A World War II New York Navy veteran has died while en route to France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Robert “Al” Persichitti of Fairport, New York fell ill during a stop in Germany last week and died in a hospital, according to ABC News. Persichitti was 102.


"After enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1942, Persichitti was assigned as a radioman to the USS Eldorado and in 1944 sailed to the Pacific where he took part in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, according to the museum. He was in the harbor at Iwo Jima to witness the raising of the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, and had returned there in 2019, just before his 97th birthday."

His tour of duty included Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam. A retired public school teacher, Persichitti regularly spoke about his wartime experiences in schools and community gatherings. He just led the Pledge of Allegiance at this year's Memorial Day remembrance in East Rochester.

“He’s been to most of the World War II remembrances down in Washington and Louisiana, and he wanted to get to the D-Day remembrance ceremony, too," Leone, pastor of the Church of Saint Jerome in East Rochester, where Persichitti attended Mass every week, said by phone. “But the Lord took him in Germany. He was on his way to France, but he didn’t make it.”

A friend who was traveling with Persichitti said a doctor was with him when he died on May 30th. This friend put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on her phone and he peacefully went to sleep. Persichitti fell ill last week during a stop in Germany while headed for Normandy, and was airlifted to the hospital and died soon after.

FOUND! Wreckage from World War 2 Cargo Plane in the Adirondacks

The remains of an American cargo plane that went down back in 1944 was located by some adventurers in 2021. It took almost a year for the wreckage to be found after the plane crashed and wasn't officially memorialized until 1997.

The location of the crash is on a remote part of Blue Ridge Mountain, near the town of Speculator in Hamilton County.

Gallery Credit: Architectural Orphans/YouTube

Abandoned World War II Bunkers, Pennsylvania