lanzaro Family Webpage. 

Lanzaro, whose occupation is listed as “ship caulker” in the 1925 New York State census, later worked for many years as foreman in a print shop. He married Helen Cascone (born in Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily) in June 1933. They had one son, Douglas, born in 1942.

He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, when he was 34 years old. Sixteen months later, on February 9, 1942, and just a month before his son’s birth, he enlisted as a private in Company I, 14th Regiment, of the New York Guard, a replacement force for the federalized National Guard units in the state. He served until he was honorably discharged on February 8, 1944, with the rank of sergeant; on July 22, he re-enlisted, accepting a commission as a second lieutenant and moving among assignments in Brooklyn. By the time of his second discharge, in March 1948, he had achieved the rank of captain; he was then 42 years old. He appears to have continued serving with the Guard when the State Guard units were reactivated in response to the Korean War in 1951, according to his military service card, finally retiring in 1960, at the age of 54.

In retirement, Lanzaro received an award of a non-military nature: in 1998, at the age of 93, he won the All-Maryland Angler Award for catching and entering six different trophy-size fish in a state contest, the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament. His winning entries were a 22-inch flounder; 38-inch bluefish; 44-inch striped bass; 15-inch white perch; 16-inch spot; and 20-inch croaker. This rare feat was reported in the March 31, 1999 issue of the Washington Times.

He died at the age of 93, in Fairfax, Virginia, about a year after the death of his wife, Helen, and three days after his brother, Dominick’s, according to the Lanzara-Lanzaro Family Webpage.  Section 97, lot 40748, grave 1.

LASSEN, JR., WILLIAM L. (1919-2004). Sergeant, 15th Air Force, 714 Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, United States Army, Army Air Corps. Born in Brooklyn, his parents, William and Marie, had also been born in New York. His maternal grandparents were born in Austria, his paternal grandfather in New York, and his paternal grandmother immigrated from Norway. According to the 1920 census, he lived with his parents on 61st Street in Brooklyn; his father was a paper goods salesman.  The New York State census from 1925 reports a family house number (7919), but no street number. The 1930 census records that the eleven-year-old Lassen attended school and lived with his parents in the Carmel Apartments at 8632 Fort Hamilton Parkway. By the 1940 census, Lassen was twenty-one years old, single, had finished one year of high school as his highest grade completed, and was working as a stock clerk. He and his parents lived at 536 Ovington Avenue in Brooklyn.  

Lassen’s World War II draft registration card states that his mother was designated as the contact person and that she resided at the Ovington Avenue address. Lassen initially reported the Ovington Avenue address as his residence but crossed it out and changed it to 7919 10th Avenue. His employer is listed as Wm. W. Fitzburgh at 49th Street and 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn. Lassen’s registrar’s report describes him as 5′ 8″ tall, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, and a sallow complexion. As per his Separation Qualification record, he enlisted on December 26, 1942, entered basic training with the Army Air Corps as a private, and was honorably discharged on December 1, 1945. According to his neighbor, he served in Bari, Italy, and in Africa. His main responsibilities were typing military correspondence and making war bond reports. His neighbor relates that Lassen was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and two Battle Stars. As per his neighbor, “The Air Force did not exist at the time of Lassen’s service. He was in the Army Air Corps.” Personal information shared by his neighbor relates that Lassen attended Manual Training (now John Jay) High School, class of 1937, his primary employment was clerk/typist, and he had no children. Section 6, lot 39340, grave 262.

Lassen is holding the flag.

LEE, JOHN E. (1921-1995). Corporal, United States Army; unit unknown. Born in Brooklyn, the 1930 census reports that the three-year-old John lived with his parents, Bernard and Edna; his older stepbrother, Roy Van Glahn; his older stepsister, Evelyn Van Glahn; two older sisters, Emily and Mary; and, his maternal grandmother, Amanda Ogle. The family resided at 226 Schenectady Avenue in Brooklyn. His father is listed as an office manager. According to the census of 1940, the family was residing at 1209 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn. This census states that both parents were born in New York and his father worked as a clerk at a broker’s office. His grandmother no longer resided with them. By the 1940 federal census, the family had moved to 182 East 31st Street. His sisters, Emily and Mary, were part of the household and were working. Lee was attending school.  

He registered for the draft on February 15, 1942. His registration card states the East 31st Street address as his place of residence, that his mother was his contact person, and that he was unemployed. Lee’s registrar’s report describes him as 5′ 6½” tall, weighing 225 pounds with grey eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion. Under “obvious characteristics,” he is reported as wearing glasses.  His World War II enlistment record details that he enlisted in the United States Army on September 25, 1942, at Fort Jay, Governors Island.  According to his father’s obituary, published on September 5, 1945, Corporal John Lee was reported as one of his survivors.  Section 17, lot 17245, grave 299.

LIAN, JAMES J. (1919-2004 ) Private, United States Army. James was born in New York to parents George and Rebecca Lian, Syrian immigrants who had arrived in the United States in 1904 and 1909/10 respectively. As per the 1920 census, his father was 35 years old and a retail merchant in the lace industry; his mother was 30 and could not read or write. The couple owned their home and had four sons: Fred (8 years old), Joseph (6), Charles (3 and a half), and the youngest James (who was 4 months old).

The 1925 New York State census reports the family as living at 511 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. George Lian was 39 years of age, had become a naturalized citizen, and worked in art embroidery. Rebecca Lian was 35 and a housewife. They had four sons and a daughter: Frederick, Joseph, Charles, James, and Virginia. The first three children attended school and the couple also had two cousins living with them: Saleeba Ferris who was also Syrian, 40 years old and a salesman and Edward Lian, born in the United States, 24 years old and a lawyer.

The family continued to live at the same address, according to the 1930 census. George Lian was 45 and a proprietor. Rebecca Lian was a homemaker and still had an alien immigrant status. Their five children were listed with them. The family’s cousin, Saleeba Ferris  who was 45 years old and a linen salesman, continued to be a member of the household. As reported by Lian’s daughter, James attended St. Saviour Elementary School and Manual Training (now John Jay) High School, both in Park Slope. He grew up in the Park Slope and Windsor Terrace area along with his brother-in-law Charles Azrak (see), also a World War II veteran. The Lian family has owned and lived in their apartment building in Park Slope for almost 100 years.

According to the National Archives, Lian had completed one year of college and worked as a stenographer and typist before joining the United States Army. On January 19, 1942, he enlisted at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, and served in the European Theater in Italy.

In 1952, Lian married Josephine née Azrak and they had three children: Regina, Marguerite, and Anissa. He also had four grandchildren: Gregory, Jonathan, James, and Charles. Lian’s career began at the White Rose Restaurant Chain in New York and then he worked for a family business that imported and sold fine linens. He was also a staff accountant at J. Ebb Weir/ McGovern Florist and retired as partner of West Potato, Inc., a wholesale produce business at Hunts Point Terminal. His daughter Regina describes him as being very devoted to his community; he ran for City Council in 1952. In 1981, as listed in a Bridgeport, Connecticut Directory, Lian lived at 4 3rd Avenue #4A, Stratford, CT. Lian died in Brooklyn, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and a brief hospitalization for pneumonia. He was described in his obituary as caring and loving and one who touched many lives. Section 56, lot 12512, grave 355.

James Lian

LICKEL, CHARLES FREDERICK, JR. (1924-1988). Staff sergeant, United States Army. Lickel was born in Woodhaven, Queens,to Charles Frederick Lickel Sr. and Pauline Irene Visco, whose birthplace is listed as Bulgaria in genealogy records. By the time of the 1930 census, Charles had a younger sister, Barbara. Charles Sr. died in 1938. In the 1940 census, Pauline and her children were living in Brooklyn with her father and step-mother: Salvatore Visco, born in Italy, and Anna Visco, born in Austria.

Lickel attended Fort Hamilton High School and Brooklyn Academy, according to his wedding announcement. At the age of 18, according to official records, on February 19, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army and was discharged on May 20, 1946. But his son reports that he joined up before graduating high school, at the age of 17. The draft card on record may be a replacement for a lost card, and Lickel took the opportunity to make a correction. His draft card lists his workplace as New York Port of Embarkation, known today as the Brooklyn Army Terminal, at 58th Street and 1st Avenue.

Although Lickel’s military unit is not known, he was involved in the Battle of Okinawa, according to his son as well as his postwar wedding announcement. The Battle of Okinawa (April-June 1945), a nearly three-month-long action meant to launch the ground invasion of Japan, was perhaps the costliest battle of the entire war in terms of human lives.

After his military service, Charles married Barbara Elizabeth Kilduff on July 13, 1947. They settled in Flatbush and had three sons and three daughters. His son writes that his working life was spent with the Amtico Flooring Company. He died in Freeport, Long Island. Section C, lot 35781, grave RLC.

LICKEL, WILLIAM (1925-1944). Rank unknown, unit unknown, United States Army. The New York State birth index states that Lickel was born on July 12, 1925 in Rockville Centre, New York. According to the 1930 census, his parents, Charles and Lauretta, were born in New York and resided at 134 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre in Nassau County, New York. Also in the household were the four-year-old Lickel, his fifteen-year-old sister, Muriel, and a servant, Binchem Schafer. Lickel had an older half-brother, Charles F., who died in a plane crash. According to the newspaper article from the Evening Star, dated May 25, 1938, Charles F., thirty-four years old, had boarded a United Airlines twin motored airliner in Newark, New Jersey, on a business trip for Barbour Welding Company. The plane was bound for Chicago, Illinois, via Cleveland, Ohio. Failure in both engines caused the plane to crash eight miles from the Cleveland airport. Ten people on the flight were killed. As per the 1940 census, the family resided at 174 Hempstead Avenue in Rockville Centre. Lickel, now fourteen years old, had completed eighth grade and was still attending school. His sister still resided at home, and the family had a maid, Lena Probst.

Although there are no official World War II papers documenting Lickel’s service history, his nephew relates that Lickel served in a tank corps unit under General George Patton, on the move from France through Belgium. As per his nephew, Lickel gave the ultimate sacrifice and died on November 20, 1944, in Eschweiler, Germany, at the age of nineteen. Given the date and location of his death, he may have taken part in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. Hurtgen Forest, located at the border of Germany and Belgium, was to be used as a conduit for the Allies to advance into Germany.  According to the Olive-Drab website:

The Hürtgen Forest battle area was about 50 square miles that became a chamber of horrors in the late fall of 1944. The forest lies on a plateau adjacent to the Ardennes, cut through in the center by fast running Kall River and Weisser Weh Creek, with the Roer River as its southern and eastern boundary. It begins a few miles southeast of Aachen, Germany lying in a triangle defined by Aachen, Düren and Monschau. Its 100-foot high, closely spaced fir trees created the equivalent of a twilight jungle in Europe where the enemy could not be seen or attacked until far too late. Large units could not operate cohesively among the deep gorges, high ridges, and narrow trails. Small unit patrols were routinely cut to pieces by machine guns and mortars firing from well-hidden German bunkers or were ambushed by mines, booby traps, and trip wires. The well-built and dug-in defenses included elements of the Siegfried Line that ran through the forest. The winter of 1944 was cold and wet keeping the rugged terrain covered with snow or mired in mud while sleet, snow and fog obscured the scene.

The Battle of Hurtgen Forest, September 19, 1944, to February 10, 1945, was the longest battle ever fought in the history of the United States military. At least 120,000 troops took part and an estimated 24,000 men either killed, wounded or captured. An additional 9,000 soldiers suffered from combat fatigue, pneumonia, and trench foot. Sadly, Lickel’s body never returned from Europe. A memorial was erected in the Lickel family lot at Green-wood Cemetery. He is also memorialized at Veterans Memorial Park in Rockville Centre, which lists all local residents killed during both World Wars, and in Korea and Viet Nam. Section C, lot 35781.

LORDI, WILLIAM PAUL (1924-1989) Tech sergeant/waist gunner,  18th Army Air Force, 3rd Bomb Division, 92nd Wing, 487th Group, 839th Squadron, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, Lordi was the third child of Italian immigrants Vito and Katherine Lordi. When William was six years old, he lived with his parents and siblings George, Rosie and Alice at 578 16th Street, as per the 1930 census. The census of 1940 indicates that Lordi’s siblings were George, Rose, Anfrio, and Joseph; he was then 16 years old and had completed either the third or fourth year of high school, depending of the record relied upon.

On October 21, 1942, at 18 years of age, Lordi enlisted in the United States Army in New York City. His  World War II enlistment record describes him as single, white, 6′ 1″ tall, 149 pounds and lists his occupation as airplane mechanics and repairman. He lived at 540 4th Avenue in Brooklyn and worked for Clermont Machine Company on 129 Wallabout Street, as per his draft registration card.

His son-in-law reports that Lordi was stationed in Lavenham, United Kingdom. As a member of the 487th Bombardment Group (Heavy) based at Army Air Force Station 137, Lordi fought in the air war over Europe which involved the strategic bombing of Nazi manufacturing, transportation and military targets by the American Air Force by day and the Royal Air Force by night (487th bg.org). On September 28, 1944, Lordi’s aircraft was shot down while on a bombing mission over Germany. He suffered the loss of an eye and shrapnel wounds and was taken as a prisoner of war. The following is a narrative of the event by Lordi’s son-in-law, as published in The History of the 487th Bomb Group (Ivo de Jong 2004):

Here is my wife’s father’s story: William P. Lordi (pictured top row left) was a waist gunner in the Army Air Corps 8th Air Force, 487th Bomb Group stationed in Lavenham in Suffolk, England. On September 28, 1944, while filling in on a B17 #44-6463 from his regular B24 crew, they were on a mission to bomb an enemy oil refinery in Meersburg, Germany. On the way to the target between Coblenz & Wiesbaden they encountered intense flak which scored a direct hit on the plane, immediately dropped out of the formation and the crew started to bail out. A large hole was bored into the aircraft behind the number 3 engine and blew out the waist windows. The aircraft continued under control, three chutes came out, two opening and the third was temporarily caught on the ball turret with a man dangling from it. Co-pilot Kelvin Pierce recalled, ‘It was our 14th mission, the approach to the target was at 27,000 feet and the anti-aircraft flak was extremely heavy. We had just released our bombs and turned away when we were hit. The plane was riddled and filled with smoke. A severely injured radio operator was treated in the Leipzig-Warren Reserve Hospital but later died of his injuries. The pilot Clarence Lamason gave his account after the war. Crew member & hero waist gunner Sergeant William Gaucheness assisted in pushing out the radio operator and other injured crew members, roused the lower ball turret gunner, fought fire in the radio room until all extinguishers were empty, returned to flight deck to help all abandon ship. My wife’s father, William Lordi, was blinded by the flak hit and was pushed out of the plane by Sergeant Bauchens. The plane crashed near Naherstille; nine of the ten crew members survived.

