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Biography
 

Cordino Longiotti Fort McClellan, AL 1943

Cordino and Loretta 50th Anniversary in 1995

Last Name: 
LONGIOTTI
First Name Middle Initial:
CORDINO
Nick Name:
'COR'
Street:  522 E VALLEY VIEW RD City & State: ASHLAND, OR E-Mail:  corlon@charter.net
Zip: 97520 Phone:  (503) 488-1216 Spouse: LORETTA
Conflict: WWII ETO. Service Branch: ARMY Unit: CO. D 179 INF. 45 DIVISION
Theater: Where Captured: ANZIO BEACHHEAD, ITALY Date Captured: 02/18/44
Camps Held In: LATERINA, ITALY FOR 90 DAYS: STALAG 7A FOR 20 DAYS: STALAG 7B WORKED ON FARM IN UNTERTHURHEIM, GERMANY How Long Interned: 433 days
Liberated / repatriated: liberated Date Liberated: 04/26/45 Age at Capture: 20
Medals Received: GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL, COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE, EUROPEAN THEATER MEDAL WITH THREE BRONZE BATTLE STARS, WORLD WAR II MEDAL, POW MEDAL AND IN FEB. 1992 AWARDED THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL FOR MERITORIOUS ACTION IN COMBAT.
Military Job: MACHINE GUNNER, HEAVY WEAPONS Company: WESTINGHOUSE and SELF EMPLOYED
Occupation after War:  HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR

 

Bio:

CORDINO LONGIOTTI

Born on May 27, 1923 in Greenville, Pa. of Italian immigrants. Inducted into the Army on Feb. 3. 1943. Basic training at Fort McClellan, Al. We set sail for Africa on June 9, 1943. Joined with the 45th Division, 179th Infantry Co. D in Palermo, Sicily July 31. as assistant gunner and later a gunner on 30 caliber water cooled machine gun. On Sept. 9 we landed on the Salerno Beachhead, Italy. After some hard fighting we made our way northward to Venafro, near Cassino. From there we landed on the Anzio beachhead where the fighting was ferocious. On February 18, 1944 we, (two machine gun squads), were deserted by our own troops, the enemy came from behind and our squad was taken prisoner with bayonets jabbing our backs. It was only by the grace of GOD that we survived. We were taken to a German first Aid station surrounded with tanks when we were strafed by our own P-51 fighter planes. We were about 90 prisoners lined up, we all hit the ground and not one was injured, except 2 German soldiers were killed, one was sitting directly behind me on an ammunition box. From there we were taken to a LICE ridden camp in Laterina, Italy, with about 400 pows, where we remained for 3 months. Life there was barely livable, water only every other day, never a change of clothes. Food--cup of coffee for breakfast, cup of soup for lunch with a small piece of bread, and a cup of tea or soup for supper. Enough to just barely stay alive, In 3 months I lost 40 pounds, everyone in camp had dysentery. On June 8 we were loaded into boxcars like cattle and after three days arrived at Mooseburg, Germany. The camp there was more like a prison than camp. After one month we were taken to Augsburg, where we built out own camp which was hit by our planes after we left. We were also cleaning up the rubble from our bombings in the city and airport and taking shelter with civilians when our bombers overhead were dropping bombs. When asked what I did in civilian life, I said I was a farmer (hoping to get to work on a farm where there was food). On August 8 we were taken by truck to Memmington (stalag VII-B) and 18 of us went by train to Unterthurheim, a farming community southwest of Augsburg. There we worked from sun-up to sun-down every day, farming in summer and cutting firewood in winter. Life on the farm was hard work but the food also was much better, we ate what the farmers ate. I contacted Diphtheria in Jan. 1945 and was taken by train to a civilian hospital for two weeks. There I was reminded of my brother that died from Diphtheria when I was seven years old.
I remained there until liberated by the third infantry division on April 25, 1945. After liberated the German Sergeant in charge gave me his revolver for a souvenir.

On October 1995 my lovely wife Loretta and I celebrated our 50th anniversary. We have two children, Karen Jean and William Alan, and seven grandchildren.

 

Message to Future Generations:

War!!! “.... It does not determine who is right or who is wrong.... Only who is left” {Author unknown} “We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all Gods” {Ps.91:1} I am proud to have fought for the freedom or our country and I uphold the American flag with great respect. We truly are “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all”. This is the greatest country in the world, even though some complain about little faults. Regardless of any faults this country may have it is still the only place in the world that I would live in and it is still worth fighting for. I was willing to fight for the freedom of our country and even give my life if necessary, but it was only by the Grace of God that I was able to make it through to be here today. We should never forget our Creator. King David wrote “Though a thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; harm shall not come unto thee” (Ps 91-7) I have not seen thousands fall but I have seen many, even hundreds that were killed in war and hundreds more injured, many for life.. I encourage everyone to read about the history of our country and the wars that were fought for the freedom of the USA, and the brave men that fought and gave their lives so we can have that freedom for our future generations. Dying for freedom is not the worst thing that could happen, but being forgotten is.

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