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This Month's Krier
Tribute to a Veteran
Tribute to a Veteran
In honor of Veterans Day celebrated this year on Wednesday, November 11th, we thought it would be fitting to tell the story of one of Killingworth's oldest living Veterans, Joseph Paccione.

Joe was born on February 7, 1925 and was raised in New York City. At the age of 17, he worked on raising the Normandy cruise ship that was being converted to a troop carrier when it caught fire and keeled over due to the water used to put the fire out. In August of that year he was drafted and reported for Basic Training.

In March of 1944 PFC Joseph Paccione was assigned to the Army 7th Regiment 34th Division for the Anzio, Italy Beach Invasion. While in Anzio, he received his first Purple Heart for the shrapnel to his leg. His Bronze Star was awarded after he overtook a hill and captured a machine gun nest with 12 Germans including 2 snipers who were protecting their position. From Anzio, Private Paccione was sent on to Rome where he was chosen for special training for the invasion of France at the Riviera. Assigned to the first wave to hit the Riviera, his Landing Craft Infantry struck a floating mine. Joe received his second Purple Heart when he was hit in the face with shrapnel, breaking his nose, loosening his teeth and accumulating numerous abrasions. Joe considers himself very lucky because he was one of only a few to survive the attack. Joe was then sent to North Africa to recover and he jokes "I never did get to see the Riviera!"

In October of 1944, the recovered Private Paccione was sent to Alsace-Lorraine where he joined up with his regiment, now assigned to the French First Army. Working with the French, they straightened out the allied forces line to the Rhine River. Joe was decorated by the French with the Croix de Guerre. In January of 1945 he was sent to the rest camp where it was discovered he had frostbite on his toes with the possibility of gangrene. He was sent to England for recovery and in April was shipped back to the USA, honorably discharged on July 23 with a 50% disability.

Joe began civilian life by attending the Bulova School for Disabled Veterans where he learned the craft of watch making. He remained in New York where he met and married the love of his life, Julia, and opened his own jewelry store. Joe and Julia raised three children and in 1951 they bought a piece of property on Green Hill Road that contained a shack and a hand pump. In 1972 they built a proper weekend home, and in 1993 Joe sold the store and retired to live full time in Killingworth. On October 20th, 2011 he lost his beloved Julia and remains in their home on Green Hill Road today. In February of this year, he and his family, good friends and neighbors gathered at La Foresta Restaurant to celebrate his 90th birthday.

Thank you for your service.