Lordi was captured by the Germans and was held as a prisoner of war until his return to United States Military Control at the end of hostilities in May 1945, as per records in the National Archives. In April 1945, he was admitted to a German hospital where he was diagnosed with the osteomyelitis. His medical treatment, after his release, involved a bone graft for a fracture; he was discharged in early 1947 for disability from the loss of an eye and defective hearing due to injuries caused in the line of duty, as per his WWII Hospital Admission Card. For his service, Lordi was given two Bronze Battle Stars, a  Purple Heart, the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the European Theater ribbon, and the Victory Ribbon, as per his son-in-law.

On July 18, 1947, at the age of 23, Lordi married Alice M. Corrigan. They had one son, William R. Lordi, who died in 1975, and a daughter. Lordi died in Brooklyn from natural causes at age 65.  Section R, lot 43043.

Lordi is at left in top row.

LUCCHESI, JR., ELISEO (or LEWIS, LEW, LEEZIE) MARIO (1920-1996). Corporal technician, Headquarters Battery, 68th Armored Field Artillery, United States Army.  According to the Social Security Applications and Claims Index (1936-2007), Lucchesi was born in Brooklyn to Eliseo Lucchesi Sr. and Antoinette Mianile Lucchesi. The claim also makes note of three name listings: November 1937: name listed as Lewis Mario Lucchesi; February 1942: name listed as Eliseo Mario Lucchesi, Jr.; and January 1996: name listed as Eliseo Lucchesi. Familiarly, he was known as Leezie and was called Lew by his friends. Lucchesi had six siblings, three brothers and three sisters. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help High School in Brooklyn completing grades 1-8. Upon graduation, he enrolled in the Central Needle Trade High School. After completing his studies there, he worked at Berkshire Tailors, at 5917 8th Avenue in Brooklyn, not far from his family home.

His draft registration card, likely dating from 1942, records his age as 21 years old and reports that he was residing at 869 60th Street, Brooklyn. His place of business was still Berkshire Tailors. Lucchesi designated his father, living at the same address, as the contact person. His army enlistment data states that he was single with no dependents, 5′ 8″ tall, weighed 154 pounds, and had completed two years of college. His civil occupation is listed as tailor.

Enlisting at Fort Jay on Governors Island on July 17, 1942, his rank at that time was private. According to his daughter, Carol Lucchesi, he also served as an interpreter and saw action in Italy (Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and the Po Valley) and Africa (Tunisia). She also shares that Lucchesi was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the GO3 HQ68 QPM FA BN 10/17/43 Lapel Pin. His daughter relates that at the time of his enlistment, he was engaged to his sweetheart Rosa (Rose) Anna Richichi.

Lucchesi entered service with two of his brothers, Anthony (Tony) who is also buried at Green-Wood, and Arthur who was laid to rest at Resurrection Cemetery on Staten Island. All three brothers returned home safely and started families of their own.

Upon his return from service, Eliseo applied for a marriage license in Brooklyn on October 8, 1945, and married Rosa on October 21, 1945. The couple had two children, Annette (Palumbo) and Carol, and four grandchildren: Jennifer, Stefanie, Andrea and Matthew. Eliseo was also happy to be a great-grandfather. His daughter relates, “My father was a tailor and ran the Valet Service in the hotel industry in Manhattan.” Among the celebrities who Lucchesi serviced were Paul McCartney and George Segal. According to the Social Security Death Index, Lucchesi’s last place of residence was in Brooklyn. His wife and loving in-laws, Frank and Jenny Richichi, are interred with him. Section 88, lot 44332, grave 2.

Family photo at Lucchesi’s 70th birthday.

LUTKINS, JR., THEODORE LaRUE (1924-1970). Private first class, 13th Armored Division, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, he shared the same first name, middle name, and surname with his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The Brooklyn Blue Book and Long Island Society Register of 1910 list his great-grandparents as Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Larue Lutkins at 568 Carlton Avenue and his grandparents as Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Larue, Jr. at 369 Washington Avenue. However, his father’s wedding notice in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 16, 1923 edition, refers to his father as Theodore La Rue Lutkins, Jr. Records from the 1925 Kings County census report that he resided at 68 Montague Street with his parents, Theodore LaRue Lutkins and Virginia W. Sells Lutkins. His father’s occupation was leather merchant.  The 1930 Nassau County census relates that Lutkins and his parents were living at 215 Schenck Avenue in North Hempstead. The census taker added the suffix “3rd” to the young Lutkins. Additional household members were William, his younger sibling; Annie Giffords, an Irish servant; and piano teacher Mary Collins, a lodger. This census reports that both parents were born in New York as well as his maternal and paternal grandparents. As per the 1940 Putnam County census, the family had expanded to three children with a daughter, Virginia, born nine years earlier. The family then resided in Towners in Putnam County, New York.

The United States National Archives and Records Administration reports that Theodore Lutkins had completed two years of high school. His service registration card shows that he printed and signed his name with the suffix “Jr.” The card also details his place of residence as Towners, Putnam, New York, that he was 18 years old, and designates Theodore LaRue Lutkins as the contact person. He was inducted into the United States Army on October 21, 1943, and his active service started on November 11, 1943. He was assigned to the 13th Armored Division, known as the Black Cats. According to his daughter, he saw action in Central Europe and the Rhineland with 1 year, 11 months, and 3 days of Continental Service and 6 months and 8 days of Foreign Service. His military occupational specialty was classified as a Rifleman 745. As per his daughter, “He handled all types of light infantry weapons, such as the automatic rifle, light machine bazooka, and grenade launcher(s).” She also relates that he was honorably discharged on April 21, 1946, and received the following awards: American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, the Bronze Battle Service Star for the Rhineland and Southern Germany Campaigns, the Presidential Citation and a Holland Campaign Medal, for his service with the Second Armored Division.

After the war, Lutkins worked as a stockbroker. He may be the Theodore La Rue Lutkins V cited in the April 29, 1953 edition of the Los Angeles Times as being engaged to Marie Antoinette Mathis. The announcement states, “Mr. Lutkins attended Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. He served with the Army in World War II.” There was a second engagement announcement in the May 1, 1953 edition of The New York Times. This article also cites that “Her fiancé (Lutkins) was graduated from Pawling (N. Y.) School and belongs to the St. Nicholas Club of New York. He is with the New York Stock Exchange firm of Hayden, Stone & Co.” The couple is listed in the 1953 California Marriage Index. There is no information detailing how this marriage ended. However, according to the September 16, 1957 edition of The Berkshire Eagle, Lutkins married Frances Crane Colt of Massachusetts on September 9, 1957. The announcement reports that Lutkins was associated with the New York Stock Exchange firm of Hayden Stone & Co. and that he “graduated from Trinity-Pawling School, and served overseas with the 13th Armored Division in World War II.”

There is a discrepancy pertaining to his schooling. The three newspaper announcements document him graduating from Pawling School, but, according to his daughter, he graduated from Carmel High School, located in Carmel, New York, in 1943. The couple had three children, Cynthia, Virginia, and Marshal and divorced a few years before he passed away. His daughter Virginia shared this memory of Lutkins: “He was a devoted serviceman during WW II and a lifelong patriot. The only time I saw him cry was watching Eisenhower’s funeral on t.v. Sadly, he died soon afterwards when I was nine.” Lutkins is interred next to his brother, William B. Lutkins, a Navy veteran of World War II. Section 142, lot 34027, grave RLC.

Theodore Lutkins, 1946.

MANOS, JAMES (1925-1975). Aviation cadet, 3701st Army Air Force Unit, United States Army.  Manos was born in Brooklyn to John and Agnes Manos, according to the 1930 census. His parents were from Greece and were naturalized citizens of the United States. His father worked as a restaurant chef. The Manos family consisted of four children: Stella, George, Manuel, and James. The family resided at 364 60th Street, Brooklyn. According to the 1940 census, his family’s address was 314 85th Street, Brooklyn, and his father owned a restaurant.

As per the United States National Archives and Records Administration, Manos enlisted in the Army on November 22, 1943, at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was assigned to the Air Corps as a private. According to his daughter, Joanne Manos Gully, Manos served at Amarillo Field, Texas, and remained in the United States through the course of his enlistment. His two brothers, George (see) and Manuel (see), also served in World War II and are interred at Green-Wood Cemetery. His daughter related that he was the recipient of the American Theater Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army Air Forces Certificate of Appreciation for War Service. As per the Enlisted Record and Report of Separation document, Manos was honorably discharged on November 8, 1945.

His daughter also shared that he graduated in 1950 from the Polytechnic Institute of New York with a Bachelor of Aeronautic Engineering degree. He married Zographia Nicholson on September 13, 1953, and the couple had four children, three daughters and one son. He worked as an aeronautical engineer at Fairchild Hiller, Republic Aviation for twenty-five years. His primary residence was 314 85th Street, Brooklyn. Section N, lot 43002, grave 1.

James and Zographia Manos, husband and wife.

MARCOTRIGIANO, CARMINE MICHAEL (or ANTHONY) (1924-1995). Master sergeant, 4420th Quartermaster Depot Company, United States Army. Marcotrigiano was born in Brooklyn. As per the 1925 New York State census, his father Donato Marcotrigiano was a shoemaker from Italy who had been living in the United States since about 1909 ( a year that varies by census), but was not yet a citizen. His mother, Mary, was a homemaker from Italy; her year of immigration differs by census. They had five children: Grace, Thomas, Elizabeth, Anthony, and Carmine (who was the youngest of the siblings and less than a year old at the time of the census). All of the children were born in the United States and the family lived on 473 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.

As per the 1930 census, Marcotrigiano’s family had moved to 528 11th Street in Brooklyn. At this time, his father was the proprietor of a shoe repair shop and had submitted a petition for naturalization. His sister Grace, who was 15, worked as a clipper in a newspaper office; Carmine, who was 5 years old, and the other children were in school. As per the 1940 census, all the children, including Carmine who was 15 at the time and still in school, were living with their parents.

Marcotrigiano’s World War II draft card, dated December 23,1942, describes him as 18 years old, 5′ 7″, with brown eyes, black hair and a light complexion. His home address was still 528 11th Street in Brooklyn and he was working at Wright Aeronautical Company in East Paterson, New Jersey. According to his enlistment records, he enlisted on April 19, 1943, in New York, was 104 pounds, single with dependents, a private, and had four years of college education. Marcotrigiano served in Rhineland, European Theater of Operations. For his service, he received the American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

In 1947, Marcotrigiano attended the Manhattan Technical Institute, a trade school for technical education, as per his daughter. He married Josephine Miscione onJanuary 8, 1948, in Brooklyn and the couple had two children, Donna and Michael.

On March 15, 1995, Marcotrigiano passed away at the age of 70. His wife, who passed away in 2015, is buried with him. Section 149, lot 44608, grave 398.

MARRA, NICHOLAS (1924-2019).Water tender petty officer 3rd class, United States Navy. Nicholas Marra was born in the United States to Vincent and Theresa Marra, immigrants from Boscotrecase, Italy. He was less than a year old, with seven older siblings, when the 1925 New York State census recorded the family living at 186 Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. By 1930, the federal census added a ninth sibling (a younger brother) to the Marra family, now living next door at 188 Conover Street.

In 1942, at age 18, Nicholas Marra registered for the draft. He was at that time employed by Tollefson Brothers in Red Hook, and still living at 188 Conover Street, according to his draft card. On March 6, 1943, government records show that Marra enlisted in the Navy with the rank of seaman 2nd class. Soon he was mustered aboard the minelayer USS Terror, the only ship built specifically for that purpose during World War II, and trained with the crew in Chesapeake Bay. In October 1943, Terror departed for the Panama Canal Zone to San Francisco, and from there to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Marra was promoted to fireman 1st class in 1944. His duties would have included operating electrical equipment and completing repairs, as well as watching over engineering systems. During Marra’s time on board, according to the official United States Navy record, Terror was involved in some of the major campaigns in the Pacific Theater, including the Battle of Iwo Jima (February-March 1945) and the Battle of Okinawa (April-July 1945). On May 1, Terror was hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane; the toll was 171 casualties. She returned to San Francisco for repairs, and then set out for Korea. In September and October of that year, Terror weathered two “furious” typhoons.

Marra left the Navy on March 1, 1946, with the rank of water tender (WT) petty officer 3rd class (a position concerned with the ship’s engines). The war was over. Terror received four battle stars for her service.

He returned to civilian life in Brooklyn. On May 21, 1949, he and Carmela T. De Cola, known as Millie, applied for a marriage license. They went on to raise four children. Marra worked for many years at the New York City Department of Sanitation and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He died at the age of 95, and was interred with Naval military honors.  Snowberry section, lot 44706, grave 9.

Marra going to enlist in red Hook, Brooklyn.
Marra at right ,with brother, Vincent.
Marra, right, with brother Fred at Pearl Harbor.
Marra family photo, circa 1962.

Marra with family circa 1991.

McGUGART, LEO HAMMOND (1921-1978). Private, United States Army. Leo Hammond McGugart was born in Pennsylvania to Leo M. and Marie H. McGugart. He spent his early years living in Queens, New York, but by 1940, according to the federal census, the 18-year-old Leo was living with his parents and younger sister, Marie R., on Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He had finished high school and was working as a messenger.

His draft registration card lists the 20-year-old McGugart as working for F.W. Woolworth on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. At the end of September 1942, he was inducted into the Army at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, as a private. He served in the Army through the rest of the war, and was discharged on March 12, 1946, according to government records.

On May 5, 1948, McGugart and Celeste Pace applied for a marriage license in Brooklyn.  In the years that followed they had two children, Leo and Linda. Section 56, lot 43749, grave 2.

MONTALTO, JOSEPH FRANK (1918-1990). Sergeant, 130th Infantry, 33rd Division, K Company, United States Army National Guard. Born in New York, Montalto was the first son of Italian immigrants Luigi Montalto and Anna Perri. Luigi Montalto immigrated to the United States in 1912 and worked as a laborer in the paper and rags industry, and Anna Perri immigrated in 1915.

As per the 1930 census, at the age of 12, Montalto was living in Brooklyn, at 38 Henry Street with his parents, two younger brothers, Nunzi and Frank, and his paternal grandmother Philamena. By the 1940 federal census, Montalto had completed his first year of high school, was 21 years of age, and was living with his parents, two younger brothers, and two younger sisters, Lena and Fanny, at 100 Washington Street in Brooklyn. His father worked as a junkman while Montalto worked as a commercial printer with an income of $624.

Registered on October 16, 1940, Montalto’s World War II draft card describes him as white with a light complexion, brown hair and blue eyes, 5′ 5 ½” tall, and 164 pounds. He was 22 years old and employed by Keller Printing Company at 297 Lafayette Street in New York City. Montalto’s mother, Anna, was listed as his next of kin. On March 9, 1942, Montalto entered into service as a private at Fort Dix, New Jersey, as per his enlistment records; that same document describes Montalto as single without dependents, a pressman and plate printer, and 155 pounds.

