Samuel Joseph DiGuardi
PVT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co
Born 1921 in NY, Died 1951
Other residence(s): Rochester, NY (Banhof Flag)
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Sam DiGuardi was born on January 11, 1921, in Rochester, NY. His father, and his mother's parents, had all been born in Italy, and he was the youngest of four sons.
Sam graduated from Jefferson High School, and enlisted in the Army on October 22, 1940, to do clerical work at Fort Dix. He eventually became part of the Ghost Army, and received a medical discharge in 1945; he left the service with the rank of Staff SGT. His brother Anthony also served in the Army in World War II.
Sam returned to Rochester and married Mary Rizzo shortly after his discharge, on July 14, 1945.
Like many soldiers who enlisted prior to the US involvement in the war, he filled out a draft card after his discharge; Sam filled his out on October 12, 1945, and listed his status as a non-working veteran.
He was not working because he had contracted an ailment triggered by his war service that was identified as lupus; this type of lupus onset in veterans is rare but documented. He died of kidney failure on January 19, 1951 in Rochester, the week after his 30th birthday, leaving his wife and two young children: Robert and Angelina.
He is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester, NY.
1940 article in Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester NY re his enlistment
1945 marriage record
1945 draft card
1951 Obituary in Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester NY
1951 Find a Grave record
Ghost Army Facebook post re his terminal illness