Monday, December 04, 2006


THIS THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, IS THE 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR. Immediately after the bombing, America declared war on the Empire of Japan. As a consequence Adolph Hitler declared war on the United States and Italy’s Benito Mussolini followed suit. As a result of Italy’s involvement in World War II on the side of Japan and Germany, many Italians without proper citizenship papers ‘su per la costa’ and elsewhere in America were declared to be ‘enemy aliens’ . As described by Norma (Dinelli) Wilson in her story (Part I,) and also in Chapter 3 of my book, "La Costa E La Guerra", severe restrictions were imposed on the Italians, causing some to be relocated and some to lose their jobs. In October of 1942, the Attorney General of the United States lifted the restrictions on the Italians, although the United States was still at war with Italy. One of the main reason this was done, was because so many sons of Italian aliens were in uniform and fighting for the United States in Europe and the Pacific . Attilio Joseph Dogliotti of Santa Cruz was one of those boys and he made the supreme sacrifice for his (our) Country.

The following article was sent to me by Gino Campioni and was copied from the original appearing in the “Santa Cruz Riptide-Vol. 10- No. 20.

In a window of a cozy home at 498 Bay street there proudly hangs a service flag with one star for all that family could give to its Flag.

But today that star has turned to gold for that home has made the supreme sacrifice--it has given all it had for its Flag, and its walls never again will resound to a cheery "Hi, Mom,"from a happy, six-foot youth as he came bounding home from work.

Saturday afternoon, May 8, Second Lieutenant Attilio Joseph Dogliotti, 22, was at the controls of a four-motored Liberator bomber when it crashed in the northern part of Arizona. Lieutenant Dogliotti was killed. Three others in the plane were also killed.

The body of the young pilot was to be shipped to White's Mortuary some time this week where a military funeral will be held.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Dogliotti of 498 Bay street, Joseph was born in Santa Cruz and was the only child. He graduated from Santa Cruz high school in 1939. In 1938 he was captain of the heavy weight champion football team and was an outstanding tackle. In 1939 Joseph was captain
of the champion baseball team. He was an honor student in agriculture in high school, and one of the most popular students in the school.

After his graduation, Joseph was employed at the Coast Drum and Box company on Mission street and later he was employed with the Santa Cruz Portland Cement company in Davenport.

It was in April of 1942 that Joseph enlisted as an aviation cadet and was sent to Santa Ana Air Base for pre-flight training. He progressed successfully through the various phases of training and finally, on January 4 of 1943, Joseph was awarded his wings and commission at
Stockton. He was a bomber pilot.

Lieutenant Dogliotti was en route to Pocatello, Idaho, from Gibbs Field, Texas, to get a new plane when the crash occurred. His was the second plane of the same type to have crashed in approximately the same area.

Slated for promotion to first lieutenant within a few weeks and then a captaincy following quickly, Lieutenant Dogliotti had written his proud parents that he would be home for a furlough the first of June.

But Joseph came home earlier on an eternal furlough granted by his Supreme Commander-in Chief. And the little star in that service flag has turned to gold.


Aldo Penniman said...

The "Service Cardinal" shows that there were 66 young men from Santa Cruz that were killed or missing during their service to our Country.. There are pictures of all but three.
Through the years I couldn't help to look at Attilio "Tillie" picture. Such a handsome young man.. there two other Italiani that never came home... one was Gilbert Camarlinghi, his parents had Adolph's ristorante, he had 2 brothers Rudy and Bobby, he was 23 when he died, the other that was lost was Walter Morelli, he lived on the Westside, he was 22 years old...

God bless them all..


Patty Morelli said...

Thanks for sharing this, Ivano. I didn't know that those at home put stars in their windows signifying that a loved one was fighting over seas. So interesting. Yes, it's always so sad to hear of our loved ones losing their life to war.....and it's happening now, again. So sad.
You know, I remember my great Auntie, Evelyn Marchi, telling me that my grandmother, Theresa Bertacca, always said proudly that she had her 'first papers'. Because of this I guess, she was able to keep her radio, etc during those first months of the war. Do you know what 'first papers' meant? You've probably mentioned it before, but I've forgotten.
Hope you are fine.... and happily getting ready for Christmas.

LNC: Patty, I not really sure about the first papers. I know that there was a process that had to be followed to become a naturalized citizens. In my research, I found that during the first part of WWII, Italiani were prevented from going to the Santa Cruz Court House to get Naturalized because the Court House was within that restricted zone that Norma talks about. Talk about "Catch 22". Ivn0.

Gino "Bobbie" Campioni said...

Ciao Ivan,

Reading the latest comments brings back memories again. My parents applied for citizenship after the ban was lifted on "enemy aliens" crossing Mission St. I attended all their classes with Mrs. Sonneborn, thus learned a bit about U.S. History while I did my homework there at the Santa Cruz High School.

They did have to apply for the "primi fogli" and if I remember correctly, then took the class, which was followed by a session in court. If they could answer a few questions correctly, they were issued the "secondi fogli", ie. a certificate of citizenship.

My mother was asked one question, which she answered correctly. Baffi was given several. He claimed it was to show just how much he knew. Ada says it was because the judge was not convinced he knew enough. (chuckles from friends) There was one Italian who was asked to name the American Flag. This he did right. Then, when asked the name of the flag of California, he answered, "The Bear One".