Montalto served as a sergeant in the infantry, 33rd Division, K Company. As reported by his son, he trained in Hawaii and fought through the South Pacific. Montalto was a rifleman. He departed for service on June 19, 1943, and on November 8, 1945, to the Western Pacific Theater of Operations. Montalto’s company helped liberate the Philippines (fighting in Luzon) and New Guinea and went on to occupy Japan at the war’s end.

In January 1945, at age 26, Montalto was admitted to hospital, after suffering a blast injury to his ear from an artillery shell, according to World War II hospital admission card files. As per his son, he was treated for perforated ear drums suffered as a result of being blown out of a foxhole and was diagnosed with otitis media. He was discharged in February 1945.

On September 2, 1945, Montalto received his lapel button. He was honorably discharged on December 2, 1945, at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The discharge document describes him as white with blue eyes and brown hair, 5′ 5”, 145 pounds and lists 100 Washington Street, Brooklyn, as his address. It also indicates that Montalto received $216.58 in payment, had four dependents, had completed two years of high school, and was a printer machine operator.

For his service, Montalto was given the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the American Service Medal. His son reports that the Purple Heart Medal won in the battle for Luzon, is not included in his father’s records because the hospital in which he was treated was destroyed by the Japanese Army; his Purple Heart was awarded many years later.

After the war, Montalto was a printer for the United States Post Office for over ten years, as per his son. On September 29, 1990, he died at the age of 72 at West Hudson Hospital in Kearny, New Jersey. He suffered from hypertension and the immediate cause of death was acute myocardial infarction due to arteriosclerotic heart disease. His home address at the time was 169 Minna Avenue, Brooklyn. However, the New Jersey Death index lists his residence as Kearny, New Jersey. The funeral services were held by Cerasso-Generalli Funeral Home in Brooklyn. His wife Marie, who died 2005, is buried beside him. Section 6, lot 39340, grave 588. 

Joseph Montalto

MONTEMARANO, CHARLES A. (1918-1981). Staff sergeant, 301st Bombardment Group, 419th Squadron, United States Army.  Born in Brooklyn, the 1930 federal census reports that he resided with his parents, Gaetano and Angelina, at 6204 10th Avenue in Brooklyn. Both parents were born in Italy and his father worked as a superintendent of apartments. He was the sixth of eight children. The family’s last name was recorded in that census as “Monternarano.” An article published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on July 6, 1932, reported that graduation exercises were held on July 5, 1932, at Public School 176; Montemarano was one of the listed graduates. On June 26, 1936, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that 970 students graduated from New Utrecht High School. The article, “970 Diplomas Are Awarded to New Utrecht Graduates: Members of Outgoing Class, One of the Largest Classes in History of Institution, Are Addressed by Dr. Vittorio Ceroni of Hunter College,” listed Montemarano among the 970 graduates. 

According to the 1940 census, the family’s residence was 6404 10th Avenue. This address might be incorrect, as the prior census recorded the street number as 6204 and Charles entered 6204 10th Avenue as his residence on his draft card. The census taker also listed him, incorrectly, as “Charlie Montemavano.” The census records that he had completed four years of high school, was working as a checker in a cotton mill, and his income was $364.00. His draft registration card records his age as 22 years old. His employer was James Colt, and his place of employment was at 360 Furman Street, Brooklyn. Montemarano designated his father, residing with him, as the contact person. His registrar’s report, dated October 16, 1940, describes him as 5′ 8″ tall, 154 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes, and light complexion. His World War II Army enlistment record reports that he enlisted in the Army on October 10, 1941, at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York. His civil occupation conveys that he was skilled in the manufacture of textiles. His rank was private, and he was single with no dependents.

According to his eldest son, “My father was a waist machine gunner on a B17 Bomber.” His son also shared that Montemarano engaged in battles in the Italian, North African, and German campaigns.  According to a notification to his commanding officer, he was assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group, 419th Squadron. As indicated on the Army Air Corps Museum website, the 301st Bombardment Group was comprised of four bomb squadrons: the 32nd, 352nd, 353rd, and 419th. Given his unit, Montemarano is likely to have taken part in bombing raids on docks, shipping facilities and railroad yards in Tunisia, Sicily, and Sardinia. Another website, Faces Beyond the Grave, describes his bombardment group as follows: “The 301st Bombardment Group was a highly decorated groups of B-17 Flying Fortresses that served primarily in Africa and Italy.” A war diary of a veteran of the 419th Bomb Squadron, 301st Bomb Group, described the raid of January 7, 1944, in which Montemarano took part and was wounded:

Eleven crews and nine planes of the 419th Bomb Squadron plus two planes borrowed from the 352nd Squadron participated in a mission to bomb Montpellier/Frejorgues A/D, France with the other Squadrons of the 301st Bomb Group. The bomb load of 12 – 500 lbs. each plane was dropped from an altitude of 23,500 feet with very satisfactory results. Heavy moderate flak was encountered but no enemy fighters. Three planes received minor damage and one major damage. First wave was led by Lt. Col. Barthlemess with planes from our Squadron with Lt. Markel as navigator and Lt. Wallace, bombardier (Group). The second wave was led by Major Neal with Lt. Silberman, navigator, and Lt. Anderson bombardier. Plane #3166, Lt. Graves and crew completely disappeared. Plane #0347 and crew reported down safely at Naples. Plane #7964 landed at Sardinia with waist gunner Sgt. Montemorano [sic] injured. Sgt. Montemorano [sic] was taken to 60th Station Hospital with the loss of right eye by flak.

As per the World War II Hospital Admission Card Files, he was admitted to the hospital in January 1944. The diagnosis was: “First Location: eyeball, generally; Second Diagnosis: contracture, other; Second Location: Eye, not elsewhere classified.” His medical treatment was: “Enucleation, simple, eye (removal).” He was discharged from the hospital in October 1944. Montemarano would be readmitted to two additional World War II hospitals for follow-up treatment on his eye. The first re-admittance was in December 1944 and the second was in May 1945. On March 1, 1944, his Commanding Officer was notified that “Under the provisions of par 3, Cir No 126, NATOUSA, dated 2 July 1943, a Purple Heart is awarded to Sgt CHARLES A. MONTEMARANO, 32175668, 419th Sq, 301st Bomb Group, for wounds received as a result of enemy action (German) over France on 27 January 1944. Number of medal: 431944. SO #37, Headquarters 60th Station Hospital, APO 763, 6 February 1944.” As per the March 7, 1944, issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, he was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant in the 15th Army Air Force. In addition to the Purple Heart, he was awarded the Air Medal Decoration and Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster on March 13, 1944.

According to the New York Marriage License Bureau, he married Betty Walker on October 26, 1944. The couple had three children: Thomas, Carole, and James. As per the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem), his discharge date was June 4, 1945. In civilian life, he worked for the United States Postal Service for twenty-six years. Section 39, lot 38325, grave 2387.

Charles Montemarano in uniform.

MORABITO, DAMIAN A. (1926-2014). Rank unknown, unit unknown, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, the 1930 census reports that the four-year-old Morabito lived with his parents, Vincent and Maria, at 176 18th Street in Brooklyn. His father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother’s birthplace was Italy. The census taker recorded his name as “Damiano Marakto.” He was the sixth of seven children. As per the 1940 census, the family still resided at the 18th Street address. His name was recorded as “Domano Morabit” and he was in the seventh grade. He was now one of eight siblings. As per his niece, Morabito graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School on January 25, 1944. He briefly attended Cornell University before his military service. 

His World War II Army enlistment record notes that he enlisted on June 20, 1944, at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He attended four years of high school and was single, without dependents. According to his niece, he was called to active duty on June 20, 1944, and arrived in Europe on February 8, 1944. He served in the Central Europe Rhineland Campaign and took part in the occupation of Germany. As per his niece, “He crossed into Germany in a tank destroyer in the final campaign. He was in Germany at the time of the surrender and remained there for the next year with the Army of Occupation.” Morabito departed Europe on May 20, 1946, and was discharged from the United States Army on June 4, 1946. He received the Army of Occupation Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. On September 19, 1950, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. His niece states that he was “an Air Force career man and retired as a sergeant.” Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Morabito served as a government employee at the Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn. Section 31, lot 44902, grave 26.

Morabito, shipping out.
Morabito, left, with family.
Morabito in Europe.
Morabito’s patch.

MORENO, SALVATORE JOSEPH (1922-2015). Sergeant, 590th Maintenance Division, Army Air Force, United States Army. According to Ancestry.com, he was born in Manhattan to Nicola and Maria Moreno, and was one of six siblings. The family lived in Brooklyn as early as 1930. In 1933, his mother gave birth to a boy, but the child passed away the same day. As per the 1940 census, the seventeen-year-old Moreno lived with his family at 2714 Glenwood Road in Brooklyn. He was an apprentice and his income was $600 for the year. He had completed two years of high school and had six siblings. In the transcription, his first name is spelled “Salvadore” and Leroy Concert, age 47, is listed as a sibling.  

Moreno registered for the armed forces on June 30, 1942, at the age of 19. As per that registration, he was 5′ 11″ tall, 160 pounds, with brown eyes, brown hair, and a dark complexion. His place of residence was 2006 60th Street, Brooklyn. He listed his sister, Antoinette Massa, as his contact person. His employer was Mapleton Park Moving Van, located at 6324 20th Avenue in Brooklyn. According to his granddaughter, he served in England from October 1943 to January 1946. She shared that, “While serving in England, he met his future wife, Winifred, at the Plaza Dance Hall in Manchester. They married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of England on October 13, 1945, and traveled to Kendall, Scotland, for their honeymoon. Thereafter, she traveled with him.”

No documentation can be located regarding the Army Air Force 590th Maintenance Unit. In fact, Moreno might have been assigned to the Royal Air Force Burtonwood/United States Army Air Force Station 590. If so, his duties were likely the maintenance of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry. A notation on his draft card records that he was honorably discharged on February 1, 1946. As per his granddaughter, he received the World War II Victory Medal.  

Moreno and his wife had three children. According to his obituary in the Asbury Park Press, he was the proprietor of Oscar’s Restaurant at the Golden Gate. Upon his retirement, he moved to Holmdel, New Jersey. His last place of residence was in Edison, New Jersey. Section 135, lot 42699, grave 7.

Moreno on right.
Salvatore and Winifred Moreno.

MULIA, NUNZIO (1923-2010). Private 1st class, 452nd Ordnance Evacuation Company, United States Army. Nunzio Louis “Prep” Mulia was born in New York to Stephen Mulia and Genevieve di Somma, immigrants from Italy, according to the 1925 New York State census. He was the fourth of what would be seven siblings, and may have been the first one born in the United States. The family lived in the neighborhood of Rosebank, Staten Island, which was then a destination for Italian immigrants. His father worked as a hotel cook. By the time of the 1930 federal census, the family was living at 529 Carroll Street in Brooklyn; seven-year-old Nunzio attended Our Lady of Peace Grammar School nearby. By 1940, according to that year’s census, the family lived at 282 Fourth Avenue; sixteen-year-old Nunzio worked as a stamper, probably in a metal fabrication factory, having left school after the seventh grade. His father was no longer with the family, but his maternal grandmother, Nunzia Somma, had moved in.

At the age of 19, in 1942, Nunzio Mulia registered for the draft. He listed his address as 158 Garfield Place and the person who would always know where he was as Jerry or Terry Pepe of 290 Third Avenue (perhaps a relative of his future wife, Minnie Pepe). His employer, according to his draft card, was Benny Orowitz at 528 Carroll Street; interestingly, that address was right across the street from the Mulia family residence of the 1930 census.

Mulia served in the 452nd Ordnance Evacuation Company in the European Theater of the war, placing him in the campaigns of Northern France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe (July 1944 to May 1945). According to Army documents of the time, the Ordnance Evacuation Company “ … is designed to transport tanks forward to the combat zone and to evacuate unserviceable tanks from the combat zone to repair shops.” For his service, Mulia received the American Service Medal-World War II Victory Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

After the war, Mulia worked as a truck driver in the vending industry for 35 years. He married Philomena (“Minnie”) Pepe in New York City on January 12, 1947. They had three children in the succeeding years—Stephen, Michael, and Marianne—according to his obituary. He died at the age of 87. Section 126,lot 38812, grave 2.

Philomena (Minnie) Pepe Mulia
Nunzio and Minnie Mulia

NEALE, III, JOHN HENRY (1927-2006). Technician, 4th Grade, United States Army. A native of Brooklyn, Neale’s address at the date of his birth was 435 Hancock Street. His father, who bore his name, served in World War I and was the American director of the Ellerman shipping line, a British steamship company. The son was raised in Larchmont, New York.

As per his son, John A. Neale, the subject of this biography served as technician, 4th grade, in the United States Army during World War II. He also served as a postal clerk and was awarded a World War II Victory Medal for service in the Pacific Theater. His Enlisted Record and Report of Separation indicates that he lived on Maple Hill Drive in Larchmont, New York, was 6′ tall with blue eyes, brown hair and weighed 160 pounds. That record confirms his son’s information. An undated newspaper article, source unknown, reports that Neale’s parents watched from a tug boat as their son, Private First Class Neale, sailed off from New York Harbor. He was honorably discharged on August 3, 1947. As per his father’s Wikipedia biography, John Henry Neale III was married at the Plaza Hotel, a premier wedding venue. He last lived in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where he died. Section 45, lot 31351.

John Neale III

NEHEMIAS, JOSEPH EDWARD (1922-1988). Rank unknown, unit unknown, United States Army. Nehemias was born in Brooklyn. As per the 1925 New York State census, he lived with his parents, Abraham and Mary, and three siblings, in Brooklyn. His father worked as an export packer. The 1930 federal census records that the family resided at 463 17th Street in Brooklyn. Both parents were reported as born in New York and his father’s occupation had not changed. With the birth of two siblings, Joseph was the second oldest of six children. In the transcription, his middle initial is recorded as “G.” However, according to other documents, his middle initial is “E” for Edward. The 1940 census records the eighteen-year-old Nehemias as having completed two years of high school and documents him as “a new worker.” The census lists seven children in the family and his father’s occupation as a department head in the paint manufacturing industry. The transcription erroneously spelled his last name as “Nachmias.”

His draft registration card notes that he was twenty years old and lived at 506 Prospect Avenue. His contact person was his mother who resided at the same address. The Atlantic and Pacific Manufacturing Company, located at 124 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, is listed as his employer. The registrar’s report, dated June 30, 1942, describes Nehemias as 5′ 10″ tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes, brown hair, and a ruddy complexion. As per his World War II enlistment record, his date of enlistment was November 14, 1942. He was assigned the rank of private, was single, without dependents, had completed two years of high school, and his civil occupation was a shipping and receiving clerk. A notation on his draft card states that he was discharged on January 11, 1946. According to the Social Security Death Index, his last place of residence was in Brooklyn. Section 72, lot 44602, grave 1.

