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Pulos, Peter J. (813th)

Peter J. Pulos 1Peter J. Pulos

Biography: Peter James Pulos, “Pete”, was born on February 4, 1922, in Woodford, Kern County, California. He was the son of Steve Peter Pulos and Petra S. Silva, one of 7 boys and 2 girls born to the couple. When he was two, the family moved to Mojave, CA.

He graduated from the Mojave Grammar School and Antelope Valley Union High School in Lancaster, CA. Pete’s enlistment record indicates he worked as a baggage porter prior to entering the military.

Service Time: Pete entered the Army on December 1, 1942, at Fresno, CA. He was eventually assigned to the 2nd Platoon, Company B, 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 813th was activated on December 15, 1941, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and completed all of their training at that location. They shipped to North Africa, arriving there at the beginning of 1943 where they participated in the Tunisia Campaign, and worked with British and French forces as well as the U.S. 34th Infantry Division. Part of the battalion went to Sicily, Italy, with the 3rd I.D. and the 13th Field Artillery Brigade.

In the summer of 1943, a portion of the battalion participated in the invasion of Italy. In November of that same year, they set sail for England and began training for the invasion of France. They landed in Normandy at Utah Beach on June 27, 1944, where they were attached to the 79th Infantry Division. Joining the drive to Le Mans and then moving north to Alencon at the Falaise Gap, they were the first armored unit to cross the Seine River.

Peter J. Pulos 2On August 23, 1944, 2nd Platoon was in the general vicinity of 1 mile east of Limay, France. At 0930, they engaged enemy tanks with long range fire but withdrew to an alternate location when enemy troops approached their position. During this action, one M10 tank destroyer was knocked out and burned by a rocket-firing German FW-190 fighter plane, killing Pfc. Peter J. Pulos and Sgt. Jerome Albom, while wounding several others.

Pfc. Pulos was awarded the Good Conduct, WWII Victory and EAME medals with credit for the campaigns of Tunisia, Rome-Arno, Normandy and Northern France. He posthumously received a Purple Heart medal.

Private First Class Peter J. Pulos was initially buried in a temporary military cemetery in Europe. At some point, he was returned to the U.S. and buried in the East Kern Cemetery, Section B, Plot 77, Mojave, CA. The photo at left shows part of a memorial service conducted at the Catholic church when Peter was returned home.  Pallbearers were school friends and are identified as Apple Cappello, Fred Riccomini, Louis Flores, Frank D. Valdivia and Joe Galvin. 

We would like to thank Pfc. Pulos for making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. We would also like to thank the Pulos family and Diana Satterfield for providing information and photos and also to Find A Grave member Tami Kelley for the grave marker photo used in this tribute.Peter J. Pulos 3