Welcome to Green-Wood’s World War II Project

To mark the 80th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II, we are proud to announce the Green-Wood World War II Project. The goal? To honor the memories of individuals who served this country, whether in the military or as civilians, and who are interred at The Green-Wood Cemetery.

To launch this initiative, we put the word out in February 2021. It wasn’t long before we heard from hundreds of you. Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors shared stories of their loved ones with us. And because you knew these veterans personally, your descriptions are a rare gift to historians: namely, first-hand accounts of the men and women who served during World War II. We thank the dozens of dedicated volunteers, both as researchers and as writers, who stepped up to make this project possible. They’ve augmented the personal stories with extensive research, both here and offsite. The short biographies they’ve written commemorate these extraordinary individuals.

The stories are fascinating. One soldier stood guard at the Nuremburg Trials. One woman was a real-life “Rosie the Riveter.” We learned of a soldier who landed at Normandy and went on to fight his way through the Battle of the Bulge and across Europe. A sailor in Pearl Harbor fed ammunition to crews trying to fend off the air attack by Japanese forces. These are just a few of many accounts you’ll read here.

According the Brooklyn Public Library, 326,000 Brooklynites served in the US armed forces. That was twelve percent of Brooklyn’s total population and fifty-eight percent of Brooklyn’s males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven. In total, Brooklynites comprised two percent of the sixteen million Americans who served. Approximately 11,500 died in service.  

This project is ongoing. If you know someone who took part in World War II, whether in military or civilian life, and is interred at Green-Wood, click here to share their story.

Biographies

ACETO, ERNEST (1922-1981). Unknown service history. Born in Brooklyn, the 1930 census reports that the eight-year-old Ernest Aceto lived with his parents, Bernard and Philomena; his four brothers, Angelo, Frank, Bernard and Ralph (see); and his three sisters, Henrietta, Louise, and Edith. His father was born in Italy and worked as a tailor. His mother was born in Brooklyn and was of Italian descent. The family resided at 1250 41st Street, Brooklyn. According to the census of 1940, Aceto, now 18 years old, still resided with his family on 41st Street, had completed two years of high school, and worked as an operator for a private business. However, his mother was listed as head of household and spelled her first name “Filomena” as opposed to “Philomena” as per the 1930 census. His father does not appear on the latter census.

Aceto’s World War II draft registration states that his father was designated at the “Person Who Will Always Know Your Address” and that both still resided on 41st Street. His registrar’s report from February 16, 1942, describes him as white, 5′ 7″ tall, 130 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair, ruddy complexion, and had a scar on his right ankle. Details about his service are unknown. Section 106, lot 36368, grave 2.

ACETO, RALPH L. (1926-1986). Seaman first class, United States Navy. Born in Brooklyn, the 1930 census reports that the four-year-old Aceto lived with his parents, Bernard and Philomena; his four brothers, Angelo, Frank, Ernest (see), and Bernard; and his three sisters, Henrietta, Louise, and Edith.  His father was from Italy and his mother was born in Brooklyn. The family resided at 1250 41st Street, Brooklyn. According to the census of 1940, Aceto still resided with his family on 41st Street and had completed his first year of high school. However, his mother was listed as head of household and her first name was spelled “Filomena” as opposed to “Philomena” as per the 1930 census. His father does not appear on the latter census.

Aceto’s World War II draft registration card, dated January 1, 1944, states that he lived at 1354 44th Street and was unemployed. His mother was designated as the “Person Who Will Always Know Your Address” and the card indicates that she still resided at 1250 41st Street. The accompanying registrar’s report from the same date describes him as white, 5′ 10″ tall, 135 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair, and light complexion. There were no physical characteristics that would aid in identification cited.

As per his great niece, he served in the Navy. Navy muster rolls show that he was transferred from Guam, Marianas Islands, to the receiving station in San Pedro, California. While in Guam, he was aboard the YDG-11, originally named the USS Drake. After the war ended on August 15, 1945, that ship, originally a minesweeper in the Pacific Ocean, was a degausser, a vessel that detected magnetic fields. He received an honorable discharge on July 9, 1946, at San Pedro. He married Rose Aghamalian on August 4, 1950. Section 106, lot 36368, grave 2.

ACKERLIND, HOLGER CARL (or VICTOR) (1918-1975). Private, United States Army Air Force Signal Corps. Born in Brooklyn on June 24, 1918, according to the borough’s record of births, to Swedish-born parents Carl Uno Ackerlind and Esther Johanna Amalia Ackerlind, and baptized at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, Holger was the youngest of three children (older siblings were Eva and Erik) and the first to be born and grow up in the United States. The 1920 census shows him living with his family in Brooklyn on Prospect Park West. In 1924, at age six, he traveled with his mother to visit relatives in Sweden and the United Kingdom. He attended Manual Training High School (now John Jay Educational Campus) in Park Slope. He was a good student there, receiving an award for scholarship, as reported in the Brooklyn Brooklyn Eagle in 1932. Ackerlind attended New York University, made the honor roll in 1938, and was inducted into the national honorary commercial society of Beta Gamma Sigma, also in 1938. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1939, with a bachelor degree in commercial science.  Ackerlind was following in the footsteps of his father, who also graduated from NYU in 1917—at the advanced age of 36.

After graduation, he lived with his parents in Forest Hills, Queens, and worked in the family business, Ackerlind Steel Company, Inc., in Manhattan. He registered for the draft at age 22, probably in 1941, and enlisted on May 23, 1942, as a private. Ackerlind was sent to Chanute Field in Rantoul, Illinois, the Army Air Force Technical Training Command. According to his widow, he served in the Signal Corps as a weather forecaster in Oujda, French Morocco. (The Signal Corps operated in the North Africa Theater of Operations in Oujda, French Morocco, from mid-1943 to 1945.) In February, 1944, Holger was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of cholangitis, a bacterial infection of the bile duct that was not unusual for soldiers in North Africa.  Per his admission card, he spent a month in hospital, then presumably returned to his duties until, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, he was discharged from the Army on October 4, 1945; his rank at discharge is unknown.

He then returned to civilian life and his career at the Ackerlind Steel Company, which he pursued for more than 30 years. At the time of his death, he was president of the company. Per public records, after a first marriage to Margareta Akerlind, Holger wed Sheila Rogers in Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1970. His death notice in The New York Times states that he died of cancer at his home in Bayside, New York, on July 25, 1975; his widow, Sheila Rogers Ackerlind, along with a son, Robert, and daughter, Anita, survived him. Section 25, lot 37544, grave 1.

Ackerlind in Morocco

ADASKO, HERBERT ISAAC (1912-1991).  Radio repairman, United States Navy. Born in New York City, he was the eldest child of Morris Adasko and Lena Berman Adasko, both of whom immigrated to the United States from Russia. As per the 1915 New York State census, Morris had been in the United States for twelve years, Lena for eight, and the family was living at 602 Eldridge Street, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. By 1925, according to the New York State census of that year, the Adaskos had moved to 10 Eyck Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Morris Adasko’s occupation is given as tailor. Adasko had two younger siblings, Miriam and Joseph.

Adasko graduated from New Utrecht High School in 1929 with an academic diploma. As per the 1940 census, the Adaskos were living at 234 85th Street in Brooklyn; at that time. Herbert had completed four years of college and worked as a clerk. As per his son, Hardy Adasko, his father graduated from New York University.

On Adasko’s draft registration card, likely completed in 1940, the family address on 85th Street is crossed out, and written in red ink is another address, 8320 Bay Parkway. On the line that asks “Name of Person Who Will Always Know Your Address,” Adasko lists his mother, Lena. For eye color, Adasko checked brown; for hair color, black. He was 5′ 11½” tall. Asked for a physical characteristic that will aid in identifying him, Adasko wrote mustache. His employer is listed as the City of New York Department of Welfare. Adasko worked for the city for thirty-six years, his son reports.

In 1943, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that a Herbert Adasko was the president of Engine Company 253 in Brooklyn and served as an auxiliary fireman. That firehouse was located near where the subject of this biography had lived, and is likely him.

Hardy Adasko, the son, states that his father served in the Navy as a radio repairman, stationed in Guam. Adasko likely trained at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, which is the largest Navy training installation and the site of the Navy’s only boot camp. On September 21, 1944, in Cook County, Illinois, he married Mary E. Hardy. Mary Hardy was born in Mississippi and grew up in Texas, according to the 1940 census of Childress, Texas.

After the war, Adasko continued working for New York City. He and Mary made their home in the Midwood section of Brooklyn where they raised two children, Herbert Hardy Adasko and Laura Beth Adasko Lenzer.  Section 71, lot 44605, grave 39.

ADDEO, MICHAEL JAMES (1917-2006). Fire controlman third class, United States Navy. The 1925 New York State census reports that the eight-year-old Michael lived in Brooklyn with his parents, Vincent and Catherine, and his three younger brothers. That census states that Vincent and Catherine were born in Italy while their sons were born in New York City. As per the 1940 census, Michael resided on Irving Avenue with his parents and siblings, was single, had completed his second year of college, worked as a handyman for a private business, and had earned $1,040 in 1939. He attended New York University where he ultimately earned a master’s degree and completed part of his doctorate. 

Addeo’s World War II draft registration , likely filled out in 1940, indicates that he was born in Manhattan, 23 years of age, resided at 58 Irving Avenue in Brooklyn, and was employed at Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc., located at 40 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem) Death File lists his Navy enrollment date as February 24, 1944. As per the May 17, 1944 USS Astoria muster roll, he was a seaman second class. The USS Astoria, the third ship that bore that name and which was named in honor of the heavy cruiser USS Astoria which was sunk on August 9, 1942, during the Battle of Savo Island, was a light cruiser that fought in the Pacific from December 1944 to the end of the war, fighting off the Philippines, Okinawa and supporting attacks on the Japanese Home Islands. The Astoria earned five battle stars during World War II. By September 1, 1945, the USS Astoria muster roll reports that Addeo attained the rank of fire controlman third class (FC3c); fire controlmen operate, repair and trouble-shoot weapon systems on ships. He was discharged from the Navy on November 27, 1945.

He married Marie Nappi on January 15, 1950. As per his daughter, Kathryn Addeo Bistreich, her father had two children, taught at Bay Ridge High School, was an assembler for American Bausch Armor Corporation, and was also employed as a counselor for New York State. Kathryn comments that “Michael J. Addeo was very proud to serve in the crow’s nest on the ship Astoria in the Pacific (1944-1945) where he searched for enemy ships, etc.” Hillside Mausoleum, Phase III, Crypt, Section 3129D.

Addeo is second row up, second from right.
USS Astoria
Wedding Photo

Louis Aloi

ALOI, LOUIS AMEDIO (or AMEDO) (1921-1999). Corporal, United States Army Air Force. A Brooklyn native, the 1930 census notes that he lived there with his parents and four brothers; his father, who was born in Italy, was a ship caulker. As per the 1940 census, he lived at 285 Carroll Street with his parents, five brothers and one sister; at that time, he was in his fourth year of high school. Aloi’s World War II draft registration, dated February 15, 1942, states that he still lived at the same Carroll Street address and worked for Ira Bushey Incorporated at 764 Court Street in Brooklyn. His mother, Letizia Aloi, with whom he lived, was listed as his emergency contact. His registrar’s report of that same day indicates that he was white, 5′ 8″ tall, 162 pounds, with brown eyes, brown hair, light complexion and slight scar on his forehead.

Aloi’s World War II Army enlistment record shows that he enlisted as a private in Kings County on April 6, 1943, was single, had completed three years of high school and worked as a machinist’s apprentice. As per his discharge papers, he entered service on April 13 and was a general clerk. His discharge papers indicate that he attended trade school in New York City for twelve weeks after his enlistment. On February 11, 1944, he departed for the Western Pacific Theater of Operation, arriving on February 21, 1944. He departed for the United States on December 12, 1945, and arrived on December 27. Among the medals that Aloi received were the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was not wounded in action. During his service, he was immunized for smallpox, typhoid and tetanus. After serving two years, five months and five days for longevity pay purposes, he received $100 out of $300 mustering out pay, a soldier’s deposit of $85, travel pay of $4.05, for a total amount of $252.43. His official discharge papers were signed at the Headquarters Air Depot at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on January 10, 1946. The papers state that he was issued a lapel pin upon his discharge.

In 1952, Aloi married Josephine Castagna in Brooklyn. After the war, in civilian life, he worked for Consolidated Edison for 30 years until his retirement in 1984. His wife, who is interred with him, died in 1989, and six years later, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where he died after a long illness. A funeral mass was celebrated in his memory at St. Ephrem’s Church in Brooklyn. He was survived by his son, daughter and six grandchildren. His obituary in The News Journal [Wilmington, Delaware] confirms his World War II service and notes that a special mass for Aloi would be held in Hockessin, Delaware. A family online biography also confirms that he served in the United States Air Force during World War II and that he served in the Pacific Theater. Section 6, lot 39340, grave 466.