NOVAK, MICHAEL (1919-2020). Private, United States Army. Michael Novak was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania. His father Daniel, a coal miner, and his mother, Tessie, were both immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Novak had three sisters, Anna, Tessie and Martha, and four brothers, John, Nick, Joseph and George.

Novak lived in Pennsylvania until at least 1930 before moving to New York City. He worked as a busboy alongside his siblings at the restaurant in Manhattan. On his draft registration card, he stated that he was a busboy at Sieburg’s Restaurant at 33 Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan. He listed his sister, Catherine, as the person who would always know his whereabouts. He was 5′ 6″tall, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and hair, and a light complexion.

After his service, he attended New York University, from which he graduated in 1946. Novak married Barbara Danatsko in New York City in 1950. They had two children. For thirty-seven years, he worked at Texaco. His wife passed away in 2007 and is interred with him. Section R, 43538.

Michael Novak in uniform.

PALMER, II, LOWELL MASON (1921-1959). Junior lieutenant, United States Navy. Lowell Palmer was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Carleton Humphreys and Winthrop Bushnell Palmer. Lowell’s paternal grandfather had co-owned E.R. Squibb & Sons, the Brooklyn-based pharmaceutical company, and by the time of the 1930 census, Palmer’s father was the company’s president. The family (including younger sisters Winthrop and Rosalind, as well as a servant) lived in Fairfield, Connecticut. By 1940, according to that year’s census, 19-year-old Lowell was living at home in New York, with his mother and father, his two siblings, a cook, and a maid. 

In 1939, Palmer had entered Yale University and appeared in the school’s yearbook, where the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity counted him as a member, class of 1942. Later in the decade he earned an MBA from Harvard, according to his daughter.

After graduation, at the end of 1942, with the war ongoing, Palmer joined the Naval Reserve as an ensign, earning a promotion to lieutenant junior grade, according to his daughter: “Initially assigned to the Pacific, my father later became captain of a PT boat [Torpedo Boat Squadron 15] and ran intelligence missions in the Mediterranean, for which he received [a] commendation.”

On Valentine’s Day in 1948, Palmer married Margaret Helen O’Dowd, a Boston nurse, in Manchester, New Hampshire, her hometown. By then, he was working in business management and lived at 35 East 72nd Street in Manhattan.

From 1951 to 1959, Palmer worked at American Metaseal Corporation. He died of cancer at age 37, at his home in Old Westbury, Long Island. Sadly, he didn’t live to see his family’s later notable accomplishments: his mother, Winthrop, became an important leader of Long Island University, where the School of Library and Information Science on the C.W. Post campus carries the family name. His sister Rosalind (who, during the war, was the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter) was an early supporter of public television, through the Rosalind P. Walter Foundation. Section 125, lot 26169.

Palmer in civilian attire.

PASTORE, JOSEPH (or GIUSEPPE) ANTHONY (1916-2009). Corporal, 187th Field Artillery, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, the United States birth index records his first name as Giuseppe. Records from the 1920 Kings County federal census report that he resided on 21st Street with his parents, Nicholas and Josephine, and a younger sister, Louise. Both parents were born in Italy and his father was a tailor in a factory. Pastore’s first name is recorded there as Joseph. The 1930 census relates that he and his parents still resided at 156 21st Street and his father was a tailor in a tailor shop. Pastore was thirteen years old, attended school, and was the oldest of six siblings. As per the 1940 census, Pastore was twenty-three years old, had completed four years of high school, and worked as a laborer in a bottle cap factory. His parents and their eight children, namely, Joseph, Louise (recorded as Luisa), Thomas, Michael (see), Celeste, Nicholas Jr., Eugene, and Anthony resided at 595 3rd Avenue.

His U.S. World War II enlisted men’s card records his name as Joseph A., and his enlistment as on June 12, 1939, in Company H, 14th Infantry. His residence was 733 46th Street, Brooklyn. The card also reflects that on February 3, 1941, he enlisted in the 187th Field Artillery. His draft card is dated February 3, 1941. He printed his name as “Joseph Anthony Pastore” but signed it as “Joseph A. Pastore.” His residence was 595 3rd Avenue, and his mother was listed as the contact person. His employer was Ferdinand Gutman & Company, located on 14th Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets in Brooklyn. The registrar’s report, dated October 16, 1940, notes he was white, 5′ 5½” tall, weighed 136 pounds, had blue eyes and brown hair, and a dark complexion. Pastore’s World War II Army enlistment record indicates that he was single and his civil occupation was plasterer. His rank was private first class, and he was assigned to the field artillery. As per his obituary published in the Staten Island Advance on April 25, 2009, he achieved the rank of corporal, served in the war from 1941 to 1945, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum website provides detailed information about the Battle of the Bulge with access to a map (https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/maps/m639-map-187th-field-artillery-group) illustrating the route of the 187th Field Artillery. He separated from active service on September 28, 1945. 

According to the marriage license records, Pastore married Helen Dominski on July 5, 1941.  Pastore continued his military service after the war by serving in the Army National Guard from February 1949 to August 1950. NPastorePenrod posted a copy of Joseph’s Staten Island Advance obituary on Ancestry.com on April 27, 2009. The obituary gives insight to Pastore’s life after the war: “A Brooklyn native, Mr. Pastore moved to Huguenot in 1977…Mr. Pastore was a letter carrier along Brooklyn routes for 38 years. After retiring in 1972, he worked another 10 years as a security guard at U.S. Trust in Manhattan. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Pastore enjoyed reading, solving crossword puzzles and visiting Atlantic City.” Section O, lot 42391, grave 1.

PASTORE, MICHAEL J. (1923-1998). Rank unknown, unit unknown, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, the 1925 New York State census reports that the one-year-old Pastore lived with his parents, Nicholas and Josephine, and his three siblings, Joseph (see), Louisa, and Gaetano.  His parents were from Italy and his father worked as a tailor. The family resided at 213 22nd Street, Brooklyn. The census of 1930 records that Pastore and his family moved to 156 21st Street in Brooklyn. With the addition of Celeste and Nicholas, Jr., the family grew to six children. His brother, Gaetano, was listed as Thomas. As per the 1940 federal census, the family’s residence was 595 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn. His parents had had two more children, Eugene and Anthony. The census notes that his father’s occupation was a tailor and three of his siblings were working – Joseph (see) in a bottle cap factory, Louisa (listed as Luisa) in a flower factory, and Thomas in an undesignated factory.

Michael Pastore registered for the draft on June 30, 1942, at the age of eighteen. His draft registration card details that he lived at the 3rd Avenue address, and he named his mother as the contact person. His employer was Paulson Electric Beauty Repair Company located at 48 Smith Street, Brooklyn. His registrar’s report describes him as white, 5′ 3½” tall, 135 pounds, with brown eyes and hair, and a dark complexion. It also notes he had a scar on his right leg. In an article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dated November 4, 1951, Pastore and other veterans were thanked for making an event for the Army & Navy Union a success. Section 106, lot 36368, grave 2.

PAYNE, JR., ROBERT W. (1927-1999). Sergeant, United States Army. Robert Payne was born in Brooklyn to Robert, a brokerage clerk, and Vera Payne. According to the 1930 census, the family included younger brother Jack. By the time of the 1940 census, the family had moved to West 107th Street in Manhattan.

Payne did not become eligible for the draft until June, 1945, by which time the war was almost at an end. His draft card describes him as 6′ 4″ tall, 180 pounds, with blue eyes and blond hair, living on Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn. He lists his grandmother, Mrs. Lavinia Payne of Dahill Road, as his contact, and his employer as Antin Press of 82 Beekman Street in Manhattan.

According to his daughter, Payne was in the very last draft of World War II. “While his troop transport was going through the Panama Canal it developed a serious leak, leaving the vessel not seaworthy. It was repaired on the Pacific side of the canal.” In August 1945, while the ship was being repaired, two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, ending the war.

“You don’t get sent home, though,” continued his daughter. “You serve out your time. Dad guarded Japanese prisoners of war in New Guinea. He finished his hitch in California, where he was on “The Rock” (Alcatraz) during the [May 1946] prison riot.”

On February 11, 1956, Robert married Anna Hughes of Brooklyn. Together they raised four children, and by the 1990s were living at the same Dahill Road address given for Robert Payne’s family on his draft card. He worked for 15 years at the Bayside Fuel Company. He is buried next to his wife, Anna. Section 168, lot 39160, grave 2.

Payne with his grandmother, Lavinia Payne.

PERGOLIZZI, JOHN (1912-1944). Private first class, 60th Engineer Combat Battalion, Company B, 35th Division, United States Army. John Pergolizzi was born in New York to John Pergolizzi, Sr., and Anna Pergolizzi, immigrants from Italy. By the time of the 1930 federal census, seventeen-year-old John was living with his parents, three sisters, and a brother in Brooklyn, and working as a helper in a machine shop. According to a 1948 notice in the Brooklyn Eagle, he graduated from Manual Training High School (now John Jay Educational Campus).

John married Helen E. Aanouse on July 12, 1934, according to the state marriage index. He registered for the draft on October 16, 1942. His draft card records Anchor Lumber, at 5th Avenue and 38th Street, as his employer.

Pergolizzi was inducted into the United States Army in February 1943, according to a 1948 notice in the Brooklyn Eagle. By the autumn of 194, he was overseas with Company B, 60th Engineer Combat Battalion, 35th Division, 3rd Army, in the European Theater. An engineer combat battalion is responsible for construction services, including laying and clearing mine fields, building pontoon bridges, and repairing roads, to support front line troops. It was also required to fight as infantry soldiers when necessary.

Pergolizzi’s platoon served in France as part of the Allied advance across Europe in 1944. On the night of October 10, his unit was north of the town of Ajoncourt, laying an anti-tank mine field, when an unexplained series of explosions blew up the mines in the field as well as the trucks carrying the mines. Forty-seven soldiers died; John Pergolizzi was among them.

On December 6, 1944, the battalion commander wrote to his father, describing the incident. He stated that John had been buried at a United States Army cemetery in Lorraine, France. There now seems to be no record of that burial, according to his granddaughter.

But on December 12, 1948, a notice in the Brooklyn Eagle announced a memorial service conducted by the local American Legion post for Pergolizzi, “one of the European war dead recently returned to Brooklyn,” as well as a requiem mass the next day at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, followed by private interment. Soon after, John’s father applied for a military veteran’s headstone for his son’s grave in Green-Wood. Section H, lot 37867, grave 1.

PHILLIPS, KIRIAKOS (1923-1999). Private, unit unknown, United States Army. As per the 1930 census, Phillips lived with his parents, James and Mary, and his older brother, Philip, at 1561 67th Street in Brooklyn. The census indicates that his parents and brother were born in Greece, and he was born in New York City. His father worked in the ice cream industry. In October 1933, his father applied for naturalization. The process took years, and his father was accorded “lawful entry for permanent residence” on September 29, 1937. According to his father’s United States petition of naturalization papers, the family resided at 1620 66th Street. The documentation, in contrast to the 1930 census, states that both his parents were born in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey, his older brother was born in Greece, and his father’s former name was Demetrios Phillipon. His parents were married in Turkey on November 4, 1919, and his father worked as a production manager. His family entered the United States either on the 18th or 19th of December in 1920 on the ship Leopoldina. The 1940 federal census notes that the seventeen-year-old Phillips and his family still resided at the 66th Street address. His father and brother were machinists in the dairy and ice cream industry and his mother worked as a finisher in the garment industry.

Phillip’s World War II registration card records that he was nineteen years old, resided at the 66th Street address and his father was named as next of kin. The card states that he was self-employed at J. Phillips and Sons, a tool and die maker located at 1558 63rd Street in Brooklyn. Due to its name, J. Phillips and Sons, it may have been the family business. The World War II Army enlistment records indicate that Phillips enlisted on December 24, 1943, had completed four years of high school, and was a machinist. There is no record of the unit he served in during the war, nor a discharge date from the Army. The only wartime record located was a World War II hospital admission card. Phillips was admitted in January 1944 with a diagnosis of “reaction to drugs, vaccines, serum; typhoid and paratyphoid vaccine.” There is no specific date for his discharge from the hospital other than the recorded year “1944.” According to his daughter, he married Mildred A. Trimboli on November 30, 1944. The couple had two children. Section 8, lot 44609, grave 73.

PLACIDO, STEVE (or STEFANO) (1926-2014). Seaman first class, United States Navy. Placido was born in New York to Stefano Placido, an Italian immigrant, and Rosalie Placido, an American of Italian descent. At the time of the 1930 census, his father Stefano, a cabinet maker, was 29 years old, his mother Rosalie 23, Steve (then known as Stefano) was 3 years and 9 months, and his younger brother Gastavo was just over 1 year old. The family lived in Brooklyn at 328 12th Street. As per the 1940 census, the family continued to live on 328 12th Street. Stefano Placido was then 39 and a cabinetmaker and his wife Rosalie was 33 and a dressmaker. They had three children: Stefano was 13, Gastavo 11, and a younger daughter named Mary was 9. Placido attended St. Saviour Elementary School and Manual Training High School (now John Jay Educational Campus) in Park Slope.

In 1943, Placido registered for the United States Navy at the age of 19. The registration card lists his first name as Steve, his employer’s name as Veteran and his father is listed as the person who will always know his address. That document indicates that he had a home telephone. His daughter, Susan Placido Lauser, reports that from 1944 to 1945, Placido served on board the USS Monterey (CVL-26), a small aircraft carrier, which made voyages to the Philippines including Leyte Gulf, Japan including Honshu and Okinawa. He is listed among the sailors aboard the USS Monterey on May 29, 1944, with his service having begun on May 14, and is also listed on the ship’s muster roll for March 31, 1945. There were many air strikes in Okinawa, Saeki, Kure, Tokuma, Misawa, Atsugi and Tokyo but the aircraft carrier was never captured. It was however, struck by Typhoon Cobra while in the Pacific and the ship almost sunk. Gerald R. Ford, the future 38th President of the United States, was also serving on the Monterey at this time. For his service, Placido was given the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the Victory Medal. Placido is listed on the muster roll for the USS Monterrey on April 1, 1946. In 1949, Placido married Helen L. Miscione and the couple had two children: Susan (born in 1954), and Steven (born in 1956). As per his daughter, he was the owner of West Potato, Inc. According to the United States Public Records, he lived in Brooklyn from 1984-1996 and again from 1998 to 2005, then in Parksville, New York, from 1996 to 1998, and in New York City from 2005 until his death. Section 39/40, lot 38325, grave 821

Steve Placido

POLESINELLI, FRANK JOSEPH (1919-2002). Corporal, Merrill’s Marauders, United States Army. Frank was born in Brooklyn to parents Barnard and Josephine Polesinelli. He attended Our Lady of Peace Grammar School through the eighth grade. The earliest record of the family is the 1940 census which describes Barnard Polesinelli as fifty-three and his wife Josephine Polesinelli as fifty. Frank was recorded as white, single and twenty-one years old and one of the eldest children, his sister Mildred also being twenty-one. He had four younger sisters: Rose who was nineteen, Mary who was eighteen, Antoinette who was eleven, and Lorion who was five. Frank had completed his school education till the 8th grade and worked as a peddler. The same 1940 census records indicate that he had worked thirty hours in the week prior, worked for himself and had an income of $182.

