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Samuel Joseph DiGuardi

T/5 in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co

Casualty: Wounded

Born 1921 in NY, Died 1951

Other residence(s): Rochester, NY (Banhof Flag)
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Notes: Final rank S/SGT
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Unit Shipment 10143-B, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945;; photo courtesy Nina Visiliu

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.


1930 census

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,0.33903846,0.24124461,0.5762834&xid=3355&_ga=2.136531376.180304495.1608154538-26722667.1608053771

1951 Find a Grave record

Ghost Army Facebook post re his terminal illness

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