Louis and Josephine Aloi

AMATO, JR., FRANK WILLIAM (1925-2009). Yeoman first class, United States Navy. Amato was born in Brooklyn. As per his draft registration card, likely completed in 1945, he lived at 1346 40th Street in Brooklyn, was 20 years old, had no home telephone, and was not employed. He listed his mother, Sarah Amato, with whom he lived, as his next of kin.

According to his Navy muster rolls, Amato enlisted on January 22, 1945, and was listed as serving aboard the USS Nashville as a seaman first class in January  and July 1945. At the time Amato boarded the vessel, she was at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, undergoing major repairs after being struck by a kamikaze aircraft on December 13, 1944, off Negros Island, killing 133 sailors and wounding 190. On March 12, 1945, the Nashville left Washington State for training exercises and departed San Diego, California, on April 15, arriving at Subic Bay in the Philippines on May 16. It spent the closing months of the war providing fire support for landings at Brunei Bay, Borneo, and protecting aircraft carriers in the Makassar Straits, in the Dutch East Indies. Her last wartime action was a sortie from Subic Bay to intercept a Japanese convoy off Indochina, an action that was ultimately canceled.

In October 1945, after the war had ended, the Nashville was on Yangtze River Patrol, off Shanghai, China. As of November 1, 1945, Amato was listed as a yeoman first class and on temporary duty with the Navy Group China. The Navy Group China was the United States Navy’s intelligence unit in China during World War II. That unit, working alongside Chinese guerilla forces in China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, trained the guerillas in techniques of demolition, sabotage and radio handling; ultimately, over 200 enemy bridges, 141 ships/river craft and 84 locomotives were destroyed. It also killed 71,000 Japanese troops.

Amato’s muster rolls for January and February 1946 show that he was still a seaman first class on the USS Nashville. On March 1, 1946, the Nashville arrived at the Receiving Station Terminal Island in San Francisco, California. He was honorably discharged on March 14, 1946. His registrar’s report, dated March 15, 1946, and filed at 2115 Church Avenue in Brooklyn, indicates that he was 5′ 5″ tall, 128 pounds, with green eyes, black hair and a light complexion.

As per his obituary in the Asbury Park Press, Amato was a self-employed ice cream salesman for 36 years in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, retiring in 1985. Amato moved to Brick, New Jersey, in 1989, and was a communicant of the Epiphany Roman Catholic Church there. One of his sons died in 1995 and his wife, Jennie Chirrillo Amato, died in 2001. He died at his daughter’s home in Eatontown, New Jersey. He was survived by a son, a daughter, four grandchildren, a sister and a niece. His funeral liturgy took place at the above-mentioned Epiphany Church. Section 3222E, Hillside Mausoleum Phase III Crypt.

AMORE, ARMATHA SUSAN BRYAN (1924-1997). Navy Corps WAVE. Born in Broaddus, Texas, Bryan attended elementary and high school there; she was known as Susan. As per her daughter, Carol Amore Laga, she met Sebastian Amore (see) in Beaumont, Texas, where she was stationed at the Veterans Hospital. Sebastian was on leave from Camp Polk, Louisiana, where he was stationed in World War II before deployment abroad. Bryan served as a Corps WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in the Navy during the war, remaining stateside. The WAVES, the women’s branch of the United States Naval Reserve during World War II, was established on July 21, 1942, by Congress and signed into law nine days later. It freed officers and men for sea duty and replaced them with women at 900 shore establishments. An enlisted woman had to have a high school or business degree (officers needed a minimum of two years of college plus two years of professional experience); enlisted women performed duties ranging from clerical work to rigging parachutes. Reportedly, many women experienced harassment from their male counterparts. At its peak, nearly 100,000 women served; many of the officers were recruited for their knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering, and performed complex operations such as calculating bomb trajectories.

Her daughter notes that she married Sebastian Amore (see) on February 8, 1947, in Brooklyn, during a blizzard. During their 41-year marriage, the couple had four children, lived at 196 Lawrence Avenue in Brooklyn, and moved in 1970 to 57 Cheever Place, near where Sebastian grew up. She worked for Citi Bank on Wall Street. Section 176, lot 44603, grave 307.

Susan Bryan Amore in uniform.
Susan and Sebastian Amore wedding photo.

AMORE, SEBASTIAN (or SEBASTIANO) VINCENT (1918-1988). Corporal, 7th Armored Division, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, his birth certificate uses the name “Sebastiano.” His daughter, Carol Amore Laga, reports that he attended Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic School there where he attained an eighth-grade education; the church subsequently merged in 1941 and was known as Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and St. Stephens. His father, Antonio, completed a World War I draft registration card but it is unclear whether he served. The 1925 New York State census reports that Sebastian lived with his parents, both of whom were born in Italy, and eight siblings at 475½ Hicks Street; his father was a dock laborer and his mother was a dressmaker. The 1930 census reports that Sebastian’s father immigrated to the United States in 1900 and that his mother immigrated in 1902; neither were naturalized citizens or spoke English. At the time of the 1940 census, the family lived at 16 Cheever Place in Brooklyn; Sebastian was a laborer at a knitting mill.

Sebastian Amore’s World War II draft registration card notes that he lived at 16 Cheever Place and worked at a knitting mill at 505 Court Street in Brooklyn. His registrar’s report shows that he was white, 5′ 7″ tall, with brown eyes, black hair and a light complexion. As per records from the Department of Veterans Affairs, he enlisted on March 12, 1942, for the duration of the war plus six months subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law. His enlistment information notes that he enlisted as a private at Fort Dix, New Jersey, was single, had completed two years of high school, and worked at an unskilled machine shop.

His daughter notes that he served in the Aleutian Islands and in India and confirmed that information with Sebastian’s older brother, Anthony, who said that his brother never spoke about being in Europe and served in the Pacific Theater. However, as per the patch on his uniform photo, he served in the 7th Armored Division, also known as the “Lucky 7th.” Its insignia, pictured below, depicts a tank track signifying mobility; a cannon for fire power and a red bolt of lightning for shock action.

That unit, activated on March 1, 1842, trained at Camp Polk, Louisiana, until March 18, 1943. Built at a cost of $22 million, thousands of soldiers in all branches were trained there, including the new armored divisions who used the piney woods of Louisiana parishes for training. Texas’s Beaumont Journal of February 4, 1943, reported that Amore was a participant in a Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament. The article noted that Amore drew a bye in the first round of the competition. (Amore is in the front row, second from left in the picture below and is identified as a corporal.) Anecdotally, the first group of Hollywood celebrities arrived at Camp Polk in the fall of 1941 shooting scenes of soldiers in training for the movie, The Bugle Sounds.

After Camp Polk, the 7th then headed for the Desert Training center at Camp Coxcomb, California, from March 18 through August 12, 1943. After time in Fort Benning, Georgia, from August 12, 1943 to April 25, 1944, time was spent at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts, from April 25-May 2, 1944, then at Camp Shanks, New York, from May 2 through June 6, 1944. On June 6, the 7th Division boarded the Queen Mary in New York Harbor and set sail for Europe the next day. After debarking at Grenoch, Scotland, on June 13-15, 1944, the unit moved by train to Tidorth Barracks in Wilshire, England, where they remained until August 7. The next day, they sailed to France from Southampton, England.

The Lucky 7th entered combat on August 14, 1944. During 172 days of combat, the 7th was in Northern France from July 25 through September 14, 1944; the Rhineland from September 15, 1944 to March 21, 1945; Ardennes-Alsace from December 16, 1944 until January 25, 1945; and Central Europe from March 22, 1945 through May 11, 1945. In Continental Europe, the 7th fought in France (landing in Omaha and Utah Beaches in Normandy on August 10-12, 1944, and moving through Chartres, Rims and Verdun from August 26 through September 2, 1944, liberating many places famous as World War I battle sites, then engaging in heavy combat in the greater Metz area from September 6 through 25, 1944); three times in Belgium (ultimately rebuilding roads blown up by the Germans to block the Allies’ path); the Netherlands (heavy combat and major casualties at Overloon from September 30 through October 8, 1944 and at Meijel and Liesel from October 27-29, 1944); and three times in Germany (ultimately crossing the Rhine to reduce the Ruhr Pocket and moving north to the Baltic and east to meet Russian forces). After victory was declared in Europe on May 8, 1945, the 7th served in occupied German in the future zone of the Soviet Union from June 1-June 30 then moved to the U.S. Zone for the first three days of July. On July 14, 1945, a large contingent of the “low-point” men departed to train for the invasion of Japan. By October 11, 1945, the unit was deactivated. He was discharged on February 14, 1946.

On February 8, 1947, he married Susan Bryan (see Amore, Armatha Susan) in Brooklyn; his daughter notes that he met his bride in Beaumont, Texas, while on leave from Camp Polk. The couple, who had four children, lived at 196 Lawrence Avenue. He worked for the Department of Sanitation, from which he retired. Section 176, lot 44603, grave 307.

Amore is front row, second from left.

AZRAK, CHARLES EDWARD (or ELIAS) (1920-1994). Private, United States Army. Azrak was born in Brooklyn. As per the 1930 census, Charles lived with his Syrian-born parents at 286 Marshall Street in Paterson, New Jersey, with his seven siblings, the eldest two of whom were also born in Syria. That census indicates that his parents and their two eldest children immigrated to the United States in 1912 and that his father was a weaver in a silk factory; his father became a naturalized citizen in 1950. Charles Azrak’s draft registration, likely filed in 1940, reports that he lived at 135 Windsor Place in Brooklyn and worked as a bill deliverer and process server for the Brooklyn Union Gas Company. He listed his father, Louis, with whom he lived, as his emergency contact.

 At the time of his enlistment on February 4, 1942, his Army enlistment record shows that he was single, had completed one year of college, and had been employed as a general industry clerk; at that time, he was 5′ 11″ tall and weighed 176 pounds. As per a family member, he served in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Italy, originally a member of the Axis, changed its allegiance to the Allies in September 1943, weeks after Benito Mussolini was ousted from power in July of that year. The fighting in Italy continued until May 2, 1945, days before Victory in Europe (V-E Day) on May 8. Many units were involved in that long and deadly struggle; it is unknown to which unit Azrak was assigned. He was discharged on October 28, 1945.

On May 19, 1946, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced his marriage to Virginia Liam. Their marriage took place at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church with a reception at the Hotel Bossert. Azrak ran a garment factory, Valmar Garments, on Prospect Avenue and Prospect Park West; as per a notice in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on December 23. 1950, Azrak and a partner purchased that two-story building that housed the business. He later was the proprietor of Star Apparel Products at 444 12th Street in Brooklyn.

Azrak was a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory, an honor bestowed upon members of the Maronite Church (an Eastern branch of Catholicism that shares many rites with the Orthodox Church) for their service to the Holy See and to their community. Many of his activities were highlighted in the Caravan, a local newspaper for the Arab-American community in Brooklyn. That paper noted on May 14, 1959, that Azrak was chairman of the board of the Allepian Fraternity and Allepian Foundation. He was also a member of the Syrian Young Men’s Association; his involvement in the above-mentioned community organizations focused on fund-raising and preparing programs and journals for social events. As of 1968, he was general chairman of the Maronite Laity Committee.

In 1993, he lived at 171 85th Street in Brooklyn. Azrak’s obituary in the New York Daily News noted that he was survived by his wife and that he was a father, grandfather and brother. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in his memory at St. Anselm’s Roman Catholic Church at 82nd Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. Section 133, lot 39823, grave 1.

Charles Azrak
Charles Azrak
Charles Azrak

BELL, JR., HIRAM LEWIS (1924-2012). Supply staff sergeant, United States Army.  Hiram Lewis Bell, Jr., known in his youth as “Lewis,” was born in Charleston, South Carolina. According to the 1930 and 1940 United States census records, he resided in Charleston, with his father, Hiram Bell (born 1880), mother, Louise D. Purvis (born 1894), and younger brother, James A. Bell. According to the Bell Family papers at the Avery Research Center, the Bell Family residence of 2 Green Street Charleston, South Carolina, was purchased by Bell’s family in 1844 and was sold to the College of Charleston in 1971; it is considered a historic property by the City of Charleston.

Bell attended Avery Normal Institute, the first accredited secondary school for African Americans in Charleston. He competed four years of high school. While he was in school, he worked for his father’s business as a brick mason, stonemason, and tile setter.

In 1942, while a senior in high school, Bell registered for the draft. On June 26, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. According to Bell’s World War II Army enlistment record, he was single and held the rank of private. During his service in World War II, Bell’s highest rank earned was supply staff sergeant. He served in the South Pacific, specifically the Philippines and New Guinea.

