PVT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co A
Born 1908 in Italy, Died 2007
County of residence at enlistment: New York County, NY
Other residence(s): Italy
United States Army, did not accompany the unit to Europe
Occupation before the war: plasterers
Domenico Arena was born on September 8 (or 10 or 11) in Augusta, Siracusa, Italy, on the southeast coast of Sicily. He was the third of eight children and his father was a plasterer.
The family was bi-continental—living for a time in the US and then returning to Italy. Domenico's two older sisters had been born in the US, but then he and the next two children were all born in Italy. Then one more in the US, one more in Italy, and their eighth child in the US in 1921.
Domenico had a grammar school education and then went to work as a plasterer, probably with his father. He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940; at that time he stated that he was working for R.W. Palmieri. His June 9, 1942 enlistment record reinforces his profession as plasterer.
He was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, but did not go to Europe with the unit—according to his VA death record, he was discharged from the Army for unknown reasons on March 27, 1943.
Very little is known about the rest of his life. He did become a US citizen (though the information on timing is not clear). Both of his parents died in Siracusa (in 1956 and 1968), so they had returned there permanently at some point. Domenico traveled to Italy for four months in the summer and fall of 1951 to visit family so they had probably returned to Italy by then.
He died on January 12, 2007 in Italy, likely back in his ancestral home in Siracusa.
1952 photo from Arena Family Tree on ancestry.com
1913 immigration record
1915 New York state census
1920 shipboard manifest Palermo to NY
1925 New York state census
1927-1929 declaration and petition for citizenship
1940 draft card
1942 enlistment record
1951 shipboard manifest NY to Naples
1951 shipboard manifest Naples to NY
2007 VA death record
2007 Social Security applications and claims index
2007 Social Security death index (indicates he was living in Italy at the time of his death)