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Gianunzio, Anthony

Posted on 14 September, 2021 by in ,

 

Biography of Anthony Giannunzio written by Larry Martin February 2020 from notes written in 2014.

 

I only met Tony a couple of times so I do not know him as well as some of the other WW II veterans.  Tony was born in 1922 so he was about 92 when I met him at his home in Kalamazoo Michigan.  He also did a Q&A at one of my Larry Martin’s World War II In Their Own Words programs in 2015.

Tony was still very young looking and acting when I met him.  He is the only Coast Guardsman that I have interviewed.  My dad’s cousin Marv Reed was in the coast guard during the war also but I did not ask him many questions about the war though I do remember hearing Marv say that he made many crossings of the Atlantic.

Tony went to Boot camp in Pine Lake Michigan near Lake Doster in South West Michigan for four weeks.  Then to Great Lakes for four months of Gunners mate school.

He was then assigned to the USS Machias a Coast Guard Frigate with a crew of 232 men and 12 Officer’s.

Tony said that he was a very good baseball pitcher and that he faced a former major league player named Glen McQuillin of the St. Louis Browns and shut him down.  Per my notes he spoke of the great baseball player Bob Feller also but I do not remember what he said.  Bob Feller (Rapid Robert) had a interesting opinion of WW II.  Bob had already won 100 major league baseball games with the Cleveland Indians when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th 1941.  Bob enlisted  in the regular Navy the next day and served aboard the USS Alabama a battleship where he saw a lot of combat as a gunnersmate.  He would play no baseball because he felt that he should be in combat not playing ball as many other ball players did during the war to entertain the troops.  Bob never left the Alabama during the war thought the Navy wanted him to play some baseball but he never would.  To his dying day he had no use for anyone who did not go into the service during WW II.  He was very vocal about it too.  You can see him on you-tube talking about a lot of his life as well as his time in the Navy.  Yogi Barra had a interesting tale about Bob.  After the war Yogi said the Bob wound not talk about the war to anyone who was not in combat.  Yogi was in the Navy and saw combat during the D-Day landings at Omaha beach on a Navy barge that fired a very large amounts of missiles at the shore of Omaha Beach to support the Army.

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