After returning from the war, Bell used his G.I. benefits to enroll at Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting historically Black college and university, in Pennsylvania. There he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Bell was initiated into the Beta Kappa Chi National Honorary Scientific Society in 1949 and has a certificate of initiation into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

After graduating Lincoln University, Bell pursued a career in medicine, applying in 1950 to the Medical College of the State of Carolina. According to newspaper reports of October 1950, after applying to the medical college, a cross was burned in front of his home on Green Street in Charleston. Bell’s mother, Louise, believed it was the work of the Ku Klux Klan and was initiated as result of Bell’s application for enrollment to the medical program. Despite experiencing such treatment, Bell persisted in his education. In spring of 1955, he earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically Black academic health science educational institutions.

While in his third year of medical college, Bell married Mae Boone of North Carolina, whom he met while taking a undergraduate summer course at Hampton University.  They married on September 19, 1953 at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. The couple had two children, Hiram III and Brian.

After obtaining his medical degree, Bell and his wife resided in Brooklyn, New York. He remained active in his university alumni groups, serving as an officer of the Lincoln University graduates of Brooklyn and Long Island. In 1959, Bell joined the other officers in hosting Commissioner John A. Davis of the State Commission against Discrimination.

As a physician, Bell interned at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and, later, completed his residency at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Manhattan. After completing his residency, Bell accepted a permanent position at the VA Hospital, working there for 36 years, in which he held various positions, including acting director of admitting. As per his daughter-in-law, Donna Grant-Bell, he also had an internal medicine practice in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

During the last 21 years of Bell’s life, he battled various health conditions. Dr. Bell died in 2012 at the age of 88. His daughter-in-law notes that his widow, Mae Bell, lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and, in 2021, is 98 years old. Section 51, lot 45447.

BERNSTEIN, FELIX I. (1923-2000). Pilot, United States Army Air Corps. A Brooklyn native, the 1930 census reports that he lived in the home of his uncle and aunt on Neptune Avenue, along with his four cousins, his parents, his three older siblings, and a boarder. Both of his parents were Russian immigrants; his father was a civil engineer. By 1940, when Felix was in his first year of college, his family had moved into their own place, still on Neptune Avenue, along with his grandmother.

Bernstein’s draft registration, dated June 30, 1942, has him living on Eastern Parkway with his mother, whom he listed as his emergency contact, and working for Delissey Machine & Tool in Manhattan. That document describes him as 6′ 1″ tall and 160 pounds. Felix married Natalie E. Guttelman in February, 1943. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

After the war, Felix Bernstein (known as “Phillie”) and his wife Natalie (known as “Nikki”) raised two sons, Mitchell and Steve, and he continued to live on Neptune Avenue into his 70s. The couple was married for 57 years. His obituary, written by his family, notes that he loved to travel. They wrote, “He was a man of good nature, wit and charm, who truly cared for his fellow man.” He was survived by his widow, his sons and his sister. Section 61, lot 44703, grave 131.

BONGIORNO, WALTER BARTHOLEMO (1917-1996). Private first class, United States Army. According to the 1925 New York State census, Walter Bongiorno was born in Brooklyn, as were his younger brother and sister. Both his parents were born in Italy; his father was a bricklayer and his mother a dressmaker. By the 1930 census, when Walter was 12, he lived with his family, now including his mother’s parents, on East 12th Street. By 1940, 22-year-old Walter was working, possibly in dress manufacturing, and living with his family on East 6th Street. That census report states that he had completed the 7th grade in school.

Just before his 23rd birthday, Bongiorno registered for the draft, listing his employer as Andrew Asaro of Brooklyn. His registrar’s report describes him as 5′ 10″ tall and 185 pounds; by the time he was drafted, 18 months later, Walter was listed as 5′ 8″ in height and 179 pounds. During the war, Bongiorno served in a field artillery unit, first in Africa and then in central Europe. He was hospitalized, probably for frostbite, in January, 1944, and then returned to duty. He was discharged from service in October 1945, and married Lillie Sciarabba three weeks later. According to his widow, he had been awarded the European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the American Service Medal; and the Silver Star for gallantry in action, for his wartime service. Arbor, lot 3900, grave 1534.

Walter Bongiorno

BONO, STEPHEN (or STEFANO) ANTHONY (1918-1999). Private, United States Army. Bono’s birth certificate states that his birth name was Stefano and that he was born in Brooklyn. The 1920 census shows that he lived with his Italian-born parents and five siblings, all of whom were born in New York; Stephen’s father, Vincent, was a barber. His father died in 1928.  Stephen was educated in the Brooklyn public schools through high school. The 1930 census reports that he lived with his mother and four siblings in Brooklyn in a house valued at $11,000; although his mother, who immigrated to the United States in 1912, was not employed, his older siblings were all working. He was listed among the graduates of P.S. 102 in the July 5, 1933, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

As per the 1940 census, he was single, lived with his mother, sister and brother at 234 61st Street in Brooklyn, had completed high school and was employed. On his draft registration card, filed in October 1940, he recorded that he lived with his mother at 234 61st Street in Brooklyn and they had a home telephone; he listed his mother, Frances Bono, as his next of kin. At that time, he worked for the Service Baking Company at 211 60th Street in Brooklyn. His registrar’s report stated that he was 5′ 3″ tall, 125 pounds, with brown eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion; the employment information was the same as that on his draft registration.

According to his World War II enlistment records, Bono enlisted as a private at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on October 7, 1941. That document notes that he was single, 5′ 1″ tall, 117 pounds, and had completed three years of high school, in contrast to the 1940 census that notes that he had graduated. As per articles in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on October 17 and 18, 1941, Bono was listed as among the Brooklynites who left Fort Dix, New Jersey, for the Field Artillery Replacement Training Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His son-in-law, Artie Tacopino, states that Bono served in France and Germany.

His son-in-law also indicates that Bono delivered business machines for 45 years. An interesting fact is that Bono was aboard the Andrea Doria, sailing from Genoa, Italy, and arriving in New York City on July 25, 1955, a year before that vessel sunk in a tragic accident. The family moved from Brooklyn to Eltingville, Staten Island, in 1994. He was survived by wife of 52 years, Mary née Gorman, his daughter and a son. Section 129, lot lot 37028, grave 3.

BRENNAN, LEONARD (1918-2010). Second lieutenant, 659th Quartermaster Corps, United States Army. Brennan was born in Ripon, California. His older brother, John Edgin Brennan, was born in Colorado. In the 1920 census, the family lived in Walnut Creek, near Berkeley; his father, who was born in Minnesota, is listed as a herdsman, employed at University Farms. The Brennan family lived in Oakland through Leonard’s school years; he graduated Claremont Junior High in 1933, Oakland’s University High School and was an Eagle Scout. In 1940, Brennan received his bachelor’s degree from University of California-Berkeley, and worked as a playground director, according to the 1940 census. When he registered for the draft later that year, on his 22nd birthday, he was living at home and listed the University as his employer.

His World War II Army enlistment record notes that he enlisted as a private on September 22, 1942, and left the service on December 6, 1945. He served with the Quartermaster Corps in England and in France. Helen Cleary Brennan, his widow, reports that he was promoted to battalion sergeant major and then second lieutenant. Ms. Brennan notes that he was in the United States from September 1942 through July 1943, England from July 8, 1943 through October 1944, and France from October 1944 through December 1945. As per his obituary in The New York Times, he was a master sergeant while in England and a second lieutenant during his service in France. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Among the honors that he was awarded was the Bronze Service Star for participation in the Germany Campaign, the Rhineland Campaign Medal, and the American Theater Service Medal.

Brennan, while stationed in France, sent the following letter to his parents in Oakland, California, on May 4, 1945, four days before V-E Day. The original language is used, paragraphs added for ease in reading:

By the time this reaches you V-E day may have come and gone. I Hope So!….It seems strange that less than a year ago we were in England working hard for that day when we would be able to obtain even a fingerhold on the continent. It seems sort of strange too, to find myself more concerned with a place called San Francisco than I have ever been before. Many of us here felt just as a good many people at home have, that even tho the war in Europe may be a “fini” soon, the real battle has just begun-the one in good old SF….I’m conducting an I&E program (information and education) in our company and it is rather interesting to see what a very representative cross-section of Americana looks like. As usual the men are primarily concerned about what is going to happen to them. First in terms of the immediate military situation—going home, staying here, going to the pacific, i.e., when they are going to get “OUT”….secondly, there is a growing concern over what happens when they get back to civvy street.

We have begun to discuss the so-called GI Bill of Rights. I’m not yet certain what the general feeling is—whether the govt “owes me a living” or “just give me the opportunity to work…” We have every kind of man in our outfit….laborers, mechanics, clerks, students, Poles, Italians, Southerners (who are still fighting the Civil War and contemplating the coming war with the “n……”)…men from Ohio, New Mexico, California, Kentucky, even one man who left Germany as late as 1938 and who knows the present “Redoubt [place of retreat]” quite well since he was born and raised in that part of Germany. They work well as a team and get things done. They only retain about 14% of each months pay. Most of them have only been overseas about 9 months but all agree that they took America for granted in a great many ways. They are still more concerned about local politics than the national or international scene, but there is a gradual change.

We were waiting in line the other night for the GI show in town—in front were several American officers and just behind us were several English officers, The Yanks were talking about social issues at home and the Limeys were knocking themselves out over world affairs. To me this is the essential difference between American and English thought. The average man in my outfit doesn’t even begin to compare with the average British soldier when it comes to knowing what is going on in the world.

But I would stake my last franc on our boys when it comes to getting things done. They have a radio in the day room and in less time than it takes to write this, they have run wires into half-dozen bedrooms and created small amplifying sets out of old parts picked here and there. One of the boys ran a wire from the radio out the window and down the hill to the supply room about 25 yards away, connected it with a French phone so that you can now hear the program there as well. I believe they work harder than any other army in this world and play harder too.

The French and English don’t know what work is compared to American standards. Of course they probably live longer if you want to think of it in that light. You would be amazed at what a group of 150-200 men will do to a French Chateau to make it comfortable. There is no hot water so they create it. The place is drafty so they run a good-old American pot-bellied stove into every room and fix the windows. These men can make anything over here. They understand the French only to the point that it serves their purposes. If there is a dozen eggs, some bread and a couple of bottles of Champagne needed for a midnight snack someone will get it. When they find a Frenchman who treats them square and fair they fall all over themselves to do things for him. When they find they’ve been stuck-but good-they return in kind with all the yankee ingenuity (?) they have for making things. They are rough, crude, sentimental, generous and a sucker for anything. When in town they look more like a construction gang of engineers than a company of soldiers. I think this is one of the main reasons we are here instead of still back in England.

After the war, according to his widow, Helen Cleary Brennan, Leonard (or Len) continued his education, earning his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1947 and his EdD there in 1970. His first marriage was to Inez in 1947; they divorced in 1969; Inez and Leonard had two children, Kim, who died of leukemia at age five in the 1950s, and Heidi. He worked as an administrator in the Oakland, California, and U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education, and then as a professor of Education at Brooklyn College for ten years, retiring in 1977.

He married Helen Cleary, an alumna of Brooklyn College, class of 1961, in Maine, on May 21, 1983; the couple was together as of 1970. The couple lived in Brooklyn Heights at 6 Montague Terrace. As per his obituary in The New York Times, “His joys included gardening, listening to classical music, becoming an Eagle Scout, working at Yosemite National Park, and overseeing the design and building of two homes, one in the Oakland hills and the other on the North Fork of Long Island. Len was the exemplar of the gentle man, kind, caring, witty but never harsh.” Brennan died in St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Niche, Tranquility Garden, FO7-3a.

Leonard Brennan, College Photo.
Len Brennan in 1975

BUDGELL, FREDERICK (1929-2000). Private, United States Army.  Budgell was born in Brooklyn. As per the 1930 census, he lived in Brooklyn with his Canadian-born and French-speaking parents and sister, who was born in New York; his father was an ironworker who settled in the United States in 1921. The 1940 census states that he lived in Brooklyn with his parents and siblings.

His obituary in the New York Daily News states that he was a World War II veteran. As per his daughter, Debra Healy, he served in Japan. Apparently, he served after the war ended during the Japanese Occupation. As per enlistment records, he enlisted as a private on at New York City on October 17, 1946. That document indicates that he was white, single and had completed two years of high school. That enlistment was also announced in the Brooklyn Citizen on October 22, 1946. As per the Denis Hamill article in the Daily News on June 19, 2005, Budgell met his wife in the lobby of the Sanders Theater (renamed the Pavilion) in Park Slope when he returned from post-World War II Japan in 1948.

He married Gertrude Kelly on August 5, 1949, and had nine children. He was union ironworker in locals 40 and 361; he retired from the latter local after 45 years. His obituary notes that his funeral took place at the Memorial Baptist Church at 16th Street and Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn. Budgell was survived by his wife, children, fifteen grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

On June 19, 2005, Denis Hamill wrote a feature article for Father’s Day in the New York Daily News celebrating Budgell’s life and the remembrances of his daughter, Susan Budgell. Susan noted that her father loved looking at his beloved New York City from atop its towers, where he worked on restorations as a union ironworker. She remembered that her father and grandfather worked together atop the Empire State Building; her grandfather also helped build the iconic Parachute Jump in Coney Island, a “vacation” spot for her family. She recalled that her father helped build the hangars at LaGuardia Airport, the Unisphere and Shea Stadium in Flushing and the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, among other edifices and bridges. Hamill notes that the steel structures were jobs that put food on the table but to his daughter were “timeless monuments to a father who would buy ice cream for all the kids on the block.”

