Italian American WWII Hero MSGT Joseph DeMarino

To remember the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, NIAF is recognizing Italian Americans who sacrificed, served and defended peace, freedom and democracy during the war, using the tag #IAWW2Heroes on social media.

This entry is a beautiful tribute and submission from Joseph DeMarino’s daughter Kay DeMarino.

Joseph DeMarino was born in Echhart, Maryland, in 1925, the eldest son of Italian immigrants Michele and Pauline DeMarino.

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at the Allied Military Intelligence Headquarters at the Royal Palace in Caserta, Italy.

“The photo [above] is very special to the our family because it captures Dad while he’s bringing supplies and the American ‘can-do’ spirit to the war-torn villages of southern Italy,” said his daughter Kay DeMarino. “But it’s not just any town, this is Monopoli in Apulia and the man with him is his grandfather, whom he is meeting for the very first time.”

After the war, Joseph DeMarino was awarded a Bronze Star for his meritorious service and continued to serve his country in the Army Reserves.

He also devoted many years as president of the Western Maryland lodge of Sons of Italy.  

Kay proudly shared, “He is our Italian American hero!”

If you’d like to make a submission to NIAF’s #IAWW2Heroes initiative, email the photo and description to

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