Fred G. Bisco was born in Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey on January 19, 1916. His father, Charles, and mother Florence also were born in New Jersey in the late 1800s. The 1930 census records indicate his mother was a seamstress. Fred had one sibling - a younger sister, Mary. He completed four years at Lincoln High School in Harrison, New Jersey and was captain of the school soccer team.
He enlisted in the Army at Trenton, New Jersey on August 7, 1941, 10 months after registering for the draft. His enlistment record states he was married which apparently occurred earlier in the year based on marriage records that indicate he married Mildred Gisbert in 1941. His occupation was listed as “shipping receiving clerk” where he had been employed by Congoleum Narin in Kearny, New Jersey prior to enlisting. He was assigned the rank of Pvt with service #32167171.
After initial training in the States, Fred was sent to England and Scotland where he received extensive combat training from August through October, 1942 as a member of the 1st Infantry Division, 16th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company E. After this training he was assigned to combat operations in North Africa and then Sicily. Upon his return to England in October, 1943 he began preparing for the invasion of German occupied Western Europe in what would come to be called Operation Overlord.
On D-Day, June 6, 1944 after leaving their transport ship and embarking on a LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel), Fred’s platoon of 32 men commanded by 2nd Lt. John Spalding, headed toward Easy Red sector of Omaha beach. Their mission was to destroy an enemy stronghold called Widerstandsnest (WN) 62 farther up the bluff that was bombarding the beach below. After landing on the beach the platoon began to work their way up on a trail in the wide valley or draw toward their objective. According to Lt. Spalding’s narrative of the day, Fred Bisco was instrumental in getting them through a heavily mined area by cautioning the group to avoid areas of dead grass which usually meant the presence of mines. Because Lt. Spalding was intently focusing on the machine guns above him, he states in his narrative that Sgt. Bisco was constantly telling him “Lieutenant, watch out for the damn mines''. They continued upward towards WN-62 and eventually several members of the platoon advanced and captured the fortification. Later that morning, Lt. Spalding was ordered to move his platoon to Colleville-sur-Mer and defend the town’s right flank. It was there, in the late afternoon that S/Sgt. Fred G. Bisco was killed by enemy small arms fire.
Fred Bisco was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington,New Jersey.
Let’s remember those young soldiers who changed the course of history with their sacrifice.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see: ++www.storiesbehindthestars.org++). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the U S WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen’s name and read his/her history.