Phil R. Capraro
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
Phil Capraro was drafted into the Army in 1943. After basic training he was assigned to the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division. He was wounded for the fi rst time, during the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach as part of ‘Operation Overlord.” Later, while engaged at the Siegfried Line, Capraro was wounded for a second time, and was awarded two Bronze Stars for heroic action. On December 16, 1944 at the “Battle of the Bulge,” Capraro was wounded for the third time. At the time, Phil was in charge of four machine gun placements which were charged with providing cover fi re for 200 rifl emen in foxholes up front awaiting the German onslaught. At the end of the war, Phil continued to serve as part of the occupation forces. Capraro remained in the Army and was called up for the Korean War. In addition to two Bronze Stars, he earned three Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Battle of the Bulge Commendation, WWII Victory Medal, and European Theater Operation Medal.
He retired from the Army in 1975 after serving 32 years in several capacities.
As a civilian, Capraro worked as a small arms repairman for National Guard Armories in Central New York and ended as the Superintendent of the Parkway Armory in Utica.
Phil continues to be an advocate for veterans and military concerns, and is still active with the American Legion, DAV, the Order of Purple Hearts and the Vets of Battle of the Bulge. If he is not home, you will probably fi nd him retelling his fi rsthand accounts at a local school, or volunteering for a vets food-drive, or at a Wounded Warrior Project event, or making a delivery of donated goods at one of the naval hospitals.
Phil and his wife, Ida, continue to call Utica their home and count their three children, six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, as their greatest trophies.