Ambrose N. Racaniello
Biography: Ambrose N. Racaniello was born on June 20, 1924, in Stamford, Connecticut. He was the son of Nicholas Racaniello and Rose Racanello and attended local schools in Stamford through the 10th grade. After leaving school he found work in a semiskilled machine shop occupation.
Service Time: Ambrose entered the service on March 2, 1943, at Hartford CT. At some point after his initial training, he was assigned to the Reconnaissance Company of the 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion.
The 893rd had moved to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, in early 1943, and participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers. Ambrose would probably have been assigned to the unit during this time. The unit received orders in December to proceed to the New York port and prepare for shipment overseas.
They shipped out from the New York port on January 9, 1944, and arrived at Liverpool, England, on January 20. After a few months of additional training and preparations, they boarded a ship and landed at the Omaha beachhead, Normandy, France on July 1st. They were equipped with M10 tank destroyers and committed to battle in the vicinity of St. Jean de Daye.
Moving to Paris by the end of August, they continued onto the Siegfried Line and supported the 28th Infantry in the Hürtgen Forest. The unit held defensive positions in January, before moving in support of the 78th Infantry Division and helping capture the Roer River dams in February. The offense continued across the Roer toward the Rhine River, which they crossed in early March, moving northward to attack enemy forces at the Sieg River. Their last offensive actions were against the Ruhr River Pocket in April.
The 893rd received credit for campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe. The 893rd also received the unit award of the Croix De Guerre. Ambrose also received the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service in connection with military operations against the enemy from June 30, 1944, to April of 1945. The unit saw action in France, Belgium and Germany during that period. On one occasion, Ambrose volunteered to search an area under heavy artillery, mortar and small arms fire to find an infantry company and lead the unit’s tank destroyers to that location to support them.
After returning to the U.S., Ambrose went back to work as a machinist, working now for Branson Industries. He would retire after 35 years with the firm. On September 20, 1947, he married the former Josephine C. Pia, who was also born in Stamford and was the daughter of Joseph Pia and Rose Vitti. The new couple would make their home in Stamford and have two sons, Ronald and Gary.
Ambrose was formerly a member of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Darien, CT, but later attended the St. Mary’s Church in Stanford. Ambrose passed away on November 29, 2004, and was buried in the St. John R.C. Cemetery in Darien, CT.
I want to thank Ambrose’s grandson, Ronald, for providing the information and photo of his grandfather.