April 27, 1910 (Norwalk, CT) – February 19, 1944; 33 years old, unmarried
Last local address: 190 Main Street, Norwalk
Enlisted on March 21, 1941
Serial Number: 31042357
Unit: 106th Infantry, Company B
Born to Guiseppe “Joseph” (1873-1920) and Constantina Tomasetta Casalese (1886-1950). Two brothers, Joseph F. (1905-1960), Constantino Paul (1912-2009). Four sisters, Susan Casalese Deilus (1904-1984), Mildred (1908-1930), Theresa Casalese Covello (1914-2009), and Marie Casalese Carder (1917-2008).
Photo provided by Paul Williams. Used with permission. From an unknown newspaper.
Telegram provided by Charlie Williams via e-mail on January 24, 2022. Used with permission.
From the Norwalk Hour March 15, 1944
PFC Salvatore Louis Casalese, son of Mrs. Constantina Casalese of 190 Main Street, was killed in action on February 19 on Eniwetok Island, Marshall Group, according to a telegram received by his mother on Monday from Adjutant General Ulio. PFC Casalese was inducted into the Army on March 21, 1941, and he received his training in the infantry at the following camps: Camp Wheeler, GA, Camp Blanding, FL, Ragley, LA, Fort Jackson, SC, and at Camp Blanding again. On December 6, 1941, he was given an honorable discharge because he was over 28 years old at the time, but his discharge papers were taken back the next day, December 7, the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Casalese was home on a five-day furlough in December 1941. On his return to Camp Blanding, he was transferred to San Francisco. The rest of the article is illegible.
Letter to Salvatore’s mother:
27 April 1944
Mrs. Clara Casalese
190 Main Street
Dear Mrs. Casalese,
I regret to confirm the fact that your son Salvatore courageously gave his life during the assault on Eniwetok Island on 19 February 1944.
Salvatore was an automatic rifleman and was a member of the assault platoon. His group was the spearhead of our advance and his weapon had accounted for a number of japs. The unit was subjected to a severe counter-attack and it was largely due to the determined stand taken by Salvatore that the attack was unsuccessful. It was at this time that Salvatore was struck by a jap bullet and he went down still firing. He never knew what struck him and he never regained consciousness.
His courage, intelligence, and character were in the best tradition of an American soldier. He had impressed us all with his friendliness and splendid character. He was held in the highest respect by all of the officers and men of the company. You have our deepest sympathy in your bereavement and his loss is keenly felt by all of his many friends.
I wish to express my own personal sympathy for your loss. Please feel free to call upon me for any additional information you may desire. The Quartermaster General, Washington, D.C. is the best agency to help you in any matters concerning grave location, the disposition of remains and effects, or such related matters.
Clarence W. Law
Letter to Salvatore’s mother; provided by Paul Williams August 3, 2022. Used with permission.
June 27, 1947
OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL
In Reply refer To Burial Of
PFC Salvatore L. Casalese, 31 042 357
Row K, Casket 81
U.S. Army Mausoleum
Schofield Barracks, T.H. [Territory of Hawaii]
Dear Mrs. Casalese:
The people of the United States, through Congress, have authorized the disinterment and final burial of the heroic dead of World War II. The Quartermaster General of the Army has been entrusted with this sacred responsibility to the honored dead. The records of the War Department indicate that you may be the nearest relative of the above-named deceased, who gave his life in the service of his country.
The enclosed pamphlets, “Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead, and “American Cemeteries,” explain the disposition, options, and services made available to you by your Government. If you are the next of kin according to the line of kinship as set forth in the enclosed pamphlet, Disposition of World War II Armed Forces Dead,” you are invited to express your wishes as to the disposition of the remains of the deceased by completing Part I of the enclosed form “Request for Disposition of Remains.” Should you desire to relinquish your rights to the next in line of kinship, please complete Part II of the enclosed form. If you are not the next of kin, please complete Part III of the enclosed form.
If you should elect Option 2, it is advised that no funeral arrangements or other personal arrangements be made until you are further notified by this office.
Will you please complete the enclosed form, “Request for Disposition of Remains” and mail it in the enclosed self-addressed envelope, which requires no postage, within 30 days after its receipt by you? Its prompt return will avoid unnecessary delays.
THOMAS B. LARKIN
The Quartermaster General
From The Norwalk Hour March 6, 1948
Funeral services for PFC Salvatore Casalese were held Friday morning from the Magner Funeral Home and in St. Mary’s Church at 9 o’clock. A solemn mass of requiem was celebrated by Rev James Laws, with Rev Joseph McCarthy as a deacon and Rev John Karash, as sub-deacon. Interment was in the family plot in St. Mary’s Cemetery where Father Laws conducted the committal service. The bearers were Andrew Barker, Chester Carnet, John Arene, Patrick Davey, and Archibald Merriam, representing the Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion, and Frank Glover representing the VFW. The firing squad from the Connecticut National Guard comprised SSgt FA Coombs, Sgt CW Hoyt, T5 JE Ellis, PFC JA Uszuko and Pvts RP Roy, RS Dennis, JD Degaglia, Joseph Nice, Frank Roy, and Joseph Breisler. Taps were sounded by bugler Pvt Donald Wright. The services were largely attended and there was a profusion of beautiful floral tributes.
Photos provided by Paul Williams on August 3, 2022. Presumably, the first two pictures are of the coffin arriving by train, and its removal. The third picture is the temporary gravesite overseas. Used with permission.
Private Casalese was reinterred in 1948 at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 15 Broad Street, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section D. Photos by webmaster.