World War II veteran Robert Persiciti has died at the age of 102 while visiting France for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Sergeant Mark Gibson/US Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Robert Persichetti, seen here in March 2019, died en route to Normandy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.


Robert Persiciti, 102, a World War II U.S. Navy veteran, died last week while visiting France for a memorial service. 80th Anniversary of D-DayHonor Flight Rochester, a veteran military organization.

Persichetti was a “wonderful, sweet, humble guy” who was “easy to get to know, easy to talk to,” said Honor Flight Rochester president and CEO Richard Stewart, who told CNN he learned of his friend’s death last Friday.

“We miss him,” Stewart said.

When Bersichetti went to Normandy – Allied forces Landed on June 6, 1944, laid the groundwork for the defeat of Nazi Germany — he served in the Pacific as a radioman aboard the USS Eldorado, Stewart said. According to Stewart, his tour of duty included Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Guam New York State Senate Veterans Hall of FameIn which Persicity was absorbed in 2020.

Persichetti fell ill last week while en route to Normandy, Germany, said friend Al DiCarlo, who traveled with Persichetti. CNN affiliate WHAM. Persichetti was airlifted to a hospital and died a short time later, DiCarlo said.

“The doctor was with him. He wasn’t alone, he was relaxed and comfortable,” DiCarlo said. “He put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on his phone and he left us peacefully.”

Persicity has had heart problems in the past, “but for 102, I’d say he’s in excellent health,” Stewart told CNN.

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Persichetti was born in a coal-mining town outside of Pittsburgh, where Stewart described his friend Bob’s “humble, rough beginnings.” After the war, Persicity worked as a carpentry teacher in Rochester, New York, graduating from SUNY Buffalo in 1972, according to the Veterans Hall of Fame.

Persicity enjoyed traveling and talking to the younger generation about his experiences, often visiting schools to talk to students about World War II, his friend Pastor William Lyon told WHAM.

“It was a privilege to know him and I will miss him,” Leon told the station.

Persichetti is one of the few remaining Americans who served in World War II, a rapidly dwindling population. As of 2023, only 119,550 of the 16.4 million who served — less than one percent — will still be alive. National WWII Museum in New Orleans. At the time, about 131 World War II veterans were dying every day, the museum said.

US President Joe Biden He underscored this point on Thursday, telling those gathered at this year’s D-Day commemoration in Normandy that it may be the last event involving living soldiers. That fact, he said, should push Americans to continue the struggle against tyranny.

“The last living voices of those who fought and bled on D-Day are no longer with us,” Biden said. “So we have a special duty. What happened here cannot be lost in the silence of years to come.

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