Carmen S. Turchiarelli was born in Accadia, Italy. His family moved to the United States when Mr. Turchiarelli was just five years old, settling in Buffalo, New York. When Mr. Turchiarelli was 19, he left his job at the Curtiss Wright aircraft factory to serve in the United States Army.
Mr. Turchiarelli was as a member of the 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One,” and first saw action on June 6, 1944. On D-Day, his unit was part of the second wave that landed at Omaha Beach. After nearly 12 hours of intense fighting, during which time the unit sustained heavy casualties, they were able to move inland and begin the liberation of Europe.
As the troops fought their way across France into Belgium and Germany, Mr. Turchiarelli had the opportunity to distinguish himself; using a bazooka, he destroyed two German tanks during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. These actions saved American lives, and for that, he was awarded a Silver Star. For his bravery, Mr. Turchiarelli also earned a Bronze Star for taking out a German staff car.
During another engagement, when his unit was falling back, Mr. Turchiarelli went back for a soldier standing in the middle of a field, who was unable to move due to shell shock. Mr. Turchiarelli attained the rank of Sergeant, and although he was never wounded, he did suffer from frozen feet, hearing impairment and snow blindness.
Mr. Turchiarelli embodies the dedication, hard work and sacrifices of this nation’s “greatest generation,” and we truly appreciate his service to our country,