Reed Presents Warwick WWII Veteran with Military Medals

93 year old Providence native gets belated recognition for taking part in the most famous amphibious operation in history

CRANSTON, RI – Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, Warwick resident Frank Amalfetano was helping Allied forces get ashore during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France.  Today, during a special ceremony surrounded by family and friends, U.S. Senator Jack Reedpresented the 93-year-old Providence native and World War II veteran with the medals he earned but never received for his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Among the medals Mr. Amalfetano received were the American Campaign Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star; the World War II Victory Medal; an Honorable Discharge Button; and an Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck).

Mr. Amalfetano enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18, and after boot camp was sent to Fort Pierce, Florida, where he trained as a coxswain with Navy Seals Demolition teams.

Mr. Amalfetano was then assigned to his first Landing Ship Tank (LST) in New Orleans, Louisiana.  LSTs were used to support amphibious operations by carrying tanks, vehicles, cargo, and landing troops directly onto shore with no docks or piers.

Mr. Amalfetano was deployed to Europe and sailed to Southampton in Hampshire, England, aboard a ship that was at times pursued by German U-boats as they crossed the Atlantic.

Mr. Amalfetano participated in the D-Day invasion of Nazi-controlled France by Allied forces, transporting British soldiers on his LST to Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches.  Following the invasion, he worked with the Army engineers to sink old ships and create a breakwater so a dock could be built to help unload soldiers and supplies at the beach.  He spent a total of three months at Normandy.

Frank’s brother, Anthony Amalfetano, enlisted in the U.S. Army and was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge.

“Frank Amalfetano is a true patriot and it is an honor to present him with these long overdue medals and our enduring gratitude for his service.  In addition to Mr. Amalfetano, we also recognize his brother and brothers-in-arms who sacrificed everything for the freedom of all of us,” said Senator Reed, a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  “We are grateful to Frank for serving his country with great courage.  We must continue to recognize, honor, and celebrate our World War II veterans and all who serve their nation for their great contributions and achievements.”

After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Frank ran his family’s ice cream business in Providence (Elmwood Creamery) and eventually opened his own Ice Cream store in Warwick (Jennie’s Dairy Freeze), which he operated for 55 years before retiring in 2003.

According to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, only 620,000 were alive in 2016, including over 2,600 Rhode Islanders.

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