Susan Budgell said of her father, “”He enjoyed a beer and a ballgame and hard work. He never went to college, but he read library books about war, history, science. Especially astronomy. He set up a telescope on the roof and loved looking at the stars. Maybe because he spent so much time working up in the sky. …He instilled in us a deep sense of pride, independence and self-respect. He told us to get good educations so that we’d get good jobs and never have to rely on anyone.” Sadly, his life was also touched by tragedy. His younger brother died from a fall from a high iron job in 1970 and a grandson, Fred III, was murdered outside a bar in Park Slope in 1995. Budgell died from colon cancer, and after learning of his illness, bought a plot at Green-Wood, his own tombstone, and made his children promise to get colonoscopies—a procedure that would have saved his life. Section 61, lot 44703, grave 79.

Budgell and Dad, on left. Both are ironworkers.

BUDINGTON, WILLIAM GUNTON (1915-2008). Lieutenant commander, United States Navy. Born in Michigan, the 1920 census reports that he resided with his parents, Walter and Cecilia, and his younger brother, Thomas G., in Brooklyn. His father was born in New York and his mother was born and baptized in Canada. According to the 1925 New York State census, the family resided in Orangetown in Rockland County, New York. As per the 1930 census, Budington’s father was a doctor. William Budington attended Columbia University and was a member of its track and field as well as touch football teams from 1934 to 1935. He was a major asset, and his accomplishments were reported numerous times in the Columbia Daily Spectator. Articles that cited his athleticism were published on March 5, 1934 (shot put), April 26, 1934 (javelin throw), May 15, 1934 (weight-throwing), November 8 and 26, 1934 (touch football) and, November 11, 1935 (discus throw). The June 5, 1934 issue reports that he was awarded a varsity insignia. In The Medical College Announcements for 1935-1936 from Cornell University Official Publication, he was admitted to the college under Clause II. Clause II states that “Seniors in good standing in approved colleges or scientific schools upon condition that their faculty will permit them to substitute the first year in Cornell University Medical College for the fourth year of their college course, and will confer upon them the bachelor’s degree upon the satisfactory completion of the first year’s work in medicine. No student admitted under this clause is permitted to enter the second year of the curriculum without having obtained a bachelor’s degree.” According to the Sept./Oct. ’08 Obituaries from the Cornell Alumni Magazine, Budington graduated in 1939.

The 1940 federal census records him as twenty-five years of age, single, an intern, and living at the United States Marine Hospital in Norfolk City, Virginia. On May 20, 1940, he was nominated as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Public Health Service. His nomination was endorsed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is recorded in the Senate Congressional Record, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 1943.  He married Ann Gottenborg, born in Becker, Minnesota, in 1904, on October 19, 1940. The House Congressional Record states that he was confirmed as a temporary surgeon, effective August 1, 1944.

There are no records for his enlistment into the Navy. According to his nephew, he was stationed in “Iceland where he was helicoptered out to passing ships to administer to injured GIs.” Budington is listed on the Wall of Honor in the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian. The inscription reads: “From March 1942 to February 1943 William Budington, M.D. served on North Atlantic convoy duty with the U.S. Coast Guard in the mid-ocean escort group. In 1944, he attended the U.S. Navy School of Aviation Medicine, Pensacola, Florida, before serving as flight surgeon at the Coast Guard Air Station, Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He participated in Air-Sea Rescue Operations at Coast Guard headquarters from 1945 to 1996.” As per his nephew, “After the war he was stationed in a service hospital near Chicago when penicillin became available for service members suffering from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). He was the doctor in charge of two floors, one of which was veterans with STDs. After receiving a shipment of penicillin and administering it to all on the floor, the floor was empty in two days!” The October 1947 issue of the Coast Guard Bulletin reports that Budington was awarded a Commandant’s Citation.

According to an unspecified record for Ernest G. Budington, his uncle, Budington’s place of residence on February 17, 1948, was Washington D.C. As per the Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the U.S. of America, he was confirmed as a senior surgeon on September 18, 1951. During a meeting of the Board of Medical Examiners of North Carolina, held from October 12th to 13th at the Washington Duke Hotel in Durham, he “was approved by the board for license to practice medicine in the State of North Carolina.” However, due to his failure to appear before the same board at a meeting held from June 15th to 19th, 1958, “it was resolved that the license of the physicians listed below (Budington included) be suspended for failure to register as requested by the General Statutes of N.C.”

His 1962 California voter registration card records that he lived at 752 S. Wilton Pl., Los Angeles, California, and his party affiliation was Republican. He is listed in the1962 and 1966 California Physicians Directory, as well as the 1961, 1972, 1973, and 1979 Directory of Aviation Medical Examiners. An overview blurb from his Seal Beach Practice states that “Dr. Budington graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1939. He works in Orange, CA and specializes in Diagnostic Radiology, Occupational Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.”

Budington’s wife passed away in California in August 1998. The couple had no children. His last place of residence was 10547 Mohegan Lake, Westchester, New York. He is buried with his parents and grandparents. Budington’s brother, Thomas, passed away on May 17, 1990, but is not buried at Green-wood Cemetery. His nephew relates that, “My father (who also graduated from Columbia & Cornell and was a POW in Stalag 3C) and mother are buried in Westchester Co. as our mother was a Bronx girl and did not want to be buried in Brooklyn!”  In 2008, Budington’s 1916 baby book entitled, “Baby’s First Birthday” was found at a garage sale in Seal Beach. Section 196, lot 31910.

BUONO, ANTHONY STEPHEN (1926-1994). Private first class, Supply and Maintenance Battalion, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, United States Marines. Buono was born in Brooklyn. The 1940 census notes that his father, who owned a drugstore, and mother, a housewife, were both born in New York. All four grandparents were born in Italy. Anthony lived then with his parents and younger sister, Emily, at 135 Carroll Street in Brooklyn. In 1944, when Anthony was 18 and registering for the draft, he lived with his family on 6th Avenue in Brooklyn and worked for Jarka Corporation, one of the world’s largest stevedoring companies, at the Brooklyn Army Base.

Soon after, by April of 1945, he had enlisted in the Marines, according to the muster roll at Parris Island, South Carolina, the site of the Marine Corps boot camp. He then spent the rest of 1945 and at least until July 1946 in Guam, in the Mariana Islands. The muster roll of the 5th Service Depot, Service Command, lists his duty as “ck striker” in the HQ command; he was probably training as a clerk. The Battle of Guam, in which Americans recaptured the United States territory from the Japanese, took place from July 21 through August 10, 1944. Guam then became a base for Allied operations; five airfields were built there to serve the B-29 bombers attacking targets in the Western Pacific and on mainland Japan. Buono was a part of that enormous effort to support the final push to the war’s end in August 1945.

Buono returned to Brooklyn after his discharge for what became a lifetime of interesting occupations. According to his grandson Robert Nash, he worked as a chef at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights, as a union longshoreman on the Brooklyn docks, as a taxi driver, and as an NYPD police officer in Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct. Some of his crime-fighting exploits, including a high-speed car chase, were noted in news reports of the time. Upon retiring after 20 years with the NYPD, Buono pursued several other business interests. According to his grandson, he became a licensed dietician, owned and managed Brooklyn rental real estate as well as a fruit store and a dress factory, and bought and sold stocks, antiques and coins. He also was an avid pigeon flyer. Buono married Eleanor Joan Santillo, who died in 1998, and is buried alongside her husband and in-laws.

Robert Nash had this to say about his grandfather: “He was a proud American of Italian descent. America always came first in my grandfather’s eyes and he taught his family to act accordingly. To this day, in and around the area where he raised his children, (80th Street and 13th Avenue), you could ask the old timers about him and I guarantee you, if they knew him, they have fond memories of my grandfather. He was loved by all, showed his love through generosity, was understanding, strong, wise, and was an amazing man.” Section 109, lot 42261.

Buono and family.

CAMMARERI, ANDREW (1919-1985). Sergeant, 4th Armored Division, United States Army.  Cammareri was born in Brooklyn to Nicolo Cammareri and Maria Bocconi Cammareri. His father immigrated from Palermo, Italy, on the vessel Perugia and arrived at Ellis Island in 1907. His mother, also from Palermo, immigrated in 1912. The couple had nine children. Five of Cammareri’s siblings, Provindenza (Prudence), Francesco Paolo (Paul), Salvatore, Francis, and Joseph were born in Italy and came to the United States with their mother. He and three siblings, Grace, Angelina, and Mario were born in Brooklyn. The 1920 census reports that his father was a longshoreman. Although the date of Cammareri’s baptism is unknown, his name is documented as “Andrea” on his baptismal records. His daughter relates that Cammareri attended P. S. 29 in Brooklyn and his highest level of education was eighth grade. His father established a bakery, Cammareri’s, in 1921. This establishment remained in the family for three generations and became world renowned when it was featured in the 1987 movie, Moonstruck. As per the 1940 census, the family lived on Sackett Street. Cammareri, then twenty-one years old, worked as a chauffeur for his father and a baker for the family business. He was the best man for his brother, Joseph, as cited in the wedding announcements in the November 4, 1940, issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

His military record, dated August 11, 1942, erroneously documents his birthplace as Hawaii. His World War II draft card reveals that he was 21 years old, lived at 502 Henry Street, and listed his father as his contact person. His employer was Cammareri’s Bakery located at the same address as his residence. According to the Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem), he enlisted in the army on May 13, 1941 and was released from service on October 9, 1945. As per his daughter, he served under General George S. Patton.

After the war, Cammareri took over the family bakery business. Records show that he married Catherine Brasco on June 17, 1948. The couple had three children, Maria, Nicholas, and Anthony. His obituary was published in the Daily News. Section 88, lot 42116, section E.

CARUSO, LOUIS ENRICO (1921-2017). Private, 25th Infantry Medical Unit, Company C, United States Army. Caruso was born in New York City. The 1930 census reports that he lived in Brooklyn with his parents, who were both naturalized citizens of Italian birth, and an older sister and younger brother. His father was in the egg business. The family owned their home at 90 Bay 14th Street. As per his son, Ronald Caruso, he was a 1938 graduate of New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

His draft registration card states that Caruso lived at the Bay 14th Street address, had no home telephone, and worked for the Electromatic Radio Distributors Corporation at 88 University Place in Manhattan; he listed his father as his emergency contact. He enlisted as a private at Fort Jay at Governors Island, New York, on September 10, 1942. His World War II enlistment record notes that he was 5′ 9″ tall, 155 pounds, was semi-skilled in the manufacture of radios and phonographs and had completed four years of high school. The Brooklyn Daily Eagles column, With Our Fighting Men, reported on October 28, 1942, that Caruso was among the Brooklynites who were first stationed at Camp Pickett, Virginia.

As per his son, Caruso served in Company C of the 25th Medical Unit in Guadalcanal in the Pacific Theater. His unit was at Guadalcanal from December 17, 1942 through February 5, 1943; the Battle of Guadalcanal, which resulted in an Allied victory, took place from August 7, 1942 through February 9, 1943. Medical units removed evacuees to aid stations, prepared evacuees for further evacuations, and transported evacuees to medical facilities behind the front lines, known officially as Division Clearing Stations. In September 1943, Caruso was admitted to the hospital and was discharged as a disabled veteran in January 1944. Although no disease was listed, it was indicated that his “injury” occurred in the line of duty and that he was diagnosed with myopia (near-sightedness). That hospital record indicates that Caruso had been in service for one year. His son reports that he contracted malaria twice while on duty in the Pacific. Like all members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Pacific from 1941 through 1945, Caruso was a recipient of the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.

In May 1947, he married Angela (Ann) M. Bruno; the couple had one son. Their marriage record lists May 3 but their son states that their anniversary was celebrated on May 18. In civilian life, he was in the furniture business. Ann Caruso died in 1998 and is interred with her husband. Section 69, lot 44700, grave 199.