In 1942, Polesinelli enlisted in the army at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York Harbor. His enlistment record describes him as 5′ 8″ tall, 158 pounds and lists that he worked as a huckster and peddler. His registration card indicates he lived at 571 Union Street in Brooklyn, his mother was his emergency contact and his employer was Frank Cassillo at 63 Garfield Place in Brooklyn.

Polesinelli trained in Trinidad, Louisiana, and Georgia. As reported by his son, he volunteered for the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), also known as Merrill’s Marauders and named after Frank Merrill, the United States Army general who commanded the unit in the World War II’s Burma Campaign. When he volunteered, he did not know what his mission would be; volunteers were told that they would receive a special and dangerous assignment. Merrill’s Marauders was a special operations force active between 1943 and 1944 which fought in the China-Burma-India Theater. The Marauders advanced 750 miles in just over five months, carrying their equipment on their backs or on mules, in some of the harshest jungle terrain in the world. This was farther than any other United States Army advanced in World War II, despite hunger and disease. These men were considered expendable; they were not expected to survive. Polesinelli fought battles near Walawbum (February 24 through March 7, 1944) and Shaduzup (March 12 through April 25, 1944) as reported by his son. The special force also fought in Inkangahtawng, Nhpum Ga, and Myitkyina. During the siege of Nhpum Ga beginning on April 9, 1944, the 3rd Battalion broke through the enemy line. Polesnelli’s son reports that at Nhpum Ga, Burma (now Myanmar), his father was ill with amebic dysentery and was evacuated by small plane. The Marauders battled the Japanese Army on thirty-two separate occasions, including two battles for which the unit was not equipped or intended to take part.

For their service in Burma, the Marauders each received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star, and they were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation). In 2020, the Merrill’s Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act became law. It awarded the highest token of gratitude for the service, and sacrifice, of the men of that unit. In 1945, Polesinelli was discharged and he retired as corporal. He was married to Mary Jean; the couple had a son and a daughter. He was self-employed in the fruit and vegetable business.  His death was attributed to natural causes. Section 5, lot 39944, grave 1.

Merrill’s Marauders badge.
Mary Jean and Frank Polesinelli.

PONZI, EMIDIO LAWRENCE (1925-2018). Corporal, 1st Division, 6th Regiment, United States Marines. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Park Slope, Emidio was the second child of Vincent and Isabel Ponzi. Vincent Ponzi was an Italian immigrant and a street railway worker; his wife, Isabel, was born in New York. As per the 1940 census, the family lived at 187 8th Street in Brooklyn. At the time, Emidio had an older sister named Helen who was eighteen and he himself was fifteen years old and had completed his third year of high school.

In 1943, at the age of eighteen, Ponzi graduated from what was then Manual Training High School (now known as John Jay Educational Campus) in Brooklyn and enlisted in the Marines. His registration card listed his mother as his next of kin and his employer as N.W Gossard at 315 4th Avenue in New York City. He received training at the 4th Recruit Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island in South Carolina, and began his service as private, fighting in the Pacific Theatre at the Battle of Okinawa with the 6th Marine Division. By 1946, after three years of service, Ponzi had become a corporal.

In 1951, Ponzi joined the New York City Police Department where he served for thirty-six years and retired as detective sergeant in the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad. He was one of the detectives on the Brooklyn South Task Force investigating the sniper shootings in southern Bensonhurst in 1981. In a May 26 Daily News report on the shooting investigation, he was quoted as saying that it appeared it was “random shootings by an unknown sniper firing from an altitude.”

Ponzi and his wife, Edith, had three children: Vincent, Isabel, and Joseph. After his retirement in 1987, the couple moved to Palm Harbor in Florida where they lived for many years. He is said to have made a lot of friends and was described as “a voracious reader.”

In 2015, Ponzi’s wife Edith passed away and Ponzi died three years later at the age of ninety-three. He was survived by his three children; his grandchildren Janine, Christine, Philip, Laura, and Jennifer and eight great grandchildren. One of his dearest childhood friends described him as a great man and friend, respected by all, especially his peers on the job and in life. Ponzi’s funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Pity Roman Catholic Church in Staten Island. Section 177, lot 40415, grave 1.

Ponzi in uniform, stateside.
Ponzi’s badges.
Ponzi and his granddaughter.

REINERTSEN, ARNOLD CARL (1921-1991). Corporal (T-5), 116th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, United States Army. Reinertsen was born in Brooklyn. Records from the 1925 New York State census report that he resided at 4619 5th Avenue with his parents, Nils Gabriel and Anna Marie, an older brother, Reinert, his uncle and cousin, Jack Brown and Jus Abrams, a lodger, Harry Simon, and a roomer, Hilmer Rykipnes. Both parents were born in Norway. Reinertsen’s first name and middle initial are recorded as Carl A. The 1930 federal census states that his family resided at 738 59th Street and his father was a yacht steward. There were no census listings for his uncle, cousin, the lodger, and the roomer. As in the 1925 census, his first name is recorded as Carl. However, he printed and signed his World War II draft card as Arnold Carl Reinertsen. His residence was 449 61st Street, and his mother, residing at that address, was listed as the contact person.  He worked as a clerk for The New York Times, located at 1475 Broadway in Manhattan. The registrar’s report, dated February 15, 1942, notes that he was 6′ tall, weighed 188 pounds, had hazel eyes and blonde hair, a light complexion, with a scar behind his right ear.

Reinertsen’s World War II Army enlistment record states that he was single, had completed three years of high school, and was skilled in general woodworking. His enlistment date was March 6, 1943. The transcription erroneously describes him as 7 ‘3″ tall with a weight of 111 pounds. As per his daughter, he served with the 116th Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA), was stationed in France, Germany and Belgium, and engaged in battles in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France, and the Rhineland. According to the Battle of the Bulge Association, the 116th AAA Gun Battalion engaged in various heroic activities from June 6, 1944, to December 31, 1944. Since Reinertsen served in this battalion, he may have engaged in the following assignments that it received: June 6, 1944 – defend beach installations on Utah Beach, as a part of the Normandy invasion on D-Day; July 12 to August 4, 1944 – ordered to abandon its antiaircraft mission and assume a tank destroyer role in the Chaumont area; August 6, 1944 – deployed to Mayenne to set up an antiaircraft defense, accomplished its goal, received an emergency request from the 16th Infantry Division to engage in a field artillery mission against the enemy, and saved the 16th Infantry from annihilation; August 25, 1944 – ordered to leave the Mayenne area, arrived in the Paris area two days later, and set up AAA defenses in Paris and at the bridges over the Seine River; September 8, 1944 –moved to Sedan, France, set up AAA defense on the bridges over the Meuse River, but did not engage in any action; September 29 to October 12, 1944 –called upon to protect the locks of the Albert Canal and bridges over the Maas River in Maastrict, Holland; October 12, 1944 –ordered to protect the VII Corps Artillery in Aachen, Germany, and was the first gun battalion to fire on German soil; and December 16, 1944 –continued to support the VII Corps Artillery between Stolberg, Germany and the front lines near the Roer (or Rur) River. Throughout its deployment, the 116th is credited with destroying 32 enemy aircraft.

Reinertsen’s daughter relates that although he was engaged in combat, his letters “…somehow always focused on the more uplifting and positive stories—of staying with a poor family in France and helping their daughter get a piano, etc. In his letters he tried to only convey positive stories to his mother, for example…telling her about the British family in the United Kingdom that took them in for Thanksgiving even though they didn’t have much.” In a letter to his mother, dated December 22, 1943, Reinertsen wrote:

Dear Mom,

Just another letter to let you know I’m still safe and sound, and to ease any worries you might have. The weather is a little snappy, but you know Mom that’s the way we like it around Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, it’s only a few days off. We expect to have some sort of a party, you know Mom, to sort of cheer the boys up and bring them closer to home. Quite a few of my buddies have been invited to some of the homes about here for dinner and such. The people are really trying to be nice to us.

I received a letter from you and Marion yesterday. It sure was swell to hear from home. It sure was swell to hear that Rolf is still working hard and feeling so well. I was surprised to find that Ray is still home. He must know what he’s going to do by now. Maybe after Christmas he’ll do what’s right. Well Mom the lights are going out soon, and there’s no more room so—good night – till tomorrow.

Your Loving Son

Carl

As per his enlisted records and report of separation, Reinertsen was honorably discharged on October 29, 1945. Reinersten’s daughter noted that her father achieved the rank of corporal (T-5), and that he was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with a Bronze Arrowhead and the Good Conduct Medal. She also shared that although he left Alexander Hamilton High School after the eleventh grade, he earned his high school equivalency after the war. Her father’s primary place of employment after the war was Addressograph Multigraph Corporation in New York, where he worked for 25 to 30 years. Reinertsen married Ida Cecilia Agoglia in 1953 and the couple had two sons and two daughters. According to his daughter, “He was a good and loving father and son.” According to the California death index, he was residing in San Dimas, a suburb of Los Angeles County, at the time of his death. Section 41, lot 36080, grave B.

Reinertsen in field.
Reinertsen at front.
Reinertsen with daughter JoAnn.

RICCIARDI, ANTHONY (1915-1974). Corporal, 158th Infantry Regiment, United States Army. According to the New York City birth index, Ricciardi was born in Brooklyn. Records from the 1920 federal census report that he resided at 418 Lake Street with his parents, Joseph and Concetta. His father immigrated from Italy in 1897, and his mother, also from Italy, immigrated in 1900. His father worked as a shoemaker in a factory. His parents had eight children: Amadeo, Frank, Angelo, Gerard, Carmine, Rocco, Anthony, and Philomena. The 1930 census notes that the family still resided at the Lake Street address. Ricciardi’s father had passed away and his mother was head of household with five children still living with her. His oldest brother, Amadeo, married with a daughter, is documented as the head of a separate household at the same address. Ricciardi’s first name is recorded as Antonio. The 1940 census notes that the twenty-four-year-old Ricciardi was a shoemaker, and still resided on Lake Street with his sister, Philomena, and two brothers. His mother had passed away. The census documents his two brothers, Amadeo and Frank, as separate heads of household.

Ricciardi’s World War II draft card records his residence on Lake Street, his age as twenty-four, and his brother, Frank, as the contact person. He worked at Lippert Brothers Company at 1 Main Street, Brooklyn. The registrar’s report, dated October 16, 1940, notes that he was 5′ 2″ tall, weighed 125 pounds, had gray eyes and brown hair, and a light complexion. The Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem) Death File documents his enlistment date as September 5, 1941. As per his son, he served in the 158th Infantry Regiment, engaged in action in the Philippines on the Bicol Peninsula in southern Luzon and Lingayen Gulf, and “was very proud to have been a Bushmaster.” Those serving in the 158th were known as “Bushmasters.” The 158th Infantry Regiment has a long history. It was formed as the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry and engaged in the Indian Wars and the Mexican Expedition.  On August 5, 1917, the 158th was drafted into federal service.  It was deployed during World War I, World War II, and the war in Afghanistan.

On December 7, 1941, three months after Ricciardi’s enlistment, Pearl Harbor was attacked. The 158th Regiment soon was deployed to Panama to secure the canal and train in jungle warfare. According to the article, “Bushmasters Always Stand Tall,” on the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs website, by Specialist Wesley Parrell, “Arriving in Panama on January 2, 1942, the soldiers of the 158th began an intense training program in the jungles, which were better suited for insects and reptiles than they were for men. For weeks on end, the day’s long rains soaked the soldiers as they hacked through the thick vegetation with machetes, callusing their hands. Frequent dealings with the deadly snakes of the jungle, led to the unit adopting the name “Bushmasters” after the venomous pit vipers found in Central America.” The bushmaster snake became the distinguishing insignia on the shoulder patch of the 158th Regiment. The fighting skills of the “Bushmasters” were so renowned that General Douglas MacArthur personally selected and requested they be sent to his command in the Southwest Pacific Theatre. MacArthur lauded the Bushmasters: “No greater fighting combat team has ever deployed for battle.”

According to the Fort Tuthill Military Museum, the 158th Regiment engaged in major campaigns from December 1944 through May 1945. Since Ricciardi served in this regiment from September 1941 to October 1945, he likely engaged in the following assignments: December 1944 – Arawe, New Britain Island; May 1944 – Wakde Island-Sarmi New Guineas; July 1944 – amphibious assault Noemfoor Island, New Guinea; January 1945 – amphibious assault Lingayan in the Philippine Islands; March 1945 – Batangas Province, Southern Luzon, Philippine Islands; April 1945 – amphibious assaults at Legaspi Southern Luzon, Philippine Islands and Bacon, Sorsogen Province Philippine Islands; May 1945 – Mt. Isarog Bicol Peninsula, Philippine Islands.

The 158th Infantry Regiment engaged in combat zones longer than any National Guard unit in all wars, was the first army unit trained in jungle warfare, was the regiment that traveled furthest in their 5 ½ years of active duty, more than any Army unit in any war, and was the first army unit to be sent overseas after Pearl Harbor.

In 1987, Bushmasters: America’s Jungle of World War II, by Anthony Arthur was published. This book not only details the history of the 158th Infantry Regiment, but also focuses on the personalities of some of the officers and enlisted men. Ricciardi is memorialized in this book in the recounting of an event involving the twenty-seven-year-old Ricciardi who took responsibility for safeguarding a seventeen-year-old fellow soldier, Jimmy Boyer, on the beach at Arawe.

As per the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, Ricciardi was discharged on October 1, 1945. Little is known of his life after the war. His last residence was in Brooklyn. According to the obituary in the New York Daily News, dated April 9, 1974, he was survived by his wife, Louise, and his two children, Anita Murphy and Anthony Jr. Section 137, lot 39369, grave 2.

Insignia of Bushmasters.
Diane and Anthony Ricciardi in 1966.
Ricciardi in 1970s.

 

SABATINO (or SABATINE), DOMINICK (1919-2011). Private first class, Infantry, United States Army.  According to the 1920 census, Dominick’s father, Alfred, was born in Italy, immigrated to the United States in 1911, and was a private chauffeur. His mother, Mary, was born in Manhattan. The couple’s two children, Mary and Dominick, were born in New York City. The 1930 census records that the family resided on West 7th Street in Brooklyn and his father was taxicab chauffeur. The family had grown to five children with the births of his brother, Frank, and sisters, Anna and Rose. As per the 1940 census, the family’s residence was 187 Avenue U in Brooklyn. The census records that this residence was a two-family home where the eldest daughter and her husband lived in one section and the rest of the Sabatino family, consisting of the parents and younger children, lived in another section.  His father was the owner of an undertaker business and the twenty-one-year-old Sabatino worked as a bookbinder.

