Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army, Army Air Forces 1
Rank:
PFC 1
Birth:
22 Oct 1920 2
Windsor Locks, Connecticut 2
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Joseph John Pansarosa 2
Full Name:
Joseph J Pansarasa 1
Birth:
22 Oct 1920 2
Windsor Locks, Connecticut 2
Residence:
Place: Windsor Locks, Connecticut 2
Place: Connecticut 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army, Army Air Forces 1
Rank:
PFC 1
Service Start Date:
24 Oct 1942 2
Service End Date:
23 May 1944 2
Service Number:
31196836 1
Casualty Type:
KIA 1

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Sources

  1. WWII Army and Army Air Force Casualty List [See image]
  2. Contributed by japansa585
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Stories

Joseph Pensarosa Reported Missing

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Transcribed from a newspaper clipping found with the effects of Joseph Pansarasa's sister, Louise Pansarasa

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., June 14

-A telegram from the War Department has informed Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pensarosa of Center Street that their son, Pfc. Joseph C. Pensarosa, has been reported missing in action in Italy since May 23. His last letters to his family were dated two days before he was listed as missing.

Pfc. Pensarosa, who has been overseas for over a year, had been engaged in fighting in Sicily and on the Anzio beachhead. Educated in Windsor Locks, he entered the Army in October, 1942. He is a nephew of Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Pensarosa of Springfield. A brother, Sgt. Charles Pensarosa, also is in the Army.

Windsor Locks Boy A Hero In Italy

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Transcribed from a newspaper clipping found with the effects of Joseph Pansarasa's sister, Louise Pansarasa

A news dispatch to The Journal this week from the headquarters of the Fifth Army in Italy, tells how PFC Joseph Pansarasa, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pansarast of Center street, together with seven other Third Division infantrymen, recently withstood a 24-hour attack on the Allied Fifth Army's Anzio-Nettuno beachhead by two German tanks and fifty enemy infantrymen and repelled them with heavy casualties.

Private Pansarasa was one of the five Americans who survived the battle without being wounded. Their Browning automatic rifleman was killed after he had killed fifteen of the enemy. The other two defenders were wounded.

German and American forces had vied on even terms for several days for possession of House 5- as it is called on military maps- in the Third Division sector of the beachhead. Then the Americans had captured it long enough to fortify the place Booby traps ere wired in the north side of the house. The other side held for an outpost, was defended by the local soldier and his comrades.

One night fifty German infantrymen and two tanks advanced against House 5. The tanks closed in first and opened fire on the first floor. As the first projectile from a tank gun ripped through the house downstairs, the the Fifth Army infantrymen placed themselves at upstairs windows and laid a defensive fire on the attackers.

A hail of German bullets constantly hammered at every opening into the house. One American, armed with a carbine, returned the fire by use of the forward observer method. That is, he lay on the floor and held his carbine up on the sill of a window, correcting his aim according to observations made, from another point, by one of his comrades.

Under a thunderous barrage from the tank guns, the German infantry advanced into the house and fought their way into the house and fought their way to a point half-way up the stairs to the besieged second-story fortress. There their advance was checked by a volley of hand grenades tossed smack into their faces from the head of the stairway.

The German tanks, evidently deterred from leaving by nearby anti-tank and artillery emplacements, couldn't adjust their annihilating fire on the second story of the house from such close range because they couldn't elevate their guns enough.

The fight continued all that night and throughout the following day, the Americans pouring lead through second-story windows at the Germans outside and holding off those who had come indoors with grenades tossed downstairs. When nightfall came again, the tanks and about ten German infantrymen- all of the enemy left alive- retreated.

Besides Private Pansarasa, four other defenders came out of the battle uninjured. They are Private First Class Elvin E. Myatt of York, South Carolina, who assumed command during the siege of House 5; PFC Milford L. Reed of Voere, Ind., second in command for the defense; PFC Charley R. Humphreys of Wallings, Tenn.; and Private Glenn P. Clingan of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Lieut. Colonel John C. Toffey of the Third Division, who promised Myatt, the leader of the group, that he would soon be "wearing more stripes" as a result of his part of the action, investigated and verified the facts of the battle.