CHIAPPONE, PHILIP (or PHILLIP) MICHAEL (1922-2013). Corporal, United States Army Air Force. Chiappone was born in New York City. As per the 1925 New York State census, he lived in Manhattan with his Italian-born parents, as well as his brother, sister and Italian-born father-in-law; his father was a peddler and his mother was a homemaker. The 1940 census reports that he lived in Brooklyn with his parents, three sisters and his brother; his father was a fruit peddler. As per his daughter, Linda Ferry, Chiappone attended New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

According to his draft registration card, filed in 1941, which spells his name as Phillip, although he signed his name to it as Philip, he lived at 8324 15th Avenue in Brooklyn and worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; he named his mother, Josephine, as his emergency contact. His daughter reports that he was in the Army Air Force stationed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he trained forces there. Brazil joined the Allied forces and the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, or FEB (Força Expedicionária Brasileira), was a division in the Army of an independent country placed under United States command. The naval airbase in Brazil was the busiest air transport base in the world. About 25,900 troops joined the FEB which fought with the Allies in the Mediterranean; about 1,500 lost their lives. Notably, Brazil was the only independent country in South America to send ground troops to fight in World War II. Chiappone did not participate in any battles of World War II and achieved the rank of corporal.

On May 11, 1952, he married Mary Carolina La Carrubba; the couple had three children; one son predeceased him in 2010 and is interred with his parents. In civilian life, he worked for the Fire Department, capacity unknown. His obituary in the New York Daily News states that his funeral took place at St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn. He was survived by his wife, one son, his daughters and six grandchildren. Hillside Mausoleum Phase IV Crypt, Section 4563A.

Mary La Carrubba Chiappone-Wedding Photo-1952.

CLIREHUGH, JOHN (or JACK) CUMMINGS (1919-2010). Warrant electrician, United States Navy. Born in Hillside, New Jersey, his obituary in the May 18, 2010 issue of The Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania, reports that he was the eldest of two children. His parents, John A. Clirehugh and Marion Hawkins Gray, were, respectively, of Scottish and German ancestry. He was the fourth generation of Clirehughs in America. According to the 1920 census, he lived with his parents and grandmother in Hillside, New Jersey. His father worked in a refinery.  The 1930 census records that Clirehugh was living with his mother, father, and sister in East Windsor, New Jersey. His father’s occupation is recorded as farmer. As per a memorial detailed in Find a Grave, Clirehugh attended primary, grammar, and high school in Hightstown, New Jersey. The memorial also states he had an interest in electronics at a young age and he attended a diesel engine school upon graduating from high school.

During an interview on November 15, 2003, for the Veterans History Project, Clirehurgh relates that he enlisted in the Navy in 1939 in response to a Navy poster he saw while in New York City. Obituaries in both The Times-Tribune and the Susquehanna County Independent state that he served on three submarines (USS O-7 SS68, USS Pollack SS180, and, USS Tautog SS199). His tours of duty included Honolulu and the western coast of Australia. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and was on board the docked Tautog when the Japanese planes attacked. He remained below decks and passed ammunition to the sailors manning the machine gun. The Tautog crew is credited for shooting down at least one Japanese war plane. Clirehugh was a Pearl Harbor survivor and was awarded the Bronze Star “for heroism in action against the Japanese in Pacific waters.” The Veterans History Project lists his dates of service as 1939 to 1948, however, as per the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, his enlistment date was June 14, 1939, and his release date was October 1, 1949.

Upon retiring from active duty, he attended the University of Pennsylvania where he studied electrical engineering. In 1953, he co-authored an article entitled “Automatic Calibration of Electrokymograph Cardiac Densograms” which was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. His civilian occupations included working for Philco to set up a microwave communication system in France. He then settled in Pennsylvania and worked for Link Aviation in Binghamton, New York, on a flight simulator. On December 7, 1998, an article in Press and Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York, reported that Clirehugh was president of the Binghamton Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, and quoted his reference to the attack on Pearl Harbor: “It was a real surprise. They (the military planners) didn’t think they’d get that far. There was no radar, no air patrol that morning. A scout plane would have seen an entire Japanese fleet.” He was also interviewed by Ted Brewster in 2003 for the Veterans History Project. The 90-minute interview is available on its website. His wife, Doris Roesener Clirehugh, predeceased him in 2000. Clirehugh’s name was submitted for Green-Wood Cemetery’s World War II Veterans Project by a Patriot Guard Rider, an organization of volunteers that honor and provide assistance to veterans and first responders. Section 15, lot 7859.

COLLUCCIO, PHILIP W. (1915-2007). Private, United States Army Air Force. Born in Brooklyn, the 1925 New York State census reports that ten-year-old Philip Colluccio lived with his younger brother, Vincent, at St. John’s Orphan Home for Boys, located on Albany and St. Marks Avenues in Brooklyn. The 1930 census records that he still resided at the St. John’s Home for Boys, but his brother was no longer listed there; his parents were Italian-born. On May 9, 1931, the issue of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, reported that Colluccio, representing St. John’s Orphan Home for Boys, came in 2nd place in the Century 100-yard dash. According to the 1940 census, he resided at 6712 13th Avenue, Brooklyn, with his mother, Maria, and three younger siblings, Vincent, Frank and Rose; his father, Frank, is not listed as a household member. That census states that Philip was twenty-four, worked 52 weeks in 1939, earned $800 as a launderer, and that he had completed 8th grade. He married Lucy Cianflone on February 17, 1940.

Colluccio’s draft registration card, likely completed in 1940, states that he was twenty-four years old and lived at 1252 53rd Street, Brooklyn. His employer at that time was Harry Seldin and his place of employment was at 941 61st Street. His World War II Army enlistment record states that he enlisted on September 9, 1942, and his rank was private; the Department of Veteran Affairs records his enlistment date as September 1, 1942. His World War II enlistment record also details his height as 5′ 7″ and his weight as 141 pounds. His civil occupation included laundering, cleaning, dyeing and pressing apparel. He was discharged on September 1, 1945. According to his daughter, he served in the Army Air Force. He and his wife passed away within seven months of each other in 2007. A widower, he was survived by two daughters, Marie and Barbara. Hillside Mausoleum, Phase III, Crypt, Section 3160A.

Lucy and Philip Colluccio
Philip Colluccio

CONGIUSTA, ANTHONY D.  (1924-2016). Sergeant, 346th Infantry Canon Company, United States Army.  According to the New York birth index, Congiusta was born in Brooklyn. As per the 1930 census, he lived with his older brother, Alfred, older sister, Mary, and younger brother, Pasquale. The sixteen-year-old Alfred is listed as head of the household, and his occupation as shipping clerk in the lighting industry. The 1940 census states that his father and mother, Joseph and Jennie, immigrated from Calabria, Italy. Sixteen-year-old Anthony, his twenty-eight-year-old brother, Leonard, and his fourteen-year-old brother Patsy (Pasquale) are also listed in the household. The family resided at 1264 64th Street and his father and older brother co-owned a poultry market.

According to his son, Anthony graduated from Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School, class of 1942. His World War II draft card notes that his registration date was December 14, 1942, he was 18 years old, and his father was named as next of kin. He is described as 5′ 11″ tall, 152 pounds, with brown hair, gray eyes, and dark complexion. His registration card lists his middle name as “Domnick”, and his employer as “student.”

As per his World War II enlistment record, he enlisted on March 20, 1943, had completed four years of high school, and entered service as a private. It erroneously records his height as 88” (7’4”) and his weight as 105 pounds. According to his son, Congiusta was stationed in France and Germany during World War II, and took part in battles in the Ardennes, Central Europe, and the Rhineland. His military specialty was radio operator, low speed. He was awarded the American Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

On May 29, 1950, Conguista obtained a marriage license; his spouse was Anna R. Agostino. However, his son shared that the couple married on July 4, 1950. The couple had three children. According to his son, Anthony worked for the Dole Food Company for forty-two years. In 1980, his residence was 2115 64th Street, Brooklyn. He died at the age of ninety-one.  Section P, lot 39847, grave 2.

Conguista later in life.

CUCCURULLO, RALPH (1922-1982). Private, 82nd Airborne Division, 325th Glider Regiment, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, the 1940 census records that he was living with his parents, Alfonse and Mary Cuccurullo, and his five younger siblings at 84 16th Street, Brooklyn. His registrar’s report, dated June 30, 1942, describes him as 5′ 6″ tall, 125 pounds, blue eyes, black hair, and a ruddy complexion. It notes that he had a scar on his right side. His draft registration card chronicles that he was 19 years old, lived on 16th Street in Brooklyn, and worked for Decorative Metal Co., Inc. at 199 Sackett Street, Brooklyn. As per his World War II Army enlistment records, he enlisted on October 13, 1942. He was single, had completed two years of high school, worked in manufacturing, was 5′ 4″, and weighed 128 pounds.

As per his grandson, Cuccurullo was stationed in Salerno, Italy, served as a medic, and also took part in the Normandy D-Day Operation, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge during his service in the 82nd Airborne Division, 325th Glider Regiment. Historical data describe that the 325th Regiment was activated in 1917 and participated in battles during World War I. The regiment was part of the 82nd Division. The 82nd Division, which was nicknamed “The All American Division,” was so-called because it was comprised of soldiers from every state. During World War II, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment was formed. The soldiers in this regiment arrived at battles by gliders. On June 7, 1944, the Regiment participated in the invasion of Normandy, France. The soldiers in this unit were awarded the red and green braided French Fourragere, a cord of honor for their service, to be worn on their uniforms.

According to his World War II hospital admission card, Cuccurullo was admitted to the hospital in June 1944, but his reason for admission and release date are unknown. As per his grandson, he did take part in Operation Market Garden in September 1944 in Holland. The 325th landed among German positions that had surrounded other elements of the 82nd Airborne Division. The Regiment earned the Distinguished Unit Citation for that attack. On December 16, 1944, the German army launched an attack against the Allies in the Ardennes Forest, Belgium. The fight continued into January 1945 with heavy casualties. This famous attack would be named the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, in May, 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division was assigned to Berlin. The Division earned the nickname “America’s Guard of Honor.” It was deactivated on December 15, 1947. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS (Beneficiary Identification and Records Locator Subsystem) Death File, Cuccurullo was released from service on December 22, 1945.

The New York Marriage License Bureau list his marriage license date as June 8, 1946, and his wife as Marie A. Viola. They had two children. The Social Security Applications and Claims Index and his Daily News obituary record that he died in November 1982. Section Rose, lot 43900, grave 614.

Cuccurullo on right.
Ralph Cuccurullo in uniform.
Cuccurullo on right.

CUSTODIO, JOHN (1921-2017). Coxswain, United States Navy.  According to the 1930 census, Custodio’s father, Joseph, immigrated from Portugal to the United States in 1904. His mother, Kanegenda, born in Poland, immigrated to the United States in 1904, and was a speeder tender in a cotton mill. The couple’s four children, Tony, Palmira, John, and Laura were born in Massachusetts. The family’s residence, in 1930, is documented as 605 Pine Street in Providence, Rhode Island. The 1940 census records his mother as head of household. She was residing at 136 Garfield Street, Providence, Rhode Island, with the nineteen-year-old John, and his sister Laura. He had completed four years of high school and was a bobbin boy in a cotton mill. He had worked 26 weeks in 1939, earning $130 in total.

According to his World War II draft card, Custodio registered in Providence, Rhode Island, on February 16, 1942. He was 20 years old, 5′ 10″ tall, 169 pounds, with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a light complexion. His employer was Sayles Finishing Company in Saylesville, Rhode Island. The draft card names his mother as the next of kin.

As per his son, he was a coxswain in the United States Navy. Little is known about his military service. He may be the John Custodio who served on the SS John Jay and the SS John Drake Sloat Liberty Ships (http://armed-guard.com/allnames.html). According to the website, http://www.skylighters.org/troopships/libertyships.html, “Liberty ships formed the backbone of a supply line that enabled the Allies to wage total war against the Axis Powers during World War II… Liberty ships were nicknamed ‘ugly ducklings’ by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt…A Liberty ship could carry an amount of cargo equal to four trains of 75 cars each.” Cargo could include food and war materials, such as tanks, jeeps, and ammunition. As a coxswain, Custodio’s primary responsibility was to steer and operate the ship. His secondary duty was to provide maintenance to the vessel.

According to the New York Marriage License Bureau, Custodio married Frances T. Trost on June 16, 1950, in Brooklyn. The 1951 City Directory for Pawtucket, Rhode Island, indicates he was a carpenter. In 1993, his residence was 5616 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn. As per his Daily News obituary, dated March 18, 2017, the couple had two sons, John J. and Larry, and his wife predeceased him. Section Rosewood, lot 43900, grave 531.

Custodio later in life.

DAVIS, JAMES VANDERVEER (1917-2009). Sergeant, United States Army, 399th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division. James Vanderveer Davis was born in Brooklyn on December 13, 1917, to James and Viola A. Davis, according to the borough’s record of births. He had five siblings, as noted on the 1930 and 1940 censuses. His family lived at several addresses in south Brooklyn during those years, including Court Street, 3rd Street, Fourth Avenue, and 7th Street. James left school after the eighth grade, possibly in order to work, as it was 1931 and the Great Depression was hitting New York families hard. Indeed, as per the 1940 census, his father was working in Public Emergency Work and his brothers were looking for jobs. By 1940, when he registered for the draft, James recorded his employer as the Aero Spark Plug Company on Greenwich Street in Manhattan. He noted his home address as 303 7th Street in Brooklyn and gave his mother as the person who would always know his whereabouts.

