On Veterans Day, state Senator Joseph Addabbo honored the life and sacrifices of a Queens member of the Greatest Generation.
Ermondo “Butch” Puccio, 99, a lifelong South Ozone Park resident, was presented with a proclamation celebrating the World War II soldier’s induction into the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be able to present butch with this plaque and to thank him for his years of service to our country,” Addabbo, a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, said. “There are not too many of our World War II veterans left, so it means a lot to recognize Ermondo for his service time during the world’s greatest conflict.”
Puccio was born in South Ozone Park on April 15, 1921, and at the age of 21, he enlisted as a private in the United States Army and completed his basic training at Camp Davis in North Carolina. Before being deployed to California in 1943, Puccio married his wife Jeannie, and on Aug. 28, 2020, they celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary.
On Sept. 18, 1944, he departed San Francisco aboard the USS Arthur Middleton arriving in New Guinea where he remained for five months. On March 2, 1945, as part of a 100-ship convoy, he left New Guinea for combat zones in the Philippines. The following day their LST, or Landing Ship Tank, experienced engine trouble which left them abandoned mid-ocean. On March 12, they finally arrived at San Jose, where they would spend the next eight months in various parts of the Philippine Islands before their November 1945 departure.
While serving in combat, Mr. Puccio was injured by a .50 caliber machine gun which fell on him. In January 1946, he returned to the United States where, on Feb. 2, 1946, he was honorably discharged from the Army.
World War II Staff Sergeant Puccio bravely served our country. In a letter provided by Puccio from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Army Expeditionary Forces, the president stated “Upon the outcome depends the freedom of your lives: the freedom of the lives of those you love – your fellow citizens – your people.”
“Our, including time at home with their families, while some make the ultimate sacrifice and lay down their lives for our country,” Addabbo said. “It is a great feeling to beagle to give back tour veterans, and this induction to the NYS Veterans Hall of Fame for Butch is one small way that I can help honor a great soldier, especially on Veterans Day.”