Giovanni (John) Carmine Santoro, Italian American hero

Jul 15, 2020 161

Giovanni (John) Carmine Santoro (1921-2002), was from Providence, RI, and fought in the Navy during WWII. He was a Seaman First Class stationed on the USS Biscayne during the amphibious invasion of Italy and he was presented with the Navy and Marine Corp Medal for Bravery by the President of the United States.

“The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal to Seaman First Class John C. Santoro, United States Naval Reserve, for heroism while serving on board the U.S.S. BISCAYNE (AVP-11), 12 September 1943, at Salerno Bay, during the amphibious invasion of Italy. The S.S. LYMINGE, loaded with a cargo of gasoline, land mines and chlorine gas, was hit by an enemy bomb which started several large fires aboard and forced the crew to abandon ship.

Seaman First Class Santoro, as a member of the U.S.S. BISCAYNE fire-and-rescue party, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, boarded the burning ship, and, in spite of imminent danger of explosions, courageously assisted in fire fighting operations which eventually brought all fires under control, thereby saving a valuable ship for future operations. The extraordinary heroism and outstanding devotion to duty displayed by Seaman First Class Santoro were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Giovanni Carmine Santoro’s father emigrated from Mosciano, Italy.

Grazie mille to Tia Santoro who sent NIAF this submission about her grandfather. If you want NIAF to include your family member in our #IAWW2Heroes campaign to honor Italian Americans who fought and served during World War II, submit a photo and short bio to



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