As per his Veterans Affairs records, Davis enlisted in the Army on October 14, 1941, and saw combat in France and Germany. In November, 1944, he was wounded in the spine, trunk, and sternum by artillery shrapnel and hospitalized. According to his daughter, Davis said that his life was saved by his military dog tag; that piece of metal worn around his neck intercepted a bullet that otherwise might have killed him. He returned to duty until his release from service on October 6, 1945. Davis was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement. Per the award citation, he led his squad through fierce fighting in the Vosges Mountains and elsewhere. He also earned the Purple Heart and other medals, according to his daughter, Sharon, and his son-in-law. His service to his country was recognized as recently as the year 2000, when he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross by New York Governor George E. Pataki. Section 160, lot 44451, grave 1.

Davis’s Medals.

DeMAIO, ALFRED JOHN (1927-2016). Private, United States Army Air Corps, 1377th Army Air Force Base Unit. Born in Brooklyn, the 1940 census lists him as living at 225 21st Street in Brooklyn with his parents, two brothers and a sister; his father, Lorenzo, was a laborer (listed as a shoemaker in the 1930 census), and his mother, Assunta, was an operator in a dress factory. Per family notes in a Brooklyn Public Library collection, he attended Manual Training (now John Jay) High School in Brooklyn for four years. At the time of his enlistment, October 16, 1945, he lived at the same address, according to his draft registration card, and was working at California Packing Company, at 49th Street and First Avenue in Brooklyn


He entered the service at Fort Hancock in New Jersey, attended Airplane and Engine Mechanic School, and served as an airplane engine mechanic, per his honorable discharge report, dated December 16, 1946. The report also notes that he received a World War II Victory Medal. His separation report, from Westover Field, Massachusetts, states that he was 5′ 5″ tall, weighed 155 pounds and had green eyes and brown hair.

After his military service he married Grace Castrogiovanni in Brooklyn in 1960; they had three children, Suzanne, Joseph and Janet. His primary employer was the Nu Life Dental Lab, where he worked for many years. He was an usher at St. Agatha’s Roman Catholic Church for 40 years. He died in New Jersey and was survived by five grandchildren. A mass was held at St. John the Evangelist in Brooklyn, according to his obituary on the Hegarty Scalia Funeral Home website. Section 149, lot 44608, grave 292.

DeMaio in uniform
DeMaio, later in life.

DeVITO, JAMES ANTHONY (1925-2006). Private, United States Army. A Brooklyn native, Jimmy, as he was listed in the 1930 census, lived at 6915 13th Avenue with his parents, Mario and Rose; an older sister, Frances; an older brother, Paul; a younger brother, Joseph; and a cousin, Mary DeVito, who was 19 years old. His father, who was born in Italy about 1887, was a building plasterer who had immigrated in 1920, as had his mother, who was born around 1896. His father was listed as a naturalized citizen in that census. By the 1940 census the family is recorded as living at 1261 Bay Ridge Avenue, by which time his father was unemployed but looking for work. His mother is listed as the wife of a veteran who had served in the regular forces during peacetime, but the branch of service is not specified. By this census there were three named DeVito daughters.

DeVito’s World War II draft registration card, dated March 11, 1943, his 18th birthday, lists him as living at 1322 70th Street in Brooklyn. The accompanying registrar’s report on that day states that he was white, 5′ 8″ tall, weighed 135 pounds, had gray eyes and brown hair, and had a dark complexion.

His World War II Army enlistment record notes that he enlisted as a private on August 13, 1943, was single, and had completed four years of high school. He received no branch assignment at that time, but according to his family, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, a major German offensive launched in Belgium during December 1944. It involved 610,000 U.S. soldiers, per the United States Army Center of Military History website, and resulted in 75,000 Americans killed, wounded or missing. However, the Nazi offensive, which was their last major one of the war, was repulsed by early January 1945, and the Germans lost about 80,000 killed, wounded or missing, according to Gerhard L. Weinberg’s “A World at Arms,” and used up their last reserves in the battle.

After DeVito’s World War II service he returned home, and in 1954 he married Phyllis Lucenti, according to the marriage license issued in Brooklyn. His last residence was in Brooklyn, according to a document on familysearch.org. The indexed notes for the same document indicates that at some point he lived in Africa. His wife survived him; she died in 2010. The notes say that because of damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the cleanup of an enormous tree toppled by the storm, there is no stone for James and Phyllis DeVito, and their temporary markers have vanished. The graves are located across the pathway from the signpost for the Holly Path. Section 93, lot 44608, grave 32.

Di ORIO, ANDREW A. (1924-2009). Private first class, 3rd Division, United States Army. Andrew A. Di Orio was born in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Born into an Italian-American family, he was one of fourteen children. As a child and through his teenage years, Di Orio was an active parishioner of St. Rocco’s Church (located in Sunset Park). As a teen, he was a drum major of the St. Rocco’s Cadet Corps.

Di Orio enlisted in the United States Army on March 16, 1943. As a private first-class infantry radio and communications operator, he and the 3rd Infantry Division of the United States Army served in all ten campaigns of World War II. Di Orio and the 3rd Division fought in North Africa, working their way through Sicily, ending the Sicilian Campaign. They broke to Rome, continued to the south of France, and, eventually, fought in Austria towards the end of the war. The 3rd Division was credited with 531 combat days, which was the most combat days of any unit in the European Theater. Di Orio was wounded in Anzio, Italy. He received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his contributions and efforts. Di Orio was discharged from the United States Army on October 25, 1945, returning home to Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

On June 9, 1945, Di Orio married Lena Masucci. They started a family, having four children, Andrew Jr., Kathryn Nagy, Richard, and Robert, with Richard and Robert sadly passing away in early adulthood. Di Orio was a grandfather to four grandchildren, Andrew III, Tracy, Michael and Rebecca, and great-grandfather to three great-grandchildren, Isabella, Dominique and Andrew IV.

After his return from the war, Di Orio worked as the lead foreman in charge of the Brooklyn Army Terminal and three other ports. In 1956, he left this position to manage the newly constructed St. Rocco’s Youth Center at St. Rocco’s Church, his lifelong parish. For the next 25 years, Di Orio nurtured members of the youth group. He was a great influence and support system for the youth in the community, providing opportunities in recreation and education. He supervised the roller-skating rink, taught offset printing, and coordinated the basketball team. In addition, he brought back the Cadet Corps and proceeded to transform it into St. Rocco’s Drum & Bugle Corps, a full-fledged competitive marching and maneuvering corps. Although proud of the success in competition of the Drum & Bugle Corps, Di Orio was most proud of the inclusivity of members during a time when activities often were racially divided. Di Orio welcomed all members, regardless of race. In response to DiOrio’s impact on establishing the Drum & Bugle Corps, a former member of the youth center said, “If it were not for his efforts in building the Youth Center, I fear many of us would have been lost to the street.” (Obituary of Andrew “Andy” Di Orio, Legacy.com).

In the 1980s, while remaining a very active member of St. Rocco’s Parish, Di Orio left his position as general manager of the Youth Center. He embarked on a new career with the Kings County Court, where he was appointed as the principal administrative associate for the public administrator of Kings County. He also held the position of court analyst for the Surrogate Court of Brooklyn. He then served as deputy public administrator of Kings County until he retired.

Di Orio was very active in his community. He was a member of Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee, the Knights of Columbus Christopher Council, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Sons of Italy, South Brooklyn Lions, and was on the board of directors of the Marien-Heim Towers of Sunset Park. He served 17 years as chairman of Community Board 7. He was instrumental in getting Sunset Park designated as a Neighborhood Strategy Area, receiving 10 million dollars for improvements to the area, including a new sanitation garage, construction of a new school-P.S.314, and upgrades to parks, sewers, and street lighting throughout the area.

His efforts and dedication did not go unnoticed. He received numerous awards and recognitions, such as Man of the Year from the Yankee Circuit and YMCA, Bishop Mugavero Award, Leif Erikson League Board of Directors Award, Panza-Sterrazza Memorial Service Award, and the 72nd Precinct Community Award. Upon his retirement, Di Orio was acknowledged by the Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden and New York City Mayor Edward Koch for his seventeen years of service to Brooklyn and Community Board 7.

He remained a resident of Sunset Park until his death. To recognize his hard work, influence, and dedication to the community, the street in front of the St. Rocco’s Youth Center, at 27th Street and 4th Avenue, has been named Andrew Di Orio Boulevard. Section 39, lot 38325, grave 2607.

Di Orio, left, with wedding ushers.

EIDINGER, ANNA OLISHEWSKY (or OLESHEWSKI), (1923-2006). A “Rosie the Riveter,” female factory worker in support of the World War II stateside effort. Anna Olishewsky was born in Brooklyn; her birth record spells her surname as “Oleshewski.” After graduating from Eastern District High School in 1939, she first worked as a milling machine operator at Clarisat on Sands Street in Brooklyn.

During World War II, she worked at Sperry Gyroscope Company, also on Sands Street. Her daughter, Barbara Eidinger reports that she wired electrical panels for battleships. In the words of Barbara, “I’m glad I was able to find a picture of Mom rocking the Katharine Hepburn look as a real life ‘Rosie the Riveter.’ Shame you can’t see her saddle shoes.  She worked in a factory in a man’s job in men’s clothes downtown in the Sands Street area of Brooklyn, but after work, she went home and dressed like the lady she was.” Barbara also reported: “A cute story about Mom and her war work comes to mind.  She used to have to bake parts of the battleship panels she wired in an oven.  Well, at holiday time they all had to work so they used to smuggle in rationed meat and cook it in the ovens to enjoy together. To go along with the meal, she used to smuggle hip flasks of booze into the factory on the inside of her Wellington boots. She didn’t drink, but her audacity helped her coworkers make merry as they did their part to win the war.”

Olishewsky met her husband when he returned to Sperry in Brooklyn after his military service. Barbara Eidinger recalls that her dad, having grown taller while in the service, returned to work in civilian trousers that were too short. Her mom offered to turn the cuffs down, and in Barbara’s words, “The rest is history.” On October 14, 1947, Olishewsky married Frederick Eidinger (see) in Manhattan; the couple had one daughter. In 1993, the Eidingers lived at 269 17th Street in Brooklyn. Section 133, lot 39603, grave 2.

Anna Olishewsky Eidinger
Anna Olishewsky Eidinger, a Rosie the Riveter.

EIDINGER, JR., FREDERICK (or FREDRIC) HENRY (1921-1996). Corporal, 3705th Army Air Force, United States Army. Born in Hamburg, Germany, the 1940 census reports that the eighteen-year-old Eidinger lived with his parents, Fritz and Agnes, at 1449 First Avenue, New York City. His citizenship is listed there as “alien” and he was in his third year of high school. As per his daughter, Barbara Eidinger, he graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1941. He registered for the armed forces on February 15, 1942, at the age of 20. His draft registration card lists him as 175 pounds, 6′ 2″, brown eyes, blonde hair with a light complexion. His place of business was Sperry Gyroscope Company (founded by Elmer Sperry, inventor of the gyroscope, iron mike, and many of breakthroughs for the armed forces, who is also interred at Green-Wood Cemetery), located at 36-40 Flatbush Extension in Brooklyn. He originally recorded his address as 281 20th Street, Brooklyn, but changed it to 159 18th Street. William Pitsing, relationship unknown, was listed as his emergency contact.

His army enlistment data from March 13, 1944, at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, states that he was single, a citizen and had completed four years of high school. His civilian occupation is listed as a semi-skilled worker in building aircraft. His rank at enlistment was private. According to records, he was treated for an inguinal hernia, an injury he sustained in the line of duty, from November 1944 to December 1944. His places of service included Texas, Lowry Field in Denver, Colorado, and Valdosta, Georgia. According to his daughter “he excelled at the then new technology of radio/television electronics at both Brooklyn Tech High School and at Sperry Gyroscope Inc. He was therefore assigned to several stateside Army Air Force support facilities as a remote control turret repairman and computer specialist from May 1944 to April 1946.” 

Upon completion of service, he returned to work at Sperry Gyroscope. According to its Division Records website, Sperry Gyroscope was incorporated in 1910.  From 1915 to 1925, the company worked with the United States Navy to develop stabilizers, the aerial torpedo and anti-aircraft devices, among other inventions. In the 1940s, the Sperry Corporation worked with Stanford and MIT, developing microwave technology. During World War II, it produced computer-controlled and stabilized bomb sights, automatic pilots, airborne radar equipment, and other systems for the government. Eidinger’s daughter relates, “Going through my Dad’s photos from his life’s work at Sperry, I discovered why he had to have security clearance and not speak of work at home. He and his shop were the recipients of many awards from both the Navy, for work on the Polaris missile system, and later from NASA, for work on Apollo XI and XIII.” 

