T/5 in Signal Co, Special : Radio A
Military occupational specialty: 740 (radio operator, intermediate speed)
Born 1915 in NY, Died 1965
Other residence(s): New York, NY
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: Brooklyn College 1 year
Phil Edelstein (whose birth name was Frank) was born on October 11, 1915 in New York City, the youngest of six children. His parents had been born in Marmarosh, Hungary (now part of Romania). His father had emigrated to the US in 1904, leaving his wife and children behind; the rest of the family joined him in 1909. Phil's father was a tailor in New York.
Phil graduated from Boys' High School in Brooklyn in 1933 and completed one year at Brooklyn College. But his father had died young in 1931, and Phil eventually had to drop out of school to help support the family. During the 1930s he worked in a series of family businesses, including jewelry and furs.
He registered for the draft on October 1, 1940 and enlisted on January 18, 1943. He became a member of the Signal Company Special, and saw service in Europe during the war.
He was discharged from the Army on October 23, 1945 with the rank of T/5 and returned to New York, where he joined the Prudential Insurance Company. He married Ruth Green on April 5, 1952, and they would go on to have two sons: Bertram and Ronald.
Phil loved golf. His son Bert remembers that "he taught me to play golf, which remains a passion to this day. He also loved electronics and photography. We had the latest still and moving cameras. Phil loved to read and I remember him with the US News & World Report in hand . . . and a thick book."
As an observant Jew, Phil was also involved with the Clearview Jewish Center in Whitestone, a residential neighborhood in Queens.
Phil earned the credential of Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) and his career as an insurance salesman was on an upward trajectory at the time of his premature death on October 1, 1965, when he was just 49 years old. He was living in Queens, NY at the time of his death, and is buried at Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, NJ.
"My father was circumspect about his military service," says Bert. "He had some WWII paraphernalia but would not elaborate. He took his Ghost Army service with him to the grave, not even telling his wife!"
1925 NY census
1940 draft card
1952 marriage record
1965 New York death index
1965 Social Security death index
2021 (August 7) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from son Bertram Edelstein.