Wednesday, 6 June 2007

D-Day Salute

Today is D-Day, so I thought it appropriate to salute those members of the Family Harvest family who served in the service of their country.

Although not directly related to me, our family includes Fiorello Casale, Purple Heart recipient, who was at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

Fiorello was born in Palestrina, Italy, in 1910 and immigrated to the United States in 1927 at age 17 on the S.S. Presidente Wilson. His parents had preceeded him across the Atlantic and had settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, a center for shoe manufacturing. Fiorello found work in a shoe factory to help support the family, which had grown to seven siblings by the 1930 U.S. Census.

Six months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, Fiorello enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Private with the 175th Infantry 29th Division under the command of Colonel Paul R. Goode. He was 31 years of age, older than most of the soldiers at that time.

On 6 June 1944, during the Allied force invasion at Omaha Beach, the 175th was held offshore in Corps reserve, coming ashore on 7 June, securing the bluff tops. Two days later, they seized Isigny, then crossed the Elle River, advancing slowly toward St. Lo while fighting bitterly in the Norman hedgerows. It is during this march that Fiorello was struck and died.

Fiorello is buried in Saint Laurent (Permanent Cemetery), Saint Laurent, France.

Although this post is in honor of Fiorello Casale, he was not the only member of the Family Harvest Family to serve his country during World War II:

U.S. Navy
Frank J. Donovan (SC-982)
John L. Donovan (CL-9 "Richmond")

U.S. Army
Ruth E. Haviland (Fort Sheridan, Illinois)

Civilian Service
George L. Donovan (Boston Navy Yard)
Ellen F. Donovan (Boston Navy Yard)

In Memory Of Those Who Served.

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