The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Joseph Ferdinand Damiani, 33402987, who died in the service of his country on March 31st, 1945 in Luzon. The cause of death was listed as KIA. At the time of his death Joseph was 22 years of age. He was from Donora, Pennsylvania.
The decorations earned by PFC Joseph Ferdinand Damiani include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Joseph F. Damiani (1922 Pennsylvania) of 1037 Meldon Ave, Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania enlisted as a Private (S/N 33402987) in the U.S. Army on 27 November 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was single, had completed 4 years of high school and had been working as "Unskilled nonprocess occupations in manufacturing, n.e.c."
He was assigned to the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division and went overseas on 25 March 1943. After fighting in the Northern Solomons the 35th Infantry Regiment landed on Luzon on 11 January 1945 to enter the struggle for the liberation of the Philippines. By the end of February the drive to clear the central plains of Luzon was successfully completed. The 25th was then assigned to clear the Caraballo mountains of northern Luzon where the majority of the Japanese forces on Luzon known as the Shimbu Group were located. They was ordered to clear Highway 5 to the north and by March were near the town of Kapintalan. The Japanese had strong prepared positions in the Kapintalan area.
30 March 1945
"Shortly after dusk on the 30th, a large Japanese force attacked C Company from all sides. The attack continued fiercely throughout the night. At dawn the company began to withdraw to the bulldozer road, and immediately came under attack by about one hundred fifty Japs in three groups. A Company moved out from the Battalion perimeter around the 64th Field Artillery Battalion's position to go to their aid. But the Japs had thrown three separate road blocks across the approaches to the Roller Coaster Road and no connection could be made. Battalion Headquarters Company, "Smoot's Galoot's" (The Company of Guerillas attached to the regiment, and commanded by Captain Robert Smoot), and finally F Company of the 2d battalion were brought into the struggle to break the road block. At 1900, the last of the blocks was reduced, and C and A Companies made contact. About fifty five Japs were killed during the fight, at a cost of one officer and six of our men killed, four wounded, and one officer missing in action."
Joseph F. Damiani was killed in action on 31 March 1945 near Kapintalan,
Nueva Ecija Province, Luzon, Philippines.
He was buried in 7749 USAF Cemetery, Santa Barbara #1, Philippine Islands – Row 97, Grave 5123. After the war (during the fall 1947) his remains (along with 5,195 other American soldiers) were disinterred and brought to Manila Mausoleum. From there Private First Class, Joseph F. Damiani was buried in his final resting place in the 7701 Ft. McKinley Cemetery (now known as the Manila American Cemetery) – Plot A, Row 3, Grave 120.