Italian American WWII Hero: Vincent A. Palozzi

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. This entry is a special submission from Vinnie Palozzi in honor of his father.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., Vincent A. Palozzi was the son of Italian immigrants who came from Villavallelonga, Abruzzo.

In 1942, Palozzi graduated from Madison High School in Rochester and received an art scholarship from what is today known as the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). As the United States entered WWII in December 