Scerbo, Anthony W. (608th, 643rd)

Anthony W. Scerbo 1Anthony W. Scerbo

Biography:  Anthony William Scerbo was born on June 14, 1917, in Clymer, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Luigi Scerbo and Theresa Puchi and graduated from local schools before becoming a bricklayer.

Service Time:  Anthony entered the service on March 17, 1942, at New Cumberland, PA. He was initially assigned to the 608th Tank Destroyer battalion but was later transferred to Company B of the 643rd on December 22, 1943, when the 608th was disbanded. At the time, Anthony held the rank of Corporal and the unit was located at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

The unit continued their training at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, and Camp Swift, Texas, before moving east for shipment overseas. An advanced group left from the New York port but the majority of the 643rd shipped out from the Boston port on September 5, 1944. They arrived at Cherbourg, France, on the 15th, equipped with the 3″ towed gun.  They first engaged the enemy near Manhay, Belgium, on December 22, 1944.

While still in Belgium, Anthony and others from his Company were being fired on by a machine gun, located in a church steeple. Although they had been given strict orders not to fire at churches, they quickly took out the gun and probably saved many lives by doing so. The unit went on to cross the Roer River, on February 24, 1945, and re-equipped with M18’s in March, 1945. They crossed the Rhine River at Wesel and the Elbe River en route to Zerbst.

Anthony W. Scerbo 2At some point after receiving their new units, Anthony’s TD came under fire and the entire crew, except for Anthony, were killed. He suffered a serious concussion but was able to escape through the unit’s escape hatch before passing out. From there he was evacuated to a field hospital and was finnaly shipped back to the U.S. He was discharged in May of 1945, from Fort Story, Virginia. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the EAME Medal with service stars for campaigns of Rhineland and Ardennes-Alsace. He left the service at the rank of Corporal.

Honorable Discharge

He returned to the U.S. and found work as a home builder, stone and brick mason. He married his high-school sweetheart, the former Virginia Margaret Stephens, in about 1951. She was born in Dixonville, PA, and was the daughter of John Stephens and Margaret Chrise. The new couple made their residence in Falls Church, Virginia, and had 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls.  In his spare time, he was a member of the VFW, the 40 & 8, and the American Legion, where he was a Post and a 10th District Commander in Virginia. He was also a strong advocate for the POW/MIA Organization in Virginia.

Anthony W. Scerbo 3Anthony was instrumental in the re-dedication of the American Legion Bridge that crosses the Potomac River from Virginia to Maryland and was also a major influence in the creation of the War Memorial in his home town of Falls Church, VA.

Bridge Re-dedication Article

Anthony passed away on September 16, 2013, and was buried in Falls Church, VA. I want to thank Anthony’s son, John (Joe), for providing the photos and information for this tribute.