December 1, 1920 (Norwalk, CT) – October 9, 1943; 22 years old
Last local address: 1 Carlson Court, East Norwalk
Service number: 6424527
USS Buck (DD-420)
Born to Salvatore P. (1863-1938) and Rose A. Mocciola Pesacreta (1877-1965). Sisters Dominica “Minnie” M. Pesacreta Heise (1906-1981), Angelina “Lena” M. Pesacreta Kovacs (1907-1990), Caroline C. Pesacreta Park (1910-1968), Claudia R. Pesacreta Downs (1912-1996) and Mildred M. Pesacreta Foster (1913-1997). Brothers Salvatore “Patrick” P. Jr. (1916-2002) and Pietro “Peter” F. (1918-1987).
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
From The Norwalk Hour October 27, 1943
The Navy announced today that Rocco George Pesacreta, Seaman First Class, son of Mrs. Rose Pesacreta of 1 Carlson Court, East Norwalk, is “missing in action.” Seaman Pesacreta, who is 22, is a native of this city, and attended local schools. He joined the Navy September 1, 1942. A brother, Patrick, is in the Navy, at Charleston, Virginia.
USS Buck (DD-420) — location Tyrrhenian Sea. After escorting a convoy back to the United States, the destroyer returned to the Mediterranean in late September 1943 in support of Operation Avalanche, the landings at Salerno, Italy. Following the landings, the destroyer patrolled off the coast to protect the delivery of reinforcements and supplies to southern Italy. While on patrol off Salerno, Italy, on 9 October, Buck was ambushed just after midnight by German submarine U-616 commanded by Siegfried Koitschka and hit forward starboard by at least one and possibly two torpedoes. The warship flooded quickly, settling down forward and sinking within four minutes. Although most of the depth charges were set to safe before the destroyer was abandoned, a severe underwater explosion killed and wounded sailors in the water.
Memorial marker in St. John’s Cemetery, Norwalk. USS Buck misidentified as DD761 on the marker. DD-761 didn’t launch until 1945, after Seaman Pesacreta’s death. Photo by webmaster.
Memorialized in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Piazzale Kennedy, Nettuno
Italy. Photo from findagrave.com.