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.
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 Card 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. His Registrar’s Report from January 1, 1944, 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 travelled 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.
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 World War II 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 Card, 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 namedin 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.
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 Card, 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.
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.
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.
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 Card, 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.
BELL, JR., HIRAM LEWIS (1924-2012). Supply staff sergeant, United States Army. Hiram Lewis Bell, Jr., known in his youth as “Lewis,” 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 Card, 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, Felix 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.
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 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 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.
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 his Enlistment record, 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.
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.
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 Eagle’s 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, Air Force, United States Army. 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.
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. An article in the December 7, 1998 issue of 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. The May 9, 1931, 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. The 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.
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, lists 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 was nicknamed, “The All American Division” 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 Death File, Cuccurullo was released from service on December 22, 1945.
The New York Marriage License Indexes 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.
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.
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.
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. His 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.
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.
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 Easter 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.”
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.
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 World War II 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’ 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.
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 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.
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 World War II 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.
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 World War II 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.
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.
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.
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 Draft 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.
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 World War II 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 Enlistment Records details that he was enlisted in the 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.
LUCCHESI, JR., ELISEO (or LEWIS) 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 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. His Draft Registration Card, likely dating from 1942, records his age as 21 years old and that he was residing at 869-60th Street, Brooklyn. His place of business was Berkshire Tailors, at 5917-8th Avenue, Brooklyn. 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, 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.
He applied for a marriage license in Brooklyn on October 8, 1945, and married Rosa Anna Richichi on October 21, 1945. His daughter relates that the couple had two children and that “My father was a tailor and ran the Valet Service in the hotel industry in Manhattan.” According to the Social Security Death Index, Lucchesi’s last place of residence was in Brooklyn. Section 88, lot 44332, grave 2.
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.
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 World War II 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 World War II 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.
SPINELLI, FRANK (1925-1993). 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.