He married Anna Olishewsky (see) on October 14, 1947. Anna had a factory job during World War II at Sperry Gyroscope Company, where they met after he returned from his military service. In 1993, he was living at 269 17th Street in Brooklyn. According to the Veterans Affair records, Eidinger passed away in 1996 of natural causes. He was survived by his wife and daughter. Section 133, lot 39603, grave 2.

Fred Eidinger
Anna Eidinger

FIQUET, CLAUDE JACQUE (1926-2015) Seaman first class, United States Navy. Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, Fiquet was the second child of Juliette Fiquet and George Fiquet, French immigrants who moved to New Jersey in 1922 and 1923, respectively. According to the 1930 census, his mother was a building superintendent and his father was a salesman in the garment industry; the 1940 census lists his father’s occupation as baker, working 48 hours a week. Fiquet had an older brother Lionel, and two younger brothers, Jacque and Bernard (as per the 1940 census).

At the age of four, Fiquet was living with his family in the Bronx on Woodycrest Avenue, Block H # 1200 (1930 census). He was 14 years old when they lived in Brooklyn, and at the time had completed 6th grade in elementary school, as per the 1940 census. At the age of 20, Fiquet was described on his World War II draft card  as being 6 feet tall, white, with hazel eyes and blonde hair.

Claude Jacque Fiquet served as a second class seaman and then first class seaman from May 26, 1944 through October 26, 1945 on the tank landing ship LST-1023. He was discharged on May 12,1946, at the age of 20 as per his registration card; that same document listed his residential address as 339 19th Street in Brooklyn.

As per his daughter, Fiquet married Josephine (née D’Amelio) on April 26, 1953. From 1993 to 1998, they lived on 1241 East 32nd Street, Brooklyn. Fiquet was 89 when he died. His obituary in the Daily News states he worked as a UPS Master Mechanic for 30 years, after which he spent his retirement with his “longtime friend and sweetheart, Rose” He was survived by his brother Lionel, his five children Giorgina, Michael, Virginia, Juliette, and Rocco, his grandchildren John Patrick, Jacqueline, Christopher, Sara, Justin, Taylor, Brianna, Christopher, Marcus, and Sebastian, and his great-grandchild Scarlett. His funeral mass was held at St Athanasius Church in Brooklyn. Section 176, lot 44603, grave 70.

Fiquet is seated.

FISHEL, HENRY D. (Unknown-2016). Private, United States Army, unit unknown. As noted by his daughter, Fishel served in the Army. He may be the Henry Fishel who, according to the National Archives Website, was born in 1925 in either Danzig (Gdansk, Poland) or Germany. As per this World War II Army Enlistment Record, Fishel lived in Kings County, New York, and enlisted on March 15, 1944 at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York (on Long Island, in Suffolk County). His grade designation was private with no branch assignment. The enlistment record also notes that he was not yet a citizen, had completed four years of high school, and was single, without dependents. The record’s term of enlistment states: “Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.” Section 31, lot 44902, grave 80.

GAVARIS, PROKOPIOS (1920-1989). Sergeant, United States Army. Prokopios Gavaris’s father was Eustaras Gavaris and his mother Aspasia (Kapinaros) Gavaris. They had arrived in New York by 1919. Although family members reported that Gavaris was born in Greece, like his older siblings, according to the United States Social Security Applications and Claims Index, he was in fact born in Brooklyn, New York.

Gavaris’s siblings ranged from 10-20 years older than him. One passed away young and two others moved to Canada. After her marriage, his sister, Sophia, lived in both Chicago and Bloomington, Indiana, before returning to New York. According to family members, Gavaris, who was also known as Pete, attended high school in Greece. His absence from New York City censuses during that time period suggests this may be accurate. Indeed, he is listed as a passenger on the Ile de France, a ship that departed from Le Havre, France, and arrived in New York in May of 1939. Gavaris was 19 years old.

Gavaris’s draft card is dated July 28, 1941. His height is listed as 6′ and both his hair and eyes are listed as brown. His occupation is identified as waiter, though he is listed as unemployed. For “Name and Address of a Person Who Will Always Know Your Name,” it lists H. Costas, who was the husband of his sister, Sophia. Their address is given as 505 12th Street, Brooklyn.

On February 21, 1942, Gavaris enlisted in the United States Army. Initially stationed in England, he saw combat in France. At one time, his late nephew had photographs Gavaris took of a downed German plane, but they have unfortunately been lost. His cousin reports that Gavaris drove a bulldozer and in that job, assisted in the burial of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He does not appear to have told this to anyone else, which is in keeping with how quiet he was about his war years. Gavaris achieved the rank of sergeant and was given an honorable discharge from the Army, completing his service on October 9, 1945.

Called by a family member “a born gentleman” and “the sweetest of fellows,” Gavaris became an avid golfer. After the war through the early 1980s, Gavaris, who had worked previously as both a waiter and a bartender, was part owner of Merchants Restaurant on Hudson Street in Manhattan. He never married or had children, but according to his cousin, he was a wonderful uncle and great-uncle. Gavaris’s last known address before his death on September 4, 1989, is Hampton City, Virginia. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery two days later. Section 58, lot 44604.

Gavaris, far left, circa 1946.
Gavaris is in the driver’s seat.
Gavaris, far right, with family.

Gavaris in the 1960s.

GERARD, JR., SUMNER PELL (1916-2005). Captain, United States Marine Corps. Born into a prominent American family, Sumner Gerard’s paternal ancestors were French Huguenots who came to New York, after several generations in Scotland, in 1776. On the maternal side of the Gerard family, a notable ancestor was Increase Sumner, governor of Massachusetts 1797-1799, among other accomplishments. According to the 1920 census, the well-connected and affluent family lived on East 72nd Street in Manhattan. His father, Sumner K. Gerard, was an attorney, investor and real estate developer. The household consisted of Sumner, his brother Charles Henry Sumner, who was two years younger, his parents, and ten servants. His older brother, James Watson Gerard II, is not listed in the 1920 census. In 1924, his parents divorced and his mother, Helen Coster Gerard, remarried in 1926.  Her second husband, Arthur Train, was a lawyer and novelist who was famous for his legal thrillers.  By 1930, Sumner was living on East 73rd Street with his brother, step-siblings, a governess, and seven servants.

Gerard graduated from the Groton School in 1934 and then went on to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Cambridge in 1937 and a master’s degree in 1939. While at Cambridge, Sumner became a certified pilot as a member of the University Aero Club. By 1940, according to the census of that year, Sumner was living in New York City at his father’s house, and, as per his draft registration card, working as a political secretary for Councilmember Joseph Clark Baldwin, who later became a United States congressman.

In February 1941, Gerard was drafted into the Army as a private. A few months later, by June 1941, he was transferred to the Navy, commissioned as an ensign, and assigned to Washington, D.C., as an assistant administrator of export control. (This unusual move was noted in a newspaper item in the Montana Standard.) In August, 1942, Gerard, now a naval lieutenant, was sent as aide-de-camp to the Moscow Conference; the United States delegation was led by Averell Harriman. The conference, according to the Olean Times-Herald, was primarily an Anglo-Russian meeting between Churchill and Stalin. By 1943, according to muster rolls, he had become a Marine Corps captain in Company A. He trained as a parachutist while attached to the British Eighth Army and during the war years was posted to Africa, China, India, and Burma. Gerard was discharged from the Marine Corps as a captain in the intelligence service in 1945. He received the Army Commendation Medal and the Order of the British Empire.

In peacetime, Gerard initially returned to the family business, Aeon Realty Company, but by 1947 he had decided to go into ranching, and moved with his family to Montana in 1949. The ranch business was never profitable and his father continued to supply it with financial assistance. In Montana, he became involved in politics. He was elected to the Montana Legislature as a Republican representing Madison County in 1954, serving three terms, and was minority leader from 1959 to 1961. In 1959, he announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate, but lost the primary. He finished his political career as a state senator for Madison County. He served in the Montana Senate from 1962 through 1969 and was minority leader 1966 to 1969.

In 1969, Gerard left Montana for New Jersey to begin his next career.  He was appointed by President Richard M. Nixon as a delegate to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  From 1970 to 1974, he was the mission director for the United States Agency for International Development in Tunisia.  Nixon then appointed him United States Ambassador to Jamaica in 1974, a post he was to hold through the Ford administration and the beginning of the Carter administration. He left the post in 1977.

Gerard then relocated to Florida and pursued an interest in marine biology. He sponsored underwater archeology expeditions, eventually becoming an adjunct professor of maritime archaeology at the University of Miami.

In his personal life, Sumner Gerard married Louise Taft Grosvenor in 1943.  She came from another well-connected New York family: her father’s cousin was President Taft and her stepfather was a former governor of New York.  Louise was a Vassar graduate. They had five children: Jenny, Molly, Helen, Anne and Sumner, before divorcing in 1967. In 1968, Sumner married Niki Dabrowski, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, and lived and worked in Rome, Italy, until 1964. Sumner and Niki divorced in 2004. They had no children. Gerard died in Florida of natural causes.  He was buried in the Gerard family vault. Section 108, lot 16554, vault.

GILI, ANTHONY JOHN (1928-1999). Corpsman 3rd class, United States Navy. Anthony Gili was born on Mulberry Street in Manhattan to Charles Carmelo Gili and Eva (Colombo) Gili, a seamstress. His father, who was born in Malta, was a Maltese merchant seaman, according to his grandson, and became a naturalized United States citizen in 1933. His mother was born in New York; her parents were from Italy. Anthony’s sister, Angelina, was born in 1931. By 1940, according to the census for that year, the family had moved to Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Anthony attended Boys High School on Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn. He enlisted in the Navy on March 9, 1946, just a few weeks after his 18th birthday, and trained as a pharmacist’s mate with the rank of corpsman third class.

After his discharge on January 8, 1948, Anthony worked for 20 years as a printer/foreman at Van Reese Press on West 26th Street in New York City. Then, with his cousin Tony Gili, he founded Copymate, Inc., located at 42-53 Main Street, Flushing. The business was registered with the State of New York in 1974.

He and his wife Carole bought a home at 204 East 2nd Street in Brooklyn and raised four children: Charles, Anthony Jr., Christopher and Elizabeth Anne. Gili was a Boy Scout Leader for Troop 184, based at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, and was a Little League baseball coach for the 70th Precinct Youth Council.

In retirement, the Gilis moved to Mystic Islands, New Jersey. Carole worked in the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City and Anthony worked part time at the Taj Mahal Casino as a slot machine attendant. His son Charles commented that he was very creative and loved to draw and paint, carved wooden birds and decoys, and spent time with his children and nine grandchildren.

Anthony died on January 14, 1999. Said his son: “We were all at his bedside when he passed away at my sister’s home in Pennsylvania, with music from the WWII era playing in the background. He was an incredibly hard worker and loving husband, father and friend.” Section 112, lot 38513, grave 2.

Gili at Parris Island, South Carolina, 1946.
Gili’s Badge
Carole and Anthony Gili

Gili’s son, Charles, at Green-Wood.

HAMM, FRANK COLEMAN (1901-1987). Lieutenant colonel, Medical Corps, United States Army.  According to his grandson, Hamm was the son of a master railway carpenter, played Santa Claus in an 8th grade musical, and attended the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. He may be the Frank C. Hamm who, on June 15, 1918, departed on the Leviathan, a United States Army transport ship, from Hoboken, New Jersey, as a member of the 146th Infantry, Company C. He and his wife, Lisbeth, were married in 1935 at 35 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn. As per the 1940 census, he was living with his wife and two children on Henry Street in Brooklyn and was a doctor. He reported that he was working 60-hour weeks and had earned $5,000 for the year.

According to his draft registration card, he was born in Belle Plain, Iowa, lived at 1 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn, and was self-employed at 80 Hanson Place. His grandson also relates that he was drafted at the age of 40. Hamm enlisted on April 30, 1942, and was discharged from service on April 1, 1946.

He eventually settled in New York, practicing urology. He was Chair of Urology at the Brooklyn Hospital Center from 1940 to 1970. From 1953 to 1954, he served as president of the New York Section of the American Urological Association (AUA). Hamm co-authored Urology in General Practice with Sidney R. Weinberg which was published in 1958. In 1961, he presented a dissertation, “Retroperitoneal Fibrosis,” after a AUA dinner and awards ceremony honoring the winners of the Ferdinand C. Valentine Prize Essay Contest for Residents. As per Benjamin B. K. Peng’s obituary “Dr. Frank Hamm, Professor and Chairman, Department of Urology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, offered him a research fellowship on experimental induction of cancer in the bladders of animals from a joint 5-year award by the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health.” According to the Preface from Urology in World War II, “A separate volume on urology as part of the series of volumes of the surgical history of World War II was conceived and authorized in 1961, sixteen years after the war ended.” Hamm’s contributing chapter, “Bladder Injuries,”can be found on page 385. At least two of his articles were published in the Journal of Urology: “Value of the Urine Sediment Smear for the Diagnosis of Cancer” with Nathan Lieberman and Philip C. Cabaud in Vol. 89, Issue 3, March 1963, and, “Hemangiosarcoma of the Ureter: A Case Report” with Richard L. Fein in Vol. 93, Issue 6, June 1965.

