Patrick P. Pennetti
Biography: Patrick P. Pennetti was born on October 27, 1918, in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. He was one of four sons and five daughters born to James A. Pennetti and Rosalia Arena. His enlistment record shows he completed 3 years of high school and his draft card indicates he was working for the General Electric Company in his hometown in October, 1940.
Service Time: Patrick entered the Army on March 7, 1942 at New Cumberland, PA. He was eventually assigned to Company B of the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
The unit shipped from the New York port of embarkation on January 29, 1944, on the Aquitania, and arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on February 6th. They disembarked at Utah Beach on July 30th, equipped with M10 tank destroyers and were committed to battle on August 2nd near Periers, France. Participating in the envelopment of the Falaise Pocket, they dashed east to the Belgian border, arriving on September 2nd and helped liberate Luxembourg. They began an assault on the Siegfried Line on September 13th and conducted artillery missions in October.
The 628th converted to M36 tank destroyers in November and were committed to fighting in the Hürtgen Forest in December. They then shifted to the Aachen sector on December 8th, but were ordered to the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge and fought to eliminate it in January, 1945. Patrick earned a Purple Heart Medal for wounds received on December 24th. From January 1 through the 10th, the unit was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division. During this period, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for Heroic Service. Beginning on February 25th, they crossed the Roer River and reached the Rhine on March 10th. They then crossed the Rhine on March 31st, at Wesel, Germany, and drove to the Elbe River by April 11th. The unit attacked back west to eliminate German pockets and took up occupation duties on April 26th near Peine.
In addition to the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Patrick earned the EAME, with credit for the campaigns of Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe, the Good Conduct and WWII Victory Medals. He also shared in the Distinguished Unit Citation for the period November 29 through December 8th. He left the service at the rank of Sergeant on November 18, 1945, Indiantown Gap, PA.
After he got home, Patrick returned to his job at General Electric, working as a machinist for 49 years until his retirement. He served for 18 years as a District Justice in Bridgeville and was a member of the Bridgeville Democratic Committee and later the Allegheny County Democratic Committee for over 45 years. He was also a member of the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department and a State Constable. Patrick belonged to the St. Anthony Church of Holy Parish Child, Bridgeville and was a member of the Bridgeville Italian Club. He was also a member of the Italian War Veterans, the Owls Club of Bridgeville and the American Legion Post 54.
Patrick passed away on December 22, 1995, and was buried in the Saint Agatha Cemetery, South Fayette Township, Allegheny County, PA. Thank you to Find a Grave contributor “Kernegie1920” for use of the grave marker photo.