Vito Peter LaGioia
|HOME OF RECORD
3251 West Congress Street, Chicago, IL
|NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Anna LaGioia
|DATE OF BIRTH
December 3, 1919
|DATE OF ENLISTMENT
March 9, 1942
|DATE OF LOSS
November 2, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Out of Guadalcanal
MIA / Declared Dead
3 November 1943
Radio / Gunner
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Private Vito LaGioia was a radioman/gunner assigned to VMSB-132. His squadron arrived at Henderson Field on 30 October 1942, and immediately began combat operations in the skies of the Solomon Islands.
On 2 November 1942, a strike was organized to attack a fleet of Japanese warships approaching Guadalcanal. LaGioia and his pilot, 2Lt. Melvin R. Nawman, were among the Marines who volunteered for the mission. Three SBD Dauntless bombers departed Henderson Field at 1800 hours – and none returned. Nawman and LaGioia were reported as missing in action.
The wreckage of Lieutenant Nawman’s SBD-3 (Bureau Number 03210) was located in 1943; the lieutenant’s remains were buried nearby, and later repatriated to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. No trace of Private LaGioia was found; on 3 November 1943, he was declared dead.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Manila American Cemetery
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.
Aircraft and crew lost on the 2 November 1942 strike
SBD-3 Bureau Number 03329 – VS-71
Lieutenant Commander John Eldridge, Jr., ARM3c George Yanick
This aircraft was seen to crash into the sea off Santa Isabel Island at 2300 hours on 2 November 1942. Villagers located the wreck and the bodies of the crew; they were only able to retrieve ARM3c Yanick, whom they buried near Tannibuli Bay.
George Yanick is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmount, West Virginia.
John Eldridge was never recovered.
SBD-3 Bureau Number 06523 – VMSB-132
Second Lieutenant Wayne Roy Gentry, Corporal Gerhart Wilhelm
This aircraft was found wrecked on Guadalcanal in 1942. Remains of the crew were buried by natives and retrieved by American forces after the war.
Wayne Gentry is buried in Twin Falls Cemetery, Twin Falls, Idaho.
Gerhart Wilhelm is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
SBD-3 Bureau Number 03210 – VMSB-132
Second Lieutenant Melvin Rollie Nawman, Private Vito Peter LaGioia
This aircraft was found wrecked at an unknown place and date. The remains of the pilot were recovered after the war.
Melvin Nawman is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Vito LaGioia has not been recovered or identified.
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