Daniel Callanan

U.S. Marine Corps, 1943-46

 

 

Dan Callanan left Malden Catholic in February 1943 to join the Marine Corps, because his father had served with the Marines during World War I. Callanan would be trained as an aerial photographer, and would serve in North Carolina, Florida and at Midway Island in the Pacific Theater.

 

 

A portrait of Dan Callanan when he served with the Marines.

 

Manuel Witt “Manny”

U.S. Navy 1942–1945

 

When he was only 16, “Mannie” Witt convinced his parents to let him enlist in the Navy. He was assigned as a signalman to the USS Arkansas which, as part of a convoy of ships, participated in the Normandy Invasion at Omaha Beach and saw action at Iwo Jima, the ship’s target being Mt. Suribachi. Mannie witnessed from the mast the battles, the Kamikaze pilots and all the close calls. After the war, he was assigned to the USS Tennessee under Vice Admiral Jesse Oldendorf, who was in charge of the occupation of Southern Japan. He witnessed the devastation of Hiroshima and finished his tour of duty on the USS Appalachian, where he was discharged as a Signalman First Class.

 

Mannie Witt – greetings from Casablanca

 

Samples of money, including Italian and Japanese

 

USS Arkansas signalmen group

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Joseph Todisco

U.S. Army 1942–1945

 

At the age of 22, Joseph A. Todisco was called up to join the Army. After learning to fire artillery weaponry and helping to write ground-to-air defense manuals, Joe was soon sent to New Guinea and the Philippines, with expectations of defending against the Japanese. In the Philippines, he was a sentry at the home of General Douglas MacArthur and saw firsthand the results of war. He speaks fondly of the general and his leadership.

 

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