On Monday afternoon the parents of PFC Pansarasa were advised by a telegram from the war department that the young soldier is reported missing in action in the Italian war area, and the family is anxiously awaiting further word that he has either returned to duty with his unit or definitely reported as a prisoner of war.

Windsor Locks Youth Killed In Combat Zone

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Transcribed from a newspaper clipping found with the effects of Joseph Pansarasa's sister, Louise Pansarasa

Private First Class Joseph J. Pansarasa Had Previously Been Reported Missing In Action. Had Taken Part In Combat On Several Invasion Fronts.

PFC Joseph J. Pansarasa, aged 23 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pansarasa of Center street, was killed in action while engaged with U.S. Army troops in Italy on May 23rd, according to a telegram received by his parents last evening from the war department.

The young soldier was reported missing in action in a telegram dispatched to his parents on June 12th, and family members and friends have been awaiting further word regarding his whereabouts since that date.

He was born in Windsor Locks and had resided here all his life, attending the local public grammar school. Previous to entering the service on November 7, 1942, he was employed at the plant of the Montgomery Company in this town. He received his military training at Fort Devens, Mass., Camp Croft, N.C., and camps in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, leaving this country for overseas in April, 1943.

A member of Company E, 15th Infantry, Fifth Army, he took part in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Several months ago he received a commendation from the commanding officer of his company for meritorious service in holding off and finally disposing of a number of Nazi raiders who attempted to establish headquarters in a building near the American lines.

Besides his parents, he leaves one brother, Sargeant Charles J. Pansarasa, who is now in France with U.S. army forces; also one sister, Miss Louise R. Pansarasa, at home.

PFC JOSEPH J. PANSARASA

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Transcribed from a newspaper clipping found with the effects of Joseph Pansarasa's sister, Louise Pansarasa

Windsor Locks is called upon to place a third gold star on its honor roll. News reached this town last evening that Private First Class Joseph John Pansarasa, fighting with the Fifth Army of United States Troops in Italy, has suffered the supreme sacrifice. He died on the battlefield of north Italy on May 23rd.

It is a hard task to make note of the passing of a young and courageous soldier, who would have reached his twenty-fourth birthday this coming September. Born and reared in Windsor Locks, educated in its schools, employed in its industry, the young man bravely answered the call to duty two years ago. He discharged that duty faithfully, this fact being brought out by a special commendation given him several months ago for meritorious service against the Nazis. Small in stature, the young man had demonstrated bravery by his huge sacrifice, all for the well being of his town, state and nation.

The parents and members of his family are extended the sympathy of The Journal in this heart-breaking hour. He has died that we might live. Private Pansarasa is saluted as a national hero and will always be admired by his townspeople. May he rest in Peace.

Windsor Locks' Third Casualty

Windsor Locks, Connecticut

Transcribed from a newspaper clipping found with the effects of Joseph Pansarasa's sister, Louise Pansarasa

PFC Joseph J. Pansarasa

Killed In Italy

May 23, 1944

A requiem high mass was celebrated in St. Mary's church Wednesday morning at 8 o'clock by Rev. R. R. Dunn, for repose of the soul of PFC Joseph J. Pansarasa, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pansarasa of Center street, who was killed in action in Italy on May 23rd.

Besides relatives and friends of the deceased soldier, there were a large number of parishioners in attendance at the mass. PFC Pansarasa is the third service man from Windsor Locks to lose his life in the present World War.

The Day Joseph Pansarasa Was Killed In Action

Anzio, Italy

At 05:45 on May 23, 1944, 1,500 Allied artillery pieces commenced bombardment. Forty minutes later the guns paused as attacks were made by close air support and then resumed as the infantry and armour moved forward. The first day's fighting was intense: 1st Armored Division lost 100 tanks and 3rd Infantry Division suffered 955 casualties, the highest single day figure for any U.S. division during World War II. The Germans suffered too, with 362nd Infantry Division estimated to have lost 50% of its fighting strength.

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