Sabatino’s New York National Guard Service Card records that he enlisted on April 12, 1937, served in the 244th Coast Artillery, and was honorably discharged on April 11, 1940. His last name is documented, incorrectly, as “Sabatine,” and his date of birth is mistakenly recorded as June 23, 1918; the United States Social Security Death Index lists his birth date as June 28, 1919. According to his enlistment record for World War II, he enlisted on September 16, 1940, was 5′ 6″ and weighed 138 pounds. The record also documents that he completed two years of high school and his civil occupations were in laundering, cleaning, dyeing, and pressing apparel. The branch he was assigned was transcribed as Coast Artillery Corps or Army Mine Planter Service. His date of birth is recorded as 1918 and his last name as “Sabatine.” According to his daughter-in-law, Sabatino met his future wife, Cottie “Evelyn” Hodges, in Virginia Beach while he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Virginia. As per their certificate of marriage, they married on July 3, 1941. This document also records his last name as “Sabatine.” His draft card indicates that his address was 323 Avenue U, Brooklyn, he was 26 years old, and his mother was his contact person. His birthdate is recorded as June 23, 1919, and his last name is spelled “Sabatine.” The registrar’s report, dated August 18, 1945, documents him as 5′ 7″ tall, 155 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, and sallow complexion.

Little is known about his military service other than he served in the infantry and was stationed at Fort Pendleton. According to his obituary in the Daily News, dated August 2, 2011, he served as lieutenant governor of the Kiwanis and as exalted ruler of the Order of Elks. His wife predeceased him, and the couple had one son, Donald. As per his family, he was known as “Danny,” resided at 323 Avenue U in Brooklyn for over seventy years, and owned the Sabatino Funeral Home, located at the same address, for over 45 years.  Section 33, lot 45115, grave 2.

Dominick Sabatino with wife and family.
Sabatino, left, at Kiwanis Club.
Sabatino Funeral Home on Avenue U in Brooklyn.

SALAZAR, JOSEPH (or GIUSEPPE) (1920-1994). Corporal, 115th Antiaircraft Artillery, D Battery, United States Army. According to the New York City birth index, Salazar was born in Manhattan and his first name is recorded as “Giuseppe.” The 1930 census documents that his family resided on 86th Street in Brooklyn. His father, Casamero, was born in Italy and was a laborer in the furniture business. His mother, Mary, was also born in Italy. Salazar had one younger brother, Dominick, and two younger sisters, Rose and Madeline, all born in Manhattan. The 1940 census records that the family was residing on Bay 26th Street in Brooklyn. His father’s occupation was watchman with a salary of $1,300. Both Salazar and his brother are listed as electricians, each with a salary of $250.   The Brooklyn marriage license record notes that Salazar married Sophie Rosalie Schwartz on April 3, 1941. The couple had two daughters, Marie and Linda.

Salazar’s World War II draft card states that he was 21 years old and that his father was his contact person. He was employed as a bit gauger for R. Hoe Company located at 138th Street and Cypress Avenue in the Bronx. His World War II Army enlistment record, dated March 26, 1943, states that he was married, had completed three years of high school, and was a chauffeur and “driver of bus, taxi, truck and tractor.”  This record erroneously reports his height as 22 and weight as 093. As per his daughter, he served with the 115th Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA), D Battery, under the 3rd army (General George Patton’s command). He enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of corporal during his service. He took part in the D-Day Invasion on June 6, 1944 and fought in France at the Battle of the Bulge from December 16, 1944 through January 1, 1945. Salazar’s daughter, Linda, recalls, “He drove a truck and jeep named Sophie after my mother. He was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was ordered by his commanding officer to advance down a road that had not yet been cleared. He advanced, but he drove backwards, and a mine exploded. He was wounded in his leg. He was so eager to leave the service, he left the hospital immediately after returning to the United States, not even waiting for his wounds to heal. There was no report done for his Purple Heart. He introduced both my uncles – one from the same regiment and a friend from the Navy – to his sisters and they were married.” After the war, Salazar owned and drove a taxi for over forty years. Section 24, lot 4586.

Salazar with wife, Sophie.
Salazar, later in life.
Joseph and Sophie Salazar.

SARUNICH, GEORGE (1921-2015). Motor machinist’s mate first class, Torpedo Boat Squadron 4, United States Navy. Sarunich was born in Brooklyn as recorded in that borough’s birth index. As per the 1930 census, Sarunich lived with his parents, Marijam and Mary, and his older siblings, Nicholas and Helen, at 214 32nd Street in Brooklyn. That census indicates that his father was born in Dalmatia, Austria, and his mother was born in Poland; other documents give different birthplaces for his parents. His father worked as a longshoreman. The New York City death certificate index reports that on July 27, 1933, his brother Nicholas passed away at the age of thirteen due to a head injury. That index states that his mother was born in Austria. The 1940 census notes that the nineteen-year-old Sarunich and his family resided on 3rd Avenue, and that Sarunich had completed four years of high school. His father’s birthplace is listed as Yugoslavia.

Sarunich’s World War II registration card records that he was twenty-one years old, resided at 5013 3rd Avenue and his mother was named as next of kin. He worked at the Bush Terminal Buildings, Numbers 7 and 8, on 34th Street and 3rd Avenue. According to the muster roll of the crew for the USS Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 26, Sarunich enlisted in the Navy on March 11, 1942. His rank was motor machinist’s mate 2nd class and some of his responsibilities may have been operating and maintaining ship propulsion machinery, auxiliary equipment and outside machinery. He served with this squadron from March 1943 to April 1945 and also served with another torpedo boat squadron. The National Parks Service describes PT boats as “small, fast, and expendable vessels for short range oceanic scouting, armed with torpedoes and machine guns for cutting enemy supply lines and harassing enemy forces. Forty-three PT squadrons, each with 12 boats were formed during World War II by the U. S. Navy.” Torpedo Boat Squadron 26 was assigned to the Hawaiian Sea Frontier and did not see any action. From May 1945 to November 1945, Sarunich was assigned to Torpedo Boat Squadron 4. According to the Report of Changes, dated May 31, 1945, he had been promoted to motor machinist’s mate 1st class. This squadron trained others in Rhode Island. There is no record of Sarunich’s discharge date. After the war, he married Louise (Luisa) Pastore on March 29, 1945, and the couple had two children. He died in Brooklyn. Section 8, lot 44609, grave 259.

SAWAYA, GEORGE A. (1910-1972) Petty officer 3rd class, United States Navy. George Sawaya was born in the United States to Albert and Mary, immigrants from Turkey. According to the 1915 New York State census, the family (including older brother, Nicholas and younger brother, James) was living in Olean, New York, in Cattaraugus County. Albert Sawaya was employed by the Stillman Oil Refinery.

By the 1920 federal census, however, the three brothers were listed as “inmates” at the Home for the Friendless, in the Bronx. The listing notes that their parents’ original language was Albanian. It’s not clear what happened to his father or how the brothers came to live at the Home, but in 1923 their mother married again, to George Jebaily, the proprietor of a kimono manufacturing company, who may have come to the United States from Syria. By the time of the 1930 federal census, George and his brothers, having long since left the Home, were living with their mother and stepfather in Brooklyn, along with two young half-sisters. George and his older brother were working for their stepfather as cost clerks.

According to the 1940 census, 29-year-old George Sawaya was living on 79th Street in Brooklyn with his wife, Esther (née Dahir), and working as a pattern-maker in the needlework industry (his stepfather’s business). Although the census reported that his education ended after the eighth grade, his family adds that George had earned his high school diploma around 1930 by attending night classes at Bay Ridge High School.

In October 1940, just a week short of his 30th birthday, Sawaya registered for the draft. (According to the Selective Training and Service Act of September, 1940, all men between the ages of 21 and 35 were required to register.) However, he wasn’t inducted into the Navy until October 1943. According to his family, he was at sea from June 1944 until the end of the war, in August 1945.

Sawaya served on the USS Bataan, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Pacific, during the “island-hopping” campaign that wrested control of Japanese air bases from the enemy and brought United States forces within bombing range of Japan. In the spring of 1945, Bataan, with Sawaya aboard, participated in the Battle of Okinawa, a nearly three-month-long action, perhaps the costliest operation of the entire war in terms of lives lost. The war ended some weeks later, after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to the Japanese surrender.

Sawaya mustered out of the Navy on November 1, 1945, and resumed civilian life with his wife and two children, working in garment-making. He died of leukemia at age 61, according to his granddaughter, who added that his wartime exposure to toxic chemicals may have played a role in his death.  Section 128, lot 364, grave 1.

Esther and George Sawaya with their niece.
Sawaya is at right.
Sawaya in 1936.
Sawaya in late 1960s.

SAYEGH, GEORGE (1918-1982). Sergeant, 592nd Army Air Force Base, Army Air Corps, United States Army. According to the 1925 New York State census, Sayegh lived with his parents, Bashir and Ela, his older brother, Elia, and his younger siblings, Albert and Frances, at 197 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The census indicates that his parents were born in Syria, his older brother in Argentina, and he and his other siblings in the United States. His father, whose first name was erroneously spelled as “Beashir,” worked as a silk weaver. Also residing at the address was the Shuda family, namely, Habbib and Regina with their two sons and two daughters. The 1940 federal census notes that the twenty-one-year-old Sayegh resided at 200 Prospect Park West with his father, mother, and three younger siblings – Albert, Agnes, and Edward. His brother, Elia, and sister, Frances, are not included in that report. In the transcription, his father’s first name is spelled “Baker,” and his mother is referred to as “Helen.”

By 1939, Sayegh had completed the seventh grade, was a truck driver, and earned $360 for 36 weeks of work. The 1940 census indicates that Sayegh was born in Rhode Island. However, Sayegh’s World War II draft card documents that he lived at 1218 8th Avenue in Brooklyn, his place of birth was Summit, New Jersey, and his next of kin was his mother. He may have been self-employed or owned his own business as he listed himself as his employer with the business located at 2 West 28th Street in Manhattan. His registrar’s report, dated October 16, 1940, describes him as 5′ 2″ tall, 190 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a light complexion.

The World War II Army enlistment records indicate that Sayegh enlisted on March 23, 1943, with the rank of private.  His civil occupation is recorded as “semi-skilled chauffeur and driver, bus taxi, truck, and tractor.” His height and weight are inaccurately transcribed at 45” tall and 74 pounds. According to the World War II hospital admission card files, he was admitted to an army hospital during January 1944 for “pilonidal cyst or sinus.” There is no specific discharge date other than the recorded year of “1944.”

As per his daughter, Mary Ann, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, served in the 592nd Army Air Force Base Unit, and was stationed in England and Morocco, North Africa. His daughter shared that he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, and the American Theater Ribbon. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem) Death File documents his discharge date as November 28, 1945.

The New York City marriage license index records that Sayegh and his future wife, Margaret Adele Sabbagh, applied for a marriage license on January 31, 1948.  According to his daughter, they were married on January 31, 1948, and had five children. In his civilian life, Sayegh owned a trucking company for over thirty-five years. Section N, lot 43163, grave 1.

George and Margaret Sayegh

SCHWER, HOWARD JULIUS (1913-1991). Corporal, United States Army. Schwer was born in Brooklyn and is the older brother of Roy (see). The 1920 census reports that he lived with his parents and brother on 10th Street in Brooklyn; his father, a German immigrant, became a naturalized citizen in 1898, five years after his arrival in the United States and worked as a plumbing contractor. The 1930 census reports that the family lived on 82nd Street in Brooklyn. On June 27, 1930, Schwer’s graduation from Manual Training (now John Jay) High School was featured in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle; he was awarded the medal for perfect attendance and punctuality. The 1940 census shows that the family lived at 475 82nd Street in Brooklyn, had a lodger and that Howard was a law clerk.

As per his draft registration card, he lived at 475 82nd Street, listed his mother as next of kin and worked for a law firm on 17th Street in Brooklyn. His registrar’s report indicates that he was 5′ 10½” tall and weighed 165 pounds, with blue eyes, blonde hair and a light complexion. His World War II enlistment record shows that he enlisted as a private at New York City on February 12, 1943. He was a salesperson who had completed four years of college, was white and single. Howard Schwer’s military service is confirmed by an article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on March 9, 1944. That article notes that Corporal Howard Schwer of 575 82nd Street was at Camp Lee, Virginia, after a furlough and was a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal; the address noted is incorrect in that the family lived at 475 82nd Street. That same article notes that Roy Schwer, a private first class, was stationed in England, also held the Good Conduct Medal and was the recipient of the European Campaign Ribbon.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on April 19, 1948, that Englebert Schwer, Roy’s father, died and would be interred at Green-Wood; that same paper reported on March 5, 1950, that Julia, Roy’s mother, died suddenly; she is interred with her husband. According his brother’s marriage announcement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on May 13, 1951, which incorrectly identified the groom as Roy Howard Schwer, Howard Schwer was the best man. As per his death certificate, he was married to Marci (Marcia), worked as a manager at Tiffany & Company, was a college graduate, and lived at 476 Lane B Comanche in Stratford, Connecticut. He is buried with his parents, wife, brother and sister-in-law. Section 178, lot 3789, grave 1.

SCHWER, ROY IRVING (1918-2006). Private first class, United States Army. A Brooklynite by birth, Roy Schwer was the younger brother of Howard (see). At the time of the 1920 census, Roy lived with his parents and brother on 10th Street in Brooklyn; his father, a German immigrant, became a naturalized citizen in 1898, five years after his arrival in the United States and worked as a plumbing contractor. The 1930 census reports that the family lived on 82nd Street in Brooklyn and that their neighbors were the Larsens, the family of Roy’s future wife, Florence.

On January 30, 1937, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle featured an article on Roy’s graduation from Manual Training (now John Jay) High School. That article focused on the speech given to the graduates by William Slater, the headmaster of Adelphi Academy, who had just returned from Europe where he had broadcast the Olympic games in Berlin and where he had visited many schools. Slater noted that enrollment in German universities had declined 50 percent and that American students should take a more active interest in politics. Slater told the graduates, “It is not how much you get out of the country that counts, it’s how much you give it.” The family lived at 475 82nd Street when the 1940 census was taken and a lodger lived with the Schwers.

At the time he filed his draft registration card, Roy lived at 475 82nd Street in Brooklyn, had a home telephone, listed his mother, Julia, with whom he lived, as his next of kin and worked for the Brooklyn Trust Company at 7428 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. His registrar’s report states that he was white, stood 6′ tall, weighed 165 pounds and had blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion.

