Brooklyn honors immigrant son, SGT John Sardiello
On January 24, 1941, Sardiello entered the Army, and was assigned I Company of the 119th Infantry Regiment, part of the 30th Infantry Division
He was killed in the ferocious post D-Day fighting in the vicinity of St. Lo, France, on July 29, 1944, due to gunshot wounds to the head. Due to the extreme combat conditions in the area, his body was not buried until August 1. On this day, he was buried at the large American cemetery at La Cambe, France. He was interred between Private First Class Joseph E. English, of Litchfield County, CT, and PVT William C. Holland, of Henderson, KY.
Due to some misinterpretation and poor communication, his wife, Lillian Sardiello, of Brooklyn, believed that he might still be alive as late as December of 1946. She went so far as to send the Army copies of his private dental records in the hope that they might be used to identify his purported remains, or not. Their United States Senator, James M. Mead, interceded on their behalf, and finally located convincing proof that SGT Sardiello was in fact deceased.
At this time, Lilian Sardiello elected to have her husband’s remains returned to the United States for burial. In October of 1947, they were boarded upon the USAT ‘Corporal Eric T. Gibson’, an army-manned cargo ship especially modified for use as a mortuary vessel. The remains arrived in New York and from there were conveyed to the Long Island National Cemetery, where they were interred on February 3, 1948.
His personal effects were catalogued, and then sent by the War Department to his widow. They included a rosary, a prayer book, photos, a knife, 10 English shillings, and a pencil. Also returned was a check, in the amount of $2.02, which represented funds found with his remains. The file shows that as of July 27, 1949, the check had not yet been cashed.
This story doesn’t end here. This man was so greatly missed by his widow, Lillian, that her son and daughter-in-law came to know him well decades later. The American Legion Post 1634, which bears his name, and the community where he lived, have gone to great lengths to honor him.