Henry J. Caroselli (1922-1996, ‘dog-tag’ #: 36553486 T43 44 AB – C).
He enlisted into the U.S. Army on Dec. 28, 1942, rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant (aka: Technician Fourth Grade, abbreviated as T/4 or TEC4), and shipped out to the European Theatre of Operations, arriving D-Day +5. He saw action in all major battles of the Western Front. Trained as a radio operator (specializing in many forms of code), he drove a Jeep (Willys MB/ Ford GPW) equipped with a large, mobile, field radio station (2-way receiver/transmitter) with the company commander (Captain of a unit of 100-250 troops -- aka: Commanding Officer or CO) riding “shotgun.” Due to the confines of these "Radio Jeeps," he was issued one of the first compact M1 Carbines (hung in a special rifle rack above the dashboard, and converted in the field to selective fire [adding ‘full-auto’ mode] using an U.S.-Ordnance-issued parts kit). He was awarded a Purple Heart Medal in the intense fighting in the Ardennes Forest (Battle of the Bulge: Dec. 16, 1944 to Jan. 25, 1945).
After Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), May 8, 1945, Henry shipped back stateside with orders to standby to be shipped out to the Pacific Theater. He was one happy “G.I. on leave” at home in Detroit, Michigan on Victory in Japan Day (VJ Day), Aug. 14, 1945. That night, to celebrate, he went to Jefferson Beach Ballroom with a group that included his sister Leonora who introduced him to a co-worker, his-future-wife-to-be, Marjorie. Henry received his Honorable Discharge from Military Service on Nov. 1, 1945.
After his wife, Marjorie Ruth (Bloetscher) Caroselli (1921-2012), passed away a “Short Snorter” (see photo) was found in his effects. It is a 2 Francs note, World War II Allied Military Currency (S/N: 01368111-2, nickname: "Flag Ticket" or in French: Billet drapeau) with Bing Crosby’s autograph and dated Sept. 8, 1944. This time-capsule “Short Snorter” was signed by Crosby, 40 years old at the time, at the peak of his amazing career (in 1942, he was the first artist to record “White Christmas", won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1944, had 23 Gold and two Platinum records, and had 38 No. 1 singles -- which surpasses even Elvis Presley and The Beatles), right in the middle of his renowned USO Tour in France, and coincides with a key period in the history of America during WWII. Sept. 8, 1944 was only 2 weeks after the Allied troops had liberated Paris and about a month before the decisive Battle of the Bulge. When asked about the tour, Bing said: "It was the most satisfying and rewarding experience of my career." On the flipside, U.S. servicemen polled by Yank magazine voted Bing Crosby the one person who had done the most for wartime morale. Henry carried this treasured memento with him throughout the war.