He enlisted as a private at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, on February 6, 1942. As per his World War II enlistment record, he was single, a U. S. citizen, had completed four years of high school, worked as a clerk in a financial institution, was 5′ 10″ tall and weighed 155 pounds, and was assigned to the Army. His enlistment was for the duration of the war plus another six months subject to the discretion of the President. An article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on March 9, 1944, notes that his brother, Corporal Howard Schwer of 575 82nd Street, was at Camp Lee, Virginia, after a furlough and was a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal; the address noted is incorrect in that the family lived at 475 82nd Street. That same article notes that Roy Schwer, a private first class, was stationed in England, and held the Good Conduct Medal and the European Campaign Ribbon. As per Roy’s engagement and marriage announcements in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, he served overseas for three years with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He was discharged on October 20, 1945.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on April 19, 1948, that Englebert Schwer, Roy’s father, died and would be interred at Green-Wood; that same paper reported on March 5, 1950, that Julia, Roy’s mother, died suddenly; she is interred with her husband. On May 21, 1950, Roy became engaged to Florence Larsen; their engagement was announced in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Ms. Larsen, a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, attended Pratt Institute and was active in Girl Scouts. The engagement announcement confirms Roy Schwer’s World War II service and his three years with the Army Corps of Engineers. Schwer and Ms. Larsen obtained a marriage license in Brooklyn on April 14, 1951; they married on May 12 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Brooklyn. According to their marriage announcement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on May 13, 1951, which incorrectly identified the groom as Roy Howard Schwer, the reception was held at the Larsen home and Howard Schwer was the best man. That article, which confirms Roy’s World War II service in Europe, reports that the bride was a graduate of the Pratt Institute of Home Economics and the groom was a graduate of Cooper Union.

In 1981, he lived at 475 82nd Street, his childhood home. Phone records from 1993-2002 show that he still lived at that address. He last lived in Brooklyn, presumably at that same residence. Section 178, lot 37989, grave 3.

SELLERS, JAMES (1921-1979). Machinist’s mate, first class petty officer, United States Navy. According to the 1925 New York State census, James lived with his parents, Henry and Emma, and three older siblings, Thomas, Donald, and Genevieve, at 4712 New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn. His father worked as an auto mechanic.  The 1930 census records the family’s address as 861 48th Street, Brooklyn. His father was superintendent of an apartment building. As per his son, Sellers graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. The 1940 census notes that Sellers lived at 725 53rd Street with his parents and older brother, Donald. James was nineteen years old and attended New York University. According to the New York Marriage License Bureau, he and his future wife, Catherine (Kay) Schmielan, applied for a license on January 14, 1943, and were married on January 17, 1943. His World War II draft card indicates that he was twenty-four years old and lived with his wife at 828 71st Street. His wife is listed as next of kin and no employer is identified. The registrar’s report, dated November 5, 1945, describes him as 5′ 10″ tall, 140 pounds, with brown eyes, blond hair, and a ruddy complexion.

During his wartime service, Sellers was assigned to three ships: the USS Omaha, the USS New Jersey, and the USS Naifeh. His United States Navy muster roll states that he began his tour of duty on the USS Omaha on March 20, 1941. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command website, this light cruiser was docked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for repairs from May 17, 1941, through June 25, 1941. The Omaha departed June 30, 1941, to conduct neutrality patrols between the Brazilian ports of Recife and Ascension Island. The main duty of her crewmembers was to “intercept, board, and inspect vessels to enforce a blockade against German trade in the region.” On November 6, 1941, the Omaha and the destroyer Somers captured the 5,098-ton German blockade runner, Odenwald, off the Brazilian coast. On May 23, 1943, Sellers was transferred to the newly commissioned battleship, USS New Jersey. The crew received its training in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean Seas. On January 7, 1944, the USS New Jersey passed through the Panama Canal on its way to Funafuti, Ellice Islands. Crewmembers took part in battles at the Marshall Islands, Majuro, New Guinea (supporting General Douglas MacArthur’s landings), the Marianas, and the Battle of the Philippine Seas (June 1944). Sellers was reassigned to the USS Naifeh, a destroyer escort, on July 4, 1944. He may have been onboard when the Naifeh escorted convoys to Europe and North Africa. He remained on this ship until his discharge on October 31, 1945.

Sellers received three promotions throughout his wartime enlistment. According to his Report of Changes, Sellers earned three promotions. Starting as a fire controlman, petty officer 3rd class, he was promoted to fire controlman, petty officer 2nd class on May 1, 1942. Fire controlmen operate, repair and trouble-shoot weapon systems on ships. On November 1, 1942, he was promoted to machinist’s mate, petty officer 2nd class, and then earned his final promotion to machinist’s mate, petty officer 1st class on September 1, 1943.

As per the Department of Veterans Affairs Death Files, Sellers re-enlisted in the Navy on October 4, 1947. He sustained an injury on the USS Enterprise in 1952. He wrote the following story of the injury he sustained and his recuperation:

On March 28, 1952, I was a sailor stationed in Bayonne, New Jersey and sent to report to the Naval ship, Enterprise, an aircraft carrier which was one of the best during World War II. The ship had been in “moth balls” for a number of years and rotting in the harbor. Upon my arrival, my superior officer gave me orders to open up the covers that seal the gas tanks. I had insisted that my men not go down to the bottom of the tanks because of the possibility of escaping gases. When all the hatches were open, I told them just to look down to see if they detected any gas. Neither of us could and it appeared as if everything was alright. I, as senior man, stayed back to make sure everything was okay and with my men already up the ladder and away from the hole, I glanced down and noticed two men at the bottom of the tank. It seemed as if they were trying to clean the rust down there. I shouted to them but they could not hear me. I felt something was wrong and immediately sounded the alarm and went down to them. They were unconscious when I reached them but I tried to carry one on my shoulder. His weight shifted knocking me off the ladder and pinning me down with the other two men in the hole. The navy yard workers responded quickly, and the Naval Chief Petty Officer went down to try and revive us. I had only a few seconds of life left. A rope was tied around me and I was hauled up and taken by ambulance to St. Albans Naval Hospital. I regained consciousness the following day, wondering what had happened. I was told at this time, I should have received last rites, as I was that close to death.

During this time, my wife received a telegram stating that I had been injured. However, when she received the telegram, I had no idea she was having her share of misery. She almost died due to a kidney ailment requiring her immediate entry into the hospital as her system was filling with fluid, slowly reaching her heart. It took quite a bit of medical care to make her well. That put the two of us in the same hospital at the same time…

The actual impact of my accident did not take effect until about 9 or 10 days later. One day when I was visiting the chaplain, I became dizzy and nauseous and finally collapsed. When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a ward of a hospital. I thought I had just fainted until someone said I was in Philadelphia Mental Hospital. I remember being taken into a room where there was a group of doctors and hearing one doctor, dressed in civilian clothes, saying that it might be a year of two before I would even speak again. I could hear what he was saying but his words sounded ridiculous.

When my father came to visit me I did not know who he was. The only thing I recognized was a watch I had given him years ago.

I was put into a closed ward in a “quiet” room because I was not able to eat. Everything seemed so hazy and far away. My loss of appetite caused me to dwindle down to 95 pounds. Only after some time of drinking milk and other liquids did I regain my strength and most of my weight. It seemed as if I had been in that room for months when in fact it was only a week or so. My coordination was extremely poor; I never felt so helpless and frustrated. The time spent in that room was a nightmare. It was very dark and dreary and always felt musty and cold. There was no bed, just a mattress which always made you seem so alone. When a nurse and corpsman came to feed me, I was so hungry and thirsty, I would slop it all over myself and the corpsman. I could not talk but my gestures were saying I was sorry for messing his uniform. They would nod and leave. After a while, I would feel the need to relieve myself and would knock at the door for attention but being in a place where there were some severe cases and a shortage of help, was ignored and as a result would end up going on the mattress.

A few days later, I was taken out of this room and placed in a ward with other patients… However, there were nights when some of the other patients were quite sick and it was frightful to see and hear what was going on. I remember one night the patient alongside of me woke up screaming and fighting. Then the nurse and the corpsman would drag and pull him out of bed and take him away. It seemed as if they were tormenting the poor fellow and I wondered if I would be next. I was afraid many times during battles of World War II and Korea but seeing and listening to the sick men in the ward was worse than anything I had ever seen or been in…

After about 6 weeks in the closed ward, my family was allowed to visit me which improved my condition enormously…I discovered though that as a result of my injury, I was not able to function or formulate ideas as well as before…It was only through rigid self-discipline and hard work that I was able to regain my speech and began to feel like a human being again…

During the following month (July 1952) I was permitted to go home for a month of convalescence. When I returned to the hospital, my doctor suggested that it would be a good idea if I were assigned to do some clerical work in the hospital…

Shortly thereafter, I was called in to the Physical Evaluation Board. Here it would be decided if I would be returned to active duty or not… The Board which consisted of ten Naval officers both medical and line, reviewed my entire case. Their findings were that I was unfit to perform my duties due to post-traumatic personality stemming from brain damage due to anoxia or lack of oxygen…

Although I had to leave the service, and years have gone by and I am still married to “KAY” and have four children, I am able to support my family and I know I owe this all to God. So long as there is life, there is always hope for one no matter how dark things seem.

His daughter recapped his life and the importance of having the story above shared. She writes:

He died on May 24, 1979, at the age of 58 after losing his battle to lung cancer. He stayed married to his childhood sweetheart, “KAY” for more than thirty years, raised four children and two grandchildren. He worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation for 19 years. He was a relatively quiet man, who although not making a tremendous effect on the human race was a church-going man, devoted to his family. He loved telling stories of his childhood and what it meant growing up poor and living in a cold water flat. One of the stories he loved to tell was how he met a platinum blonde little girl when he was about 7 years of age in the park and grew up looking for this blonde. Years later he found out this blonde was “KAY,” the love of his life…He wasn’t a big man in stature, but he had a heart of gold…He was no scientist or genius but was just basically a good man who is finally without pain and I know he is looking down from heaven and smiling that his story is finally being published.

Section 24, lot 43800, grave 25.

James Sellers

SPINELLI, FRANK (1925-1993). Rank unknown, United States Marines. The index record for Frank Spinelli in the Veterans Affairs Death File shows that he enlisted on August 23, 1943, served in the Marine Corps during World War II and was discharged on May 4, 1946. As per his obituary in the New York Daily News, he was survived by his wife, Terry née Scotto, a brother and sister and many nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in his memory at St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church on Court Street in Brooklyn. Section 94, lot 44607, grave 165.

TACOPINO, ARTHUR J. (1926-1997). Private, 376th Infantry Regiment, Company L; 94th Infantry Division, United States Army. Records from the 1930 census report that he resided at 207 18th Street with his parents, Anthony and Anna, and his two older brothers, Cosimo and John. His father immigrated from Italy in 1905 and worked as a plasterer. His mother was born in New York. According to the 1940 census, his family resided at 591 Fourth Avenue and his father was an independent plasterer. According to his son, Tacopino attended Brooklyn public schools through the twelfth grade.

Tacopino’s World War II draft registration card states that he was eighteen years old, resided at 591 Fourth Avenue, and lists his mother as next of kin. He worked at Nessa Corporation as a longshoreman at Pier 2, Erie Basin, Brooklyn. A discharge date, June 3, 1946, is handwritten on the draft card. His registrar’s report indicates that he was 5′ 11″ tall, weighed 176 pounds, had brown eyes and hair, and a ruddy complexion. The date of the report, April 17, 1944, was Tacopino’s 18th birthday. His army enlistment record states that he was single and worked as a shipping and receiving clerk. His enlistment date is recorded as August 9, 1944, and his rank was private.

As per his son, he served in the 94th Infantry Division. According to the Sons of Liberty Museum, the 94th Infantry Division entered combat on September 17, 1944, at Normandy. The division engaged in combat for 209 days and experienced 6,533 casualties. Since Tacopino served from August 9, 1944, to June 3, 1946, he may have engaged in the following campaigns as cited by www.armydivs.com/94th-infantry-divsion: Northern France (July 1944 to September 1944), the Rhineland (September 1944 to March 1945), Ardennes-Alsace (December 1944 to January 1945), and Central Europe (March 1945 to May 1945). Two major accomplishments of the division are highlighted in the Sons of Liberty Museum’s website: on January 1, 1945, assisting the Third Army, the division destroyed the Siegfried Switch Line (a series of strong buffer defenses on the Moselle and east of the Saar River) helping to capture the key city of Trier in Germany; and, on March 16, 1945, the division was a key player in the taking of the industrial city of Ludwigshafen and capturing more than 17,000 prisoners.

As per Tacopino’s son, he was a guard during the Nuremberg Trials. Tacopino stood watch during the trial of Hans Michael Frank (see photograph below). Hans Michael Frank was Hitler’s personal legal advisor and was assigned to Poland, where he deported millions of its citizens to Germany as slave laborers. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was executed. Tacopino’s son relates that his father also escorted Hermann Goring from his cell to court during Goring’s trial. Goring was convicted of conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity at his trial at Nuremberg. Sentenced to be hung, Goring committed suicide with poison.

After the war, as per his son, Tacopino worked as an international longshoreman. According to the New York City marriage license indexes, he and Dorothy Ann Slattery applied for a marriage license on August 21, 1948. The couple married and had four children. In 1990, Tacopino’s address was 79 28th Avenue in Brooklyn. His last known address was 20 Brandis Avenue, Staten Island. Section 135, lot 40273.

Tacopino is guard at right.

Nuremberg Trial- Frank is seated, Tacopino at right.
Dorothy and Arthur Tacopino
Arthur Tacopino later in life.

TALISSE, EDWARD (1923-2015). Corporal, 387th Field Battalion Battery A, United States Army.  According to the New York City birth index, Talisse was born in Brooklyn. The 1925 New York State census indicates that he lived with his parents, Abdullah and Effie, at 189 Amity Street in Brooklyn. His parents were born in Syria, were naturalized citizens by 1925, and his father crocheted scarves. Talisse was the third of four children. As per the 1930 census, the family still lived on Amity Street and his father was a negligee manufacturer. His older brother was a shipping clerk, his older sister worked as an assistant supervisor in a garment company, and the fifteen-year-old Talisse and his younger brother attended school. Also listed in the census was his seventy-five-year-old grandmother, Avdokia Talisse.

According to his daughter, Talisse attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and George Westinghouse Technical High School. His World War II draft card notes that he was 18 years old, resided at 189 Amity Street, and his father was named as next of kin. His employer was Communication Measurements Laboratory at 131 Liberty Street, New York City. His registrar’s report, dated June 30, 1942, describes him as 5′ 6″ tall, 135 pounds, with brown hair, black eyes, and sallow complexion. The report also indicates that he had a birthmark on the left side of his face.

