My great grandfather, Antonio, was born 12 February 1882 • Rogliano, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
In 1905, at the age of 23, he immigrated to the US. He already had 4 sons, but two of them died in Italy. He immigrated with his wife, Teresa and their two sons, Atilio and Mariano.
He settled in Philadelphia and spent 40 years working at the Philadelphia Water Works as a laborer. His job was to deliver clean water to the city. His paycheck, in 1905, was $0.05 per hour or about 20 dollars per week.
Over the next 15 years he had 6 more children. All together, he had 9 sons and one daughter. One of those sons, born in April 1916, was my grandfather Alfredo.
Antonio died of throat cancer in 1978 at the age of 96.
My grandfather, Alfredo, was born in 1916 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He was a teenager during the Great Depression. He would have been about the age I am now.
When WWII broke out in 1939, Alfred was 23 years old and already working as a die-setter in a factory called ITT Nesbitt. A die-setter punches holes in metal.
Alfredo joined the Navy to fight in the war on October 23, 1942. All of his brothers joined the military. They were all Navy Men except for one Army man. He spent his military time on the USS Macdonough, which was a destroyer. He was mostly stationed in the South Pacific fighting the Japanese military. Alfredo was discharged from the navy in 1945.
He went back to the factory and worked there until he retired.
My grandfather died of heart failure in Princeton NJ on New Years Eve 2006. I was 4 years old.
Alfredo came from a family of 10 children. Two died in Italy, and two died at a young age in Philadelphia. The remaining brothers all fought in WWII.
All of them joined the US Navy except Antonio II (Tony). Tony was stubborn and wanted to be different, so he joined the US Army.
I imagine my great grandfather Antonio must have been very worried but very proud of his sons.
I am lucky enough to have Tony's gas mask and Army hat from WWII, as well as Charles WWII Navy knife.
All of the brothers safely returned home to Philadelphia after the war.