I’m proud to say that the World War II veteran before you is my Grandfather, Cosimo Armando Delfino. The stories he shared with me throughout my childhood and the extraordinary life he lived are some of my greatest inspirations. He was born on December 25, 1919 in Sicily, Italy to a prominent Surgeon and his wife, who maintained duel-citizenship in the United States and Italy. But during the 1920s, while living in America with his father and three brothers, that picturesque lifestyle vanished after Cosimo’s father was shot six times outside their home in New York. Overnight he and his three brothers became Italian orphans in the United States with no claim to their father’s estates or inheritance.
In 1942 my grandfather was drafted by the United States Army to fight the Axis powers in Europe. While stationed in North Africa during Operation Torch it was brought to the attention of his commanding officer that he was not a US citizen, which was a great threat to him, because if he was to be captured by the German Army he would not be treated with the same amnesty that other American soldiers were entitled to and would have likely been sent to a concentration camp under the accusation that he was a spy. The United States Army solved this dilemma by issuing Cosimo Armando Delfino his US citizenship in a North African desert weeks before the Battle of Kasserine Pass.
… And this was just the start of my Grandfather’s adventures as he journeyed through North Africa, Italy, France and Germany to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.