World War II
Joseph Vespa
By:Anthony Janowski
Invasion of Italy

It had come to the end of the war after Christmas in the year 1945. Joseph had spent his Christmas with his family and was about to celebrate the New Year hoping he wouldn’t be called back. Luckily he wasn’t and got to enjoy the New Year happily. Joseph agreed that he hated the war. It took important time away from his family, and left them worrying all the time.  “War won is a celebration for families,” Joseph said stating his most important learning from war.

This man, Joseph Vespa is my grandfather and he is currently 86 years old. He went on to work at a gas station later in his life after the war.  Joeseph has been cherishing his last days since the war has been long over and has enjoyed his life to the fullest. He spent time after the war raising his family and tellings sotires to us, his grandchildren.
The Story of Joseph Vespa

 “Jumping out of that plane was the most daring thing I could have ever done, of course I had my eyes closed for half of it.”

Joseph Vespa was born on September 29, 1920 in the beautiful town of Venice Italy. He spent his early childhood in Italy with his parents and then moved to America when the opportunity arose. Joseph and his 2 other brothers had hopped onto a boat with his parents for Ellis Island to become new citizens of the United States. It was around the time of the Great Depression so living was very rough on Joseph and his family. Once Joe had become older and graduated from his local high school the war had become to unravel.

When the war started, Joe’s first calling was to go to war.  He was 19 years old and was very enthused by the war already. He signed his name on the list and was recruited for the army shortly after. Joseph said it took about 2 months to be trained in boot camp, which was hard and tiring training. Once the soldiers were trained they were given time to rest and recuperate before there assigned mission was given to them. “I would say they gave me 3 years off until I was called back to be a soldier in a drop mission.”

In 1943 he was recruited to make a drop mission on Italy where he had to jump from a plane. Joseph wanted to go to his home country Italy, but was very nervous about the mission. This was his first mission and he had yet to see any action“The jump scared the living crap out of me,” he said. Joseph described the jump as a life threatening state of mind. He never wanted to do it again. From the drop point his team had rendezvous with a base point on the outskirts of Italy. This was the battle where Italy was invaded after the British and American forces had won in Northern Africa. America won back Italy for the war, which gave them another outpost closer to Germany. After this battle he was issued a notice to go home because his team had made a success in Italy.

Troops dropped from plane:


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Joseph vespa Jan. 18, 2007