Aunt Cel Remembers her Brothers and World War II

Judith Cartisano
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This is a story sent to me by my Aunt, Marcella (Wille) Walczak, about my uncles and her brothers Alfred and Jerome Wille. Jerry was injured just before D-Day and Fred was at Pearl Harbor. Both of my Uncles survived the war. Our Lady of Victory School in Rochester, New York, was connected with the Church of the same name, which was also known for a time as the "Flemish Church," because most of the parishioners and priests were originally from Flanders, Belgium. Before the influx of people from Flanders, the Church was known as the "French Church."

Marcella Wille Walczak's story:

"Uncle Freddy was in the Army, Infantry Division. He enlisted in 1938
thinking he would make a career of the Army. He came to Our Lady of
Victory School to say goodbye to me (I was in the 2nd grade, six
years old. They let me start 1st grade at 5 yrs. old because your
mother (Laura Mary Wille Cartisano) was in 8th grade and was able to take me back and forth to school on the bus). We went to Mass before school and he was there and came over to me to say goodbye when we left church to go to the school. He probably was on his way to the bus station in Rochester
which was very close to Our Lady of Victory Church and school. Uncle
Jerry served in the 28th Divison (Army) under General Patton. He was
actually hit the day before D-day (June 3, 1944) as he was a radio
wire man and was laying wires for all the communications for the very
secret next day attack but got hit by shrapnel as a bomb exploded
near by. He crawled under a truck and yelled for MEDIC!!!! and
someone heard him and was able to get to him in time. He was in
Halloran Veterans Hospital for a year before he was released. He had
several operations, lost his kidney and had a hole in the back of his
neck. He went down to 88 pounds, was sent home on leave after he
started to feel better and gained a pound a day with Grandma's (Clemence Verniest Wille)cooking and when he went back the nurses didn't recognize him!!!"
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