A victorious celebration was held in the Hotel Trovatore, run by my madrina, Gina Tori, whom my parents had honored by naming me after her.* I can remember the long table with white tablecloth and small American flags at each place. There were many newly naturalized citizens there. I remember that the meal was delicious, pollo alla cacciatora, fagioli, e cetera, and the speeches interesting. I also remember being carried half asleep into one of the rooms and being laid in a bed by my mother. I awoke in my own bed at home the next day. A long day had been full of excitement for a small boy.

* My middle name of Robert was suggested by Luisa Presepi, so that school children would not tease me about the name Gino.
She said they would call me Bob in school. Actually, the reverse took place. I was always "Gino" in school, and "Bobbie" at home. The Italian name never caused me any problems.

Saluti. Gino

LNC: As always Gino "Bobbie" Campioni gives us some real historical insights into Italian Family Life during this time Period.

Of Course his story of the "Bear Flag" reminds me of the story as written in "La Nostra Costa" as told by my father. In one of those "naturalization classes"
Mrs. Sonneborn asked one of the Italian ladies from Davenport, "What is the name of the Capitol of the US". Seeing that the woman was having problems with the question, my father,who was seated behind her, prompted her by whispering, "Davenport".
The confused lady quickly blurted out, "Davenport" sending the class into an up roar. ivn0

Norma (Dinelli) Wilson said...

Caro Ivano:
These Blogga conversations are absolutely wonderful!!

Thanks to Hank Bradley and his info on the bus, etc. I

Did not know that it was Mr. Bruce who picked them up at

Waddell. However it must have been Hank’s Mom and/or

Dad drove Hank and his sister Betsy to Waddell?! How

Interesting – that Packard must have been awesome.

Does Hank remember the old La Slida? That was a treacherous

Section until they built the new one – what year was that? I do

Remember the old one very vividly and how scary it was especially

In winter when it was stormy.

Thanks to Carol Costella Schwartz for commenting on my writing.

Yes-if events were not at the Trovatore – they were at the Garibaldi.

Don’t know about her grandfather’s story but I’ll ask around of some

Of the “old-timers”. Remember how you got to the Garibaldi? Over a

Bridge from Front St.(about where the 2-story parking lot is by/before

The Theatre and Café Mare. It was like in the middle of the SanLorenzo

On an “island”. The store on Front St. where the bridge started was

The Costella Bros. – men’s clothing, etc. Ranchers bought their long

Underwear there for winter to have protection from the winds off the ocean.

(they must have been thermal – like the ones we now use to go skiing –

Play not work)

Also enjoyed Alverda’s story about the service and San Bernardino.

My Dad had a cousin that got word to him that he was an Italian prisoner

Of war in Yermo in l944? (not sure). My Dad and his uncle Luigi Dinelli

And Tony Franceschini (as a second driver as there were no freeways then)

Drove down to see him. He and all the other Italian prisoners were treated

So well and did not want to go back to Italy. When my Dad arrived the officer

In charge let them use his office to visit. The Italians were making sausages

And pasta sauce (sugo), etc. They were in their glory even though it was a

Sad war time.

Love Gino Campioni (and everyone elses too) writings – so much forgotten

Information – brings much more to mind that we had not thought of for a

Very long time.

Jerry Mungai writes about his Nonna Antonetta – what a nice lady. Would

Sure like some of her raisin fogaccia – haven’t had any since Plaza Bakery Closed.

Also a note on Attilio Dogliotti – What a handsome young man – thanks for

The foto – very precious. My Mom worked with his Mom at Pfyffer Bros. packing

Shed later in l960s. Mrs. Dogliotti told the ladies about how the telegram about her

Son came like the day before Mother’s Day or her birthday and she thought he was

Wishing her a happy day but instead it was informing her of his death. So sad.

Keep all the info and stories coming – this is great. So many stored memories

Shared. This is truly a legacy and our contribution to our dear folks who gave so

Much to their adopted country. We are making them proud!!

Saluti and ciao per ora – Norma Dinelli Wilson

LNC: Something for everyone in this comment from Norma. Yes, originally, I set up my BLAGGA to promote my book "La Nostra Costa". However, the LNostra-Costa Blog has developed into something much more than that. Thanks to all that have contributed and keep those stories coming. ivno

Anonymous said...

Ciao Norma ed amici,

I remember the day when I was at home, and saw an olive drab car with a white star on the front door stop in front of the Dogliotti home. I told my mother, and she exclaimed, "O Dio! Attilio è morto!

Two men in army uniform went to the door and delivered an American flag neatly folded.

My mother, who could have been an opera singer, had she been able to have lessons, never sang aloud again, out of respect for Pete and Mary. The loss of Attilio affected all our lives, and continues to do so. Yes, we must be thankful for so many young men who gave their lives for our country.


Thelma Gill said...


Buon Giorno!

I also remember the day (can't exactly remember the date) in the 40's that a yellow cab driver came to the Hotel D'Italia in Davenport to inquire where the Silvio Moro family lived.

This was a telegram delivery to the family that Fernando Moro was missing in action. He was in the European Theatre. This was a sad day.

For a couple of years, I believe, nothing was heard of Ferd's whereabouts and the particulars of his missing in action. Fortunately it was learned later that Ferd was held captive by the Germans and returned home safely.

I agree with Gino that we must be thankful for so many young men who fought and gave up their lives for our country.


LNC: Thanks Thelma. This BLOG is dedicated to keeping these memories alive. A picture of Fernando riding his beloved motorcycle appears at the end of the end of Chapter 16: "Figli Di Ferro" in 'La Nostra Costa.ivn0