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Anthony Molligo’s Military Service Honored

Editor’s note: The following is an essay submitted by Anthony Molligo about his father, Anthony Molligo. This is part of a series of essays, which were submitted by our readership for the Anton Newspapers Military Heroes Essay Contest with the American Airpower Museum of East Farmingdale and The Collings Foundation. Essay winners recently flew in historic aircraft stationed at the American Airpower Museum.

My dad, Anthony Molligo, like the 1.7 million World War II veterans still alive today, rarely, if ever, speaks of his service during WWII. The few snippets he shares usually occur when we are watching old WWII movies together and he would open up and tell me “how things really were.”   

Growing up in the 1960s, I never really gave a second thought to my father’s naval service during the war. He, after all, was just a machinist mate 3rd class, serving on a less than mighty troop transport ship—an LCI—Landing Craft/Infantry. He never spoke in detail about those times.   

The only wartime mementos he kept are his blue crackerjack uniform and old sea bag. When I asked him what he did with his other equipment, he told me he gave them away when he returned home. He never even bothered to send for the medals that were awarded to him for his service in Europe and the Pacific.

As I got older, and wiser, I wanted to know more about my dad, who is a first-generation American, born to Italian immigrants. What I have discovered was a newfound respect for the man and how brave he was.

In 1943, at age 18, my dad was drafted into the Navy. That winter, he was dispatched to Navy boot camp in upstate New York to learn, among other things, how to operate and repair ships’ engines. During that period of training, he didn’t know when or where he would be assigned for combat duty (at age 18, I was a college student and my biggest worry was what freshman English class to take.)

He eventually was given orders to serve aboard the USS LCI-530, a sea-going amphibious assault ship used to land infantry troops onto beaches. His first tour took him to Tunisia, where his ship supported the U.S. Army ground forces in Northern Africa.   He also took part in operations landing troops in Italy. 

In the early morning of June 6, 1944, his ship, carrying a contingent of U.S. soldiers, departed Dartmouth, England, for the beaches of Normandy, France. Moving slowly and silently, LCI-530 joined hundreds of other Navy ships in the English Channel.  

Though my dad was not on the beaches of Normandy during the initial assault, he saw and heard horrific images of war on that morning. Troop transports near his ship were sunk and German artillery shells burst all around as the 530 crew-assisted soldiers onto landing craft for the invasion. During that longest day, his ship remained on station supplying blankets and plasma for the injured soldiers on the beaches. The horror of D-Day echoed all around him.

A hero is a man who does what he can. My dad is a hero not for the landings in which he took part, the medals he won, or the inhumanity of war he witnessed. He is a hero because he served his country, during those terrifying times, with honor and dignity.   

“Bravo Zulu” to dad and the crew of USS LCI-530.

 

News

U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.

 

“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.

 

From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.

Something about the warmth and sunshine of summer makes it the perfect season for lounging around. 

 

On July 26, the Levittown Community Council hosted its 17th annual Lazy Days of Summer Picnic at the East Village Green Park for families to take advantage of this season of relaxation and laidback fun free of charge.  

 

The DJ played Latin songs as children shook neon colored macarenas and followed the dance moves of a Zumba instructor. Other children enjoyed pony rides, shooting hoops, playing Can Jam and

Tug-of-War, petting farm animals, jumping in a bouncy castle, and fishing for plastic fish in a kiddie pool. 


Sports

Those looking to take swimming lessons and exercise classes at a nearby aquatic center can register for the fall 2014 session at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow.  

 

On Friday, Aug. 1 is the last chance for open registration. It begins at 8 a.m. for any remaining spots.  The availability of remaining classes will be made public the day before at 5 p.m.

 

On Monday, September 8 the first day of classes for the fall session begin.

 

Swim lessons will be offered for all levels: 

Eric Haslbauer of Levittown scored fourth overall in the 11th annual Heart & Sole 5 Kilometer Run held on the streets of Plainview on July 20. 

Haslbauer, 21, who has done  most of his running lately for Molloy College, crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 53 seconds, earning him the second place award in the highly competitive 20-24 age group.

 

A near record field of 531 runners and walkers completed the run, only ten less than the record set last year. The Heart & Sole has clearly become an important summer road race in Nassau County.  The

Run benefits programs at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals.  Race management was handled by the Greater Long Island Running Club. 


Calendar

Erik's Reptile Edventures - July 30

Rich Vos At Governor's - August 1

Worship Without Walls - August 2 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com