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Joseph John Passaro

T/5 in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn

ASN#32781748 Casualty: Killed

Born 1923 in NJ, Died 1944

Other residence(s): Jersey City, NJ; Jamaica, NY
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Notes: DNB (died not in battle) Jul 21, 1944; fell down a hatchway on the ship they were taking to France. Believed to have been transferred to a hospital ship, then died.
Source: American Battle Monuments Commission index record; phone call with Seymour Nussenbaum; photo from Honor States website

Joseph Passaro was born in Jersey City, NJ, on May 10, 1923, the fourth of six children (two of whom died in infancy). His parents were both immigrants from Italy. The family moved to Jamaica, Queens, NY sometime before 1929.

According to his nephew, John Passaro, Joseph was a smart and talented young man, who loved to read and draw. He wanted to go to college, but the Depression was an obstacle to that.

So, after he graduated from Jamaica High School, he went to work for his father, doing brick and cement work. At the time he registered for the draft, on June 30, 1942, he said that he worked for the Long Island Railroad.

Before he enlisted, Joseph became engaged to a young woman named Helen. He joined the Army, and eventually ended up as a member of the 603rd Camouflage Engineers.

On July 17, 1944, Joseph and the other Ghost Army soldiers boarded the Liberty Ship SS JOHN S. MOSBY in Falmouth, England, headed for France. While aboard the ship, he was seriously injured in an accident. According to GA veteran Seymour Nussenbaum, “he fell down an open hatchway and word had it that he broke his neck.” Passaro was taken to the 217th General Hospital, where records show he lingered for two days before dying on the 21st. He is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Cambridge, England.

Courtesy Jane Heffrony



1930 census

1942 draft card

1944 US Headstone and Interment Records for Military on Foreign Soil

1944 Find a Grave record

1944 American Battle Monuments Commission record

2021 (February 22) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from his nephew, John Passaro.

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