Tony Romeo was born in Calabria, Italy on November 19, 1919 to Carlo and Conchetta Romeo. The family moved to San Francisco where Tony was drafted into the army and served in the European war zone where fighting was most intense. After completing a patrol along the front, Tony returned to the American lines just minutes before the Germans launched their Battle of the Bulge offensive. On May 7, 1944, the 9th Armored Division of the First US Army captured the Ludendorff Bridge near the German City of Remagen on the Rhine River. This was a critical moment in the war when the allies were able to cross a natural defensive barrier and shorten the war by several months. Fighting on the German side of the Rhine was intense, and casualties were very high. All traffic on the bridge was eastward toward Germany. Despite intense and continuous small arms fire, and saturation artillery attacks that pounded the battlefield and river for four days, Staff Sergeant Tony Romeo organized and supervised a flotilla of small boats to carry the wounded to field hospitals on the French side of the river, saving hundreds of lives. In the words of Lt. George Billias, Tony was an outstanding leader of men who unselfishly placed himself in harm`s way to help others. Tony`s unit suffered no loss of life, and he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. Shortly after the battle, Tony was awarded a Presidential Citation for Bravery signed by President Harry Truman. He also was granted American citizenship on the battlefield.
Sources for this report include: Tony (Tony Romeo`s grandson) and Fay Kenney; Paul Aliotti (Tony Romeo`s Son-in-Law); Zachary Clark of the Daily Journal Staff; The San Mateo County County Harbor District`s report on the Romeo Pier; The Romeo Packing Company (Connie, Charlie, Frank, and Joey)
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