Skip to main content

Guerino John Mandozzi

S/SGT in Signal Co, Special : HQ

Military occupational specialty: 824 (mess sergeant)


Born 1922 in Italy, Died 1992

County of residence at enlistment: Worcester County, MA
Other residence(s): Fitchburg, MA; Wellesley, MA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: cooks, except private family
Source: Unit Shipment 10143-D, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945; ; photo courtesy of Guerino's grandson, Nick Mandozzi

John Mandozzi was born on January 3, 1922 in Amandola, Italy, the oldest of six sons. His family emigrated to the US in 1926 after the third son was born; they settled in Fitchburg MA where John's father got a job as a construction laborer. Three more sons were born in the US.

John graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1940 and got a job as a cook at Brooks Restaurant in Fitchburg. He registered for the draft on June 30, 1942 and enlisted on November 3, 1942. As a cook, he ended up as Mess Sergeant for the Signal Company Special and saw service in the European theatre during the war.

Three of his brothers also served during World War II—two in the Navy and one in the Army. His brother Philip was wounded when his ship, the USS Block Island, was sunk near the Canary Islands in May of 1944—the only American carrier sunk in the Atlantic during the war.

John was discharged from the Army with the rank of S/SGT on October 9, 1945 and returned to Massachusetts.

He married Elizabeth James in 1948 and they went on to have two sons—David and John Peter.

John managed to parlay his wartime cooking experience into a career as a chef. In about 1970 he was offered the job of chef at the Wellesley (MA) Inn and the family moved to Wellesley. Elizabeth also worked at the Inn as functions manager.

Their son John Peter became an Albanian Orthodox priest at St. John the Baptist church in South Boston; sadly he died in 1985 of a heart attack at the age of 32.

John was active in his community in Wellesley as a member of the Italo-American Education Club and the Reliance Club of Wellesley. He also served for a time as chair of the parish council at Annunciation Orthodox Church in Natick, his wife's parish.

He was working as Executive Chef at Norwood Hospital when he retired.

John died on July 10, 1992 and is buried at Dell Park Cemetery in Natick MA.


1926 immigration record

1930 census

1940 census

1942 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1944 article in Fitchburg Sentinel (MA) re his military service

1948 marriage record

1970 photo/caption in the Boston Herald (he is chef at Wellesley Inn)

1985 son's obituary in the Boston Globe,0.79106927,0.6661933,0.95750755&xid=3355&_ga=2.198031144.627206720.1630008831-1392210334.1630008831

1992 Social Security applications and claims index

1992 VA death record

1992 obituary in the Boston Globe,0.51721233,0.7892854,0.59269154&xid=3355&_ga=2.237400199.627206720.1630008831-1392210334.1630008831

2004 wife's obituary in the Boston Sunday Globe,0.07806359,0.968883,0.30286306&xid=3355&_ga=2.23525437.627206720.1630008831-1392210334.1630008831

Please Support Our Ongoing Efforts

The soldiers of The Ghost Army used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. The Ghost Army Legacy Project is ensuring that these men and their accomplishments are never forgotten.

Give via credit card by clicking the yellow “Donate” button.

Or, send a check to:

Ghost Army Legacy Project
1305 S. Michigan Ave. #1104
Chicago, IL 60605

All donations are tax-deductible!