In 2019, the Brooklyn Hospital Center celebrated 175 years of service to the community. The Center recognized 175 individuals throughout the years that have made a “unique contribution of the depth, individuality and well-being of Brooklyn.” Hamm was posthumously given his award on June 20, 2019. He died on Shelter Island and is buried in the Higgins Mausoleum, a tomb located on Green-Wood’s Battle Hill. Section G, lot 23554.

Dr. Frank Hamm

KAIATT (or KAIT), GEORGE (1918-1997). Private, United States Army. Born in Brooklyn, the New York birth index records his last name as “Kait.” The 1920 census reports that the one-year-old Kaiatt lived with his parents, Naif and Besima, his two older sisters, and a thirty-year-old uncle, Charles Zogub, in West Hoboken, New Jersey. As per that census, his father was born in Syria and immigrated to the United States in 1900 when he was 23 and his mother, who was also born Syria, came to the United States in 1903 at age 16. At that time, both parents worked. The census records that his elder sister, Alice, was born in New York in 1907, while Emily was born in New Jersey in 1911. The family surname is spelled “Kiatt” in this census. As per the 1930 census, the family was residing in Union City, New Jersey. His father had become a United States citizen and was a manager for Kimono Works. His mother was no longer working, nor was his uncle living with them. His two sisters worked as seamstresses for a dress company. This census records the spelling of the family surname as “Kaiatt” and that both sisters were born in New York.  

According to the May 6, 1938, edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Kaiatt attended a dinner party in honor of the marriage of his friend, Anthony Bittar. Kaiatt attended the Columbia College of Pharmacy in New York City and its 1939 yearbook, Apothekan, lists Kaiatt and two friends as the “three musketeers” on the Hall of Fame page. By the time of the 1940 census, Kaiatt’s father had passed away and his mother was the head of the household. The family was then residing in Brooklyn. His sisters still worked in the garment industry and he is recorded as having attended four years of college. His occupation is listed as pharmacist.

On his draft registration card, Kaiatt listed 609 52nd Street, Brooklyn, as his address. However, that address has been crossed out with a red marker.  The registration card lists Anthony Bittar, his friend from the 1938 dinner party, as his contact. Abraham Becker, at 5101 Sixth Avenue, is noted as his employer. Kaiatt’s World War II Army enlistment records disclose his enrollment date as October 9, 1942, at Fort Jay on Governors Island. He is described as single, 5′ 7″, and 174 pounds. As per his nephew, Kaiatt was a medic in the army, tending to many injured soldiers and witnessing some fatalities. He served in many battles in North Africa, especially in Morocco, and in the Italian campaigns.

After the war, Kaiaitt enjoyed traveling. As per manifests from the cruise ship Nassau, he was a passenger for at least four consecutive summers, from 1954 to 1957, sailing from New York to Nassau and back. A TWA passenger list records him as arriving in New York from London on August 3, 1960. His address at the time was 8120 6th Avenue, Brooklyn, and the spelling of his last name reverted to “Kait.” Section 50, lot 38293, grave 2.

KERR, JR., CHARLES FREDERICK (1923-2018). Rank unknown, United States Army. Kerr was born in Brooklyn. According to his grandson, Kerr left home during the Depression to look for work. At fourteen years old, Kerr hopped a freight train with a friend and went first to Pennsylvania and then Ohio. After his friend chose to return home, Kerr continued his travels and for a time worked on a farm down South. The kind farmer whom he worked for eventually convinced Kerr to return to his family, and so he returned to Brooklyn.

According to the 1940 federal census, seventeen-year-old Kerr was living with his parents, Charles Sr., his mother, Helen, and his younger sisters, Theresa, Mary Ann and Edwina. Two maternal uncles were also part of the household. Charles Kerr Sr.’s occupation is listed as “sifter” for a powder company, and he had been unemployed for two weeks. According to the census, Kerr completed 7th grade, but went no further in school. He was working as a messenger for a telegraph company.

As per Kerr’s draft registration card, filled out on June 20, 1942, when he was 19 years old, he was employed by Robins Dry Dock and Repair Company in Brooklyn. He is described by the registrar as having blue eyes and brown hair.

As his grandson related, not long after Kerr took a job with Western Union, he decided to join the Army to fight in World War II. Kerr was among the soldiers who landed at Normandy; he also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Upon returning from the war, he met Eleanor Arthurs, whom he married in 1948. According to Kerr’s Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Employment Card, dated 1952, he had worked as a clerk in the United States Post Office for the previous two years. At the shipyard, he was employed as a laborer. The family lived on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. Kerr and his wife had two children, Joann and Ronald.

A June 23, 2017 an article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle recounts an event from that April in which 50 veterans from New York City were given an opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. The 94-year-old Kerr was accompanied by his grandson, Liam McCabe. As per McCabe, it was his grandfather’s first trip to D.C. The veterans visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and the National WWII Memorial, which Kerr was especially moved by, according to his grandson. Kerr was interred in Green-Wood Cemetery on July 21, 2020. Section 1116, columbarium.

KHOURY, JOHN MICHAEL (1924-2020). Private first class, 7th Army, 100th Infantry Division, 399th Regiment, Company L. Khoury was born in Brooklyn to Syrian immigrants, Michael and Marie Khoury. According to the 1930 census, he lived at 540 East 48th Street, Brooklyn, which lists John, then 6, as the eldest of three children along with his sister Yraune, 4 and brother Russel, 2. As per his obituary, he was a graduate of Manual Training High School (now John Jay), class of 1941, and studied at Columbia University where he played football but withdrew in his sophomore year to join the Army. By the time of the 1940 census, another child, Clara, had been born to the Khoury family. The family also employed a maid, Delia Lopez, 20, who, according to the census, lived in their home.

His draft registration card lists the same home address on East 48th Street. According to a self-published book about his war experiences, Love Company in the Vognes Mountains, Khoury was a “self-described tough kid from Brooklyn” who enlisted in the United States Army Enlisted Reserve program in October 1942, hoping to complete his college education before being called to active duty. This did not happen; Khoury’s army service began soon thereafter in the tank corps. He then was transferred to the air corps and ultimately, he became a sniper and rifleman. His book details brutal engagements as a member of the 7th Army in both France and Germany. He describes his view of the war as coming from the “subterranean level of a foxhole where all human senses are on full alert but the mind was atrophied.” The book jacket to Love Company describes each patrol as a “repetition of the last,” remembering the “shots of German burp guns and machine guns whizzing over my head as I hugged Mother Earth as they spewed bullets in tremendous bursts. Trees and branches splintered around me as they were hit…when we were bombarded with artillery shells, they tore up the ground and exploded in the trees showering us with shrapnel. They maimed and killed more men than any other weapon. The soldier had no defense against an artillery bombardment except to dig a foxhole with a cover. When you could fire back, you did it with anger and vengeance for the buddies that were hit.”

Khoury reports how the American forces “outfought the Germans in almost every battle,” his involvement in the surrender of a meticulously groomed high ranking German officer, the unsung hero of his war, Major General Withers aka Pinkey Burress, who as leader of the 100th Infantry, claimed “more enemy territory with fewer casualties than any other division in the war,” the “liberation” of cartons of “10-in-1” rations containing cans of orange marmalade, bacon, meat, and loaves of real bread and butter from the tanks of the 781st Tank Battalion, along with a full- sized shovel used to dig a foxhole in a quarter of the time it took with the regular entrenching tool, and incidences of unsettling friendly fire.

In addition, Khoury describes brutal house-to-house fighting during the Battle of Lemberg including the loss of his good “buddy,” Pfc. John W. Howe, Jr. who had been “hit by shrapnel in several places, and his wounds were so severe that he did not survive.” After the battle, Khoury’s company was in reserve which allowed them to bathe out of their helmets, and shave a two week growth of beard with a dull Army razor. “I let my mustache grow just for a change. We scrubbed our clothes of the mud and filth. The supply sergeant gave each of us clean underwear and socks.”

On December 15, 1944, Khoury remembers reaching a wooded mountain facing the Citadel and Maginot Line at the town of Bitche, France. Some 500 yards away they could see huge concrete forts where the retreating German Army had taken up defensive positions. Khoury admits that they had no idea these fortifications were the strongest of the entire Maginot Line: “We only knew that this was the next objective. Looking at these gray, ominous forts did not make us feel very happy. We waited for orders to attack, but the enemy positions had to be softened up first.” Eventually it was the job of Khoury’s unit to take the forts where the Germans were waiting. “I had the task of carrying a satchel or beehive charge- a 25- pound, cone-shaped charge of TNT designed to cling to a vertical or horizontal surface. This had to be strategically placed by hand, and the fuse had to be ignited. Before it exploded, I would have enough time to find a cozy spot to wait in safety.” Khoury was skeptical that his job would be successful but he knew he would try to do it. “On other missions, I had known fear but I had not lost courage or determination. This time I had a mortal fear that it would be my last mission.” Eventually, the mission was aborted because all available resources were diverted to the Battle of the Bulge.

Khoury would see much fighting; a New Year’s Eve attack by the Germans on the 7th Army front, Hitler’s Operation Nordwind. The firing from the front lines was “furious and harrowing” and seemed to last for hours. The Germans were “drunk with schnapps” and returned very little fire. The German attack was broken. Despite this victory, Khoury was exhausted: “After two months of death and destruction I was tired of it and I felt like a very old man. I had thought for some time that the war was never going to end. What was the use of fighting? We had been living in the rain and snow during one of the coldest winters in recent European history. We shivered as we trudged out on patrols, and we never felt warm. Death would not have been a bad alternative. I did not tell my thoughts to any of my buddies. Besides, we had to move out to our next battle, and I had to forget such a stupid idea.” Khoury’s war soon ended: his feet became frostbitten and he was evacuated to a military hospital to recover. Khoury was hospitalized for weeks, during which time he gained enormous respect for the nurses who tended the sick, wounded and dying.

According to his obituary, Khoury remained in Europe with the army after the war, assigned to Kasel, Germany, where he managed a warehouse that provided food to displaced and destitute German civilians. According to his son John, the Germans were especially appreciative of the freshly ground coffee beans. Khoury was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, European Theater Medal with Three Battle Stars, American Theatre Medal, Army of Occupation Medal-Germany, Presidential Distinguished Unit Badge, Victory Medal, and Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for valor.

After his service, Khoury joined his father in the family textile business, married his childhood friend, Grace Magrabi, and moved to Tenafly, New Jersey, to raise their family. He was the father of four, Diane, Jeanne, Carol and John, and grandfather to George, Danielle, Mark and Nicole. He ran the family business with his brother Russel until he retired at 85. He was married for 68 years, his wife Grace having predeceased him. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Tenafly. Section 128, lot 36787, grave 3. 

KRAFFT, HENRY JOHN (1911-1994). Private, United States Army. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Henry’s birthday is variously recorded as July 31 or August 1. He completed two years of high school and was working as an elevator operator in 1940, according to that year’s federal census. The year before, marriage license records show, he had married Frances E. Brown in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1942, at the age of 31, his draft registration records his new address in Belleville, New Jersey, his occupation as sales clerk, and his employer as the Globe Indemnity Company of Newark. In 1943, he and Frances became parents of Mary Emmons Krafft, who, according to the Belleville Times, grew up in Belleville, became a teacher in the New Jersey school system, and died in 1980, at age 37, predeceased in 1979 by her mother. Both Mary and Frances Krafft are buried in Green-Wood.

Little is known about Krafft’s military service. His enlistment record shows that he was called up on March 10, 1944, at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Around that time, army infantry troops were being marshaled for the planned invasion of Europe that began on June 6 of that year. A family member confirms that Krafft served in Europe then. His date of discharge from the United States Army is unknown.

Seven years after the death of his wife Frances, Krafft was married again, at age 75, in 1986, to Alice Marie Zyckowski, in Belleville, New Jersey.  He died in 1994, just shy of his 83rd birthday.

Henry Krafft’s name was sent to the project by a cousin of his first wife, Frances, with this note: “I’m submitting this to honor Henry’s service to our country. He was in the infantry and literally walked across Europe to defeat the Axis Powers.” Section 168, lot 37940, grave 3.

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 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, 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 Manos in civilian life.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 young daughter named Mary.

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. As reported by his daughter, 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. 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.

In 1949, Placido married Helen L. Miscione and the couple had two children: Susan (born in 1954), and Steven (born in 1956). Placido worked for Western Electric. According to the United States Public Records, he lived in Brooklyn from 1984 to 2005, Parksville, New York, from 1996 to 1998, and in New York City from 2001 until his death. Section 39/40, lot 38325, grave 821.

Steve Placido

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.

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 Schmielan (Kay), 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, blonde 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