As per his daughter, Talisse was assigned to the 387th Field Artillery Battalion and was promoted to corporal. Talisse was stationed in Europe from December 14, 1943 to July 3, 1945, and took part in battles in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, and Central Europe. His military specialty was radio operator. As per the United States Army Center of Military History, the 387th Field Battalion was a component of the 104th Infantry Division. The division trained in Camp Adair, Oregon, from 1942 to 1943. Its insignia, representing the northwest, is a gray timber wolf’s head on a balsam green disc, and the division’s motto was “Nothing in hell can stop the Timberwolves.” The 104th Infantry Division was the first division to train specifically to fight in nighttime conditions. His daughter shared that Talisse’s service tenure began on March 1, 1943, and ended on October 29, 1945 with an honorable discharge. The men of the 104th landed in France on September 7, 1944. The 104th then fought its way across northwestern Europe, fighting in mud, rain, and cold for 200 days through France, Holland, Belgium, and western Germany. It encountered mines, booby traps, and roadblocks, and withstood two counteroffensives by German troops. By May 7, 1945 (VE Day), the 104th was halted opposite Soviet troops advancing from the east. Talisse was awarded the American Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

After the war, he married Edna Fahy on January 18, 1958, and the couple had two children, Peggy and Edward. By 1957, he had risen to be the production manager of Communication Measurements Laboratory. He also worked for R & J Components for over thirty-five years. He was survived by his daughter, son, and daughter-in-law. Section 18, lot 41281, grave 3.

Edna and Edward Talisse

TATE, ROBERT SAUTER (1923-1994). Rank unknown, unit unknown, United States Army.  According to his World War II registration card, Tate was born in East Orange, New Jersey. The 1930 census notes that he lived with his parents, Robert A. and Beatrice, and his younger sister, in Essex County, New Jersey. His parents were born in New York and his father was an advertising salesman. As per the 1940 census, the family lived in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Three siblings are recorded – Robert S., seventeen years old, Lois, thirteen years old, and Thomas, eight years old. Internet searches indicate that he attended Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell. He was a member of its basketball team and a photograph of him and his teammates is in the 1939 edition of the Grover Cleveland High School Yearbook. He completed his high school education at Boonton High School. According to an article in The News (Patterson, New Jersey), dated June 18, 1941, he received a general course diploma during a ceremony celebrating the largest graduating class in the history of Boonton High School.

Tate’s daughter shared that he enlisted on January 29, 1943. His World War II registration card notes that he was nineteen years old, resided on Mountain Heights Avenue, Lincoln Park, Morris County, New Jersey, and his mother was named as next of kin. He was employed at Wright Aeronautical Corporation on Market Street in East Paterson, New Jersey. According to the Paterson, New Jersey, government website, Wright Aeronautical can trace its corporate roots back to the company formed by Orville and Wilbur Wright. In 1926, the company manufactured the Whirlwind J-5 engine for both military and domestic planes. By 1932, it employed over 2,400 workers. During World War II, Wright engines powered all of the B-17 Flying Fortresses, the B-52 bombers that took part on raids on Tokyo, and the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. An article in a Boonton newspaper, The Morning Call, reports that Tate was called to active service on February 4, 1943. Although little is known about his deployment, his daughter relates that he served in Exeter, England, and France. As per the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, he was discharged on December 1, 1945.

After the war, Tate married Salma (Sally) Baram on May 15, 1954, and the couple had three daughters, Elaine, Carol, and Laura. He was a machinist for Curtiss-Wright in Woodbridge, New Jersey, for twenty-four years. Subsequently, he was an electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 102 in Peterson, New Jersey, for fifteen years before retiring in 1978. According to his daughter, “He was proud of his war service and belonged to several veterans’ associations, including the American Legion Post 174 in Wayne, New Jersey, the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 18, and the Albion Place Memorial Post 7165 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Tate is buried in the same lot at Green-Wood as his father who passed away in 1949.  Section 143, lot 22384, grave 1.

Sally and Robert Tate

TEPEDINO, JOSEPH (1926-2018). Sergeant, unit unknown, United States Army.  According to the Richmond (Staten Island) birth records, Tepedino was born there. His son states that he was a native of Rosebank, a small neighborhood in that borough where his parents married in 1924. The 1930 census notes that he lived with his parents, Anthony and Mary (née Marino), and his younger brother, Salvatore. The family resided then at 755 50th Street in Brooklyn in a home owned by his parents. His father was born in Italy and his mother was born in New York.

According to the 1940 federal census, the family lived at 820 50th Street, another family-owned property. At the time of the census, Tepedino had a six-year-old brother, Michael. His father’s brother, Michael, was also residing at the house; both his uncle and father were carpenters. That census records that Joseph’s father had completed grade eight and his mother had completed one year of high school. Tepedino’s father has a World War II registration card which states that his place of birth was Padula, Italy, and that he was self-employed.

As per Tepedino’s son, Tepedino was part of the first graduating class of the new Fort Hamilton High School, located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The June 25, 1943 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle reports that “Army, navy and marine uniforms lent a war note to the annual graduation exercises held in Brooklyn last night.” The newspaper was referring to participants in the Fort Hamilton High School ceremony, along with five other high school graduation ceremonies.

Tepedino’s World War II registration card notes that he registered on July 26, 1944, was eighteen years old, born in Brooklyn, and his aunt, Madeline De Vivo, was named as the contact person. His place of employment is listed as the Brooklyn Army Terminal at 58th Street and First Avenue in Brooklyn. Little is known regarding his military service. His son shares that he “enlisted at the age of seventeen in 1943 and served in both the European and Pacific Theaters where he was wounded in combat. He served his final months in the military as a member of the occupational forces in Japan.” After the war, Tepedino was a carpenter and worked until he was eighty years old. He was married for sixty-seven years to Mary (née Kravitz) and the couple had two children. The family first lived in Borough Park, Brooklyn, before moving to Eltingville, Staten Island, and then to Pennsylvania. He passed away at the age of ninety-one in Limerick, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his wife, children, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Section 191, lot 39723.

TIERNAN, GERARD EDMUND (1925-2007). Seaman first class, United States Navy. According to the New York birth index, Tiernan was born in Brooklyn. The 1925 New York State census indicates that the two-month-old Tiernan lived with his mother, father, and older brother on 61st Street in Brooklyn. His mother, Jennie, was born in Scotland and his father, Joseph, was born in the United States. As per the1930 census, the family resided at 441 39th Street, Brooklyn, and his father was a railroad switchman. The census records that his parents had four children. At the time of the 1940 census, Tiernan lived on 44th Street with his parents and three younger sisters. His mother was an interior decorator and, although his father was listed as head of house, no occupation was recorded. The census taker had written his father’s last name as “Giernan” and his mother’s first name as “Janet.”

Tiernan’s World War II draft card, dated April 8, 1943, notes that he was eighteen years old, resided at 343 44th Street, and listed his father as next of kin. He was employed by Willows Manufacturing Corporation located on 39th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues in Brooklyn. His registrar’s report describes him as 6′ 1″ and 140 pounds with blue eyes, brown hair, and light complexion. The World War II Navy Muster Rolls records that his enlistment date was April 5, 1943 and that he boarded the USS Braine on August 9, 1943 as a seaman second class. As per the Braine’s Report of Changes, dated March 1, 1944, Tiernan was promoted to seaman first class. His niece relates that the Braine “sustained Kamikaze attacks while my uncle ‘Jerry’ was aboard.” According to the National Archives blog, “The Kamikaze Attack on the USS Braine, May 27, 1945,” the Braine was a Fletcher class destroyer. As per the blog, “Following her participation in General Douglas MacArthur’s campaign to retake the Philippines, the ship was ordered to serve as a radar picket and support ship as part of task Force 51 for the invasion of Okinawa.” Tiernan most likely was aboard the Braine when the attack took place. The blog states:

The picket ships were under constant attack by the Japanese. On May 27, 1945, the Braine and the USS Anthony sailed into their assigned position at picket station number five, relieving the USS Bennion. At 7:44 AM general quarters sounded throughout the ship and the crew raced to their assigned stations, four Japanese “Val” dive bombers dove out of the overcast sky, ‘making a coordinated suicide attack from low hanging clouds on the starboard beam’ according to the Braine’s after-action report. As the planes began their dive to target the American ships, the destroyers let loose a blanket of anti-aircraft fire into the sky. Two of the Japanese planes were immediately shot down. The first plane was hit by the combined fire of the two ships and the second plane was struck by fire from the Anthony and crashed close to her starboard. The third plane was also struck by anti-aircraft from the Anthony but as the plane began to burn, it pulled up, narrowly missing the Anthony, and dove into the Braine…The Braine’s Captain, William W. Fitts, ordered right full rudder and flank speed in an attempt to avoid the aircraft but it was too late. The kamikaze smashed into the Braine directly above the bow of the ship, just above the main deck. The ship was rocked from side to side by the impact and explosion of the plane…As the crew scrambled to put out fires and save the injured crew mates, a second kamikaze dove in from the low cloud cover and hit the Braine midship. The effects of the second hit were devastating: the number 2 stack exploded into the sea, fire raged, communications and control were lost, and men were blown into the water by the blast.

As a result of this attack, eight officers and fifty-nine enlisted men were killed and one hundred-two wounded. The blog relates that “For her service in World War II, the Braine earned nine battle stars and her crew was awarded a Navy Cross, five Silver Stars, a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, ten Bronze Stars, fourteen commendation ribbons and one hundred-eighty-seven Purple Hearts.”

A Report of Change from the USS Braine shows that Tiernan was transferred to RS Boston FFT PSC, Lido Beach, for discharge on March 1, 1946. A Brooklyn marriage license was issued to Tiernan and Helen Counihan on December 18, 1951, and the couple had five children. He passed away in Staten Island. The epitaph on his tombstone reads: “May Our Souls in Comfort Be.” Section 76, lot 40793.

Gerard and Helen Tiernan

TROCCIOLA, EDWARD JOSEPH (1923-2017). Technical sergeant, 58th Fighter Squadron, United States Army Air Force. Edward was born in Brooklyn, according to the borough’s record of births, to Italian-born parents Pasquale, a “shoe laborer,” and Josephine. In the 1925 New York State census, two-year-old Edward is living on 72nd Street in a triplex owned by his father, with five older sisters. The other two units in the building were occupied by Edward’s uncle John and aunt Frances Trocciola, with their five sons and one daughter; his uncle Amadeo and aunt Christina Trocciola, with their three sons and one daughter; and his uncle Mario Trocciola. All the Trocciola brothers were shoe laborers. In that year, the Trocciola cousin count was nine boys and seven girls. By the time of the 1930 federal census, the count had risen to eight girls.

Edward Trocciola attended P.S. 259 in Brooklyn, according to his daughter Carol Kirrane. By the time of the 1940  census, 16-year-old Edward was reported still in school beyond the 8th grade. In 1942, a few weeks before his 19th birthday, Edward registered for the draft, listing his employer as Polarizing Instrument Company and signing his name as Eddie. He was described as 5′ 3½” tall, 123½ pounds, with black hair and a dark complexion.

Trocciola enlisted on January 23, 1943, according to his daughter. He served in the 58th Fighter Squadron of the Army Air Force. During World War II, the 58th participated in several operations in the Mediterranean Theater and in the China-Burma-India Campaign until the end of the war in August 1945, flying P-40 Warhawks, P-47 Thunderbolts, and P-38 Lightnings.

For his service, Trocciola received the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was discharged from service on December 13, 1945.

After his military service, his daughter reports, he worked for Caltro Trucking. Edward and Marie Masino received a marriage license in New York City on August 21, 1948. They are interred together. Section 69, lot 45400. 

Edward Trocciola

TROTTO, PHILIP B. (1917-2001). Second lieutenant, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army Air Force. Born in Manhattan to Italian-born parents Angelo and Anna Trotto, Philip was the third of seven children. According to the 1920 census, the family lived on Conover Street in Brooklyn and Philip’s father was a dock worker. By the time of the 1930 census, the family had a new address—68 Walcott Street, a house owned by Philip’s parents. His father, now a naturalized citizen, worked in the shipyards.

Trotto graduated from Brooklyn Industrial High School’s cabinetmaking program in January 1934. According to the 1940 census, he lived at home, along with all his siblings, and worked for a coffee company—probably his eventual employer, the Maxwell House division of General Foods in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he rose to the position of assistant foreman in the Shipping & Receiving Department.

Trotto registered for the draft in October 1940, at age 22. The name on his draft card is “Philip Bob Trotto,” and he is described as 5′ 10″ tall, 165 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was drafted into the Army in January 1941, and assigned to the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, for basic training.

In February 1942, as a sergeant, he was part of a cadre that reactivated the 82nd Infantry Division. He was instrumental in the rapid development of the men in his platoon and was promoted to first sergeant in July 1942. In August 1942, the 101st Airborne Division was created from a part of the 82nd Infantry Division and his rifle company became Battery B of the 81st AA/AT Battalion, a glider antitank battery. As per his son, he participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, landing in a glider behind Utah Beach at 4:00 a.m. on June 6, 1944. His battery had a scattered landing and he rapidly rounded up small groups of its personnel and their antitank weapons under heavy enemy small-arms and mortar fire, safely leading them in the darkness over strange terrain to their assembly area in Heisville, France. His battery lacked both executive and reconnaissance officers; he assisted the battery commander in these duties throughout the Normandy Campaign. He participated in the successful attack on Carentan, France. He also rode a glider into Holland (the Netherlands) during Operation Market Garden and was part of the defense of the town of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Trotto participated in the airborne invasion of Holland in September 1944, landing in a glider in the vicinity of Zon, Holland. Again, as a result of scattered glider landings, he assembled small groups of men and equipment into one fighting unit and immediately committed them to the defense of the Zon Bridge under heavy enemy shelling and small-arms fire. He participated in vital engagements with the enemy at St. Oedenrode, Veghel and Dodewaard, Holland. During the defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, due to the absence of an officer, he was put in charge of an antitank platoon. His platoon, attached to a parachute infantry regiment at Bisory, Belgium, and in the vicinity of Nouvelle, Belgium, was instrumental in preventing enemy armor and infantry attacks headed for Bastogne. He remained in command of the antitank platoon until the end of the war in Europe. On June 6, 1945, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He received the Bronze Star for his actions during World War II.

After separation from the Army in September 1945, he returned to his position at Maxwell House and later went on to become a foreman at Greene Wolf Plumbing Supply and later Davidson Pipe Supply, until his retirement in1984. His career would be interrupted for a few years in the early fifties, when he suffered from PTSD (then called “battle fatigue”).

In April 1946, he married Marie Castelluccio and they had two sons: Angelo, born in October 1947; and Philip, born in May 1950. He had two grandchildren: Mark, son of Philip and Eileen; and Cassandra (“Cassie”), daughter of Angelo and Marie. Section 12, lot 40396.

Trotto at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Trotto in 1945 when he was commissioned second lieutenant.
Philip and his wife Marie.
Philip, at right, and Marie Trotto, left, in 1946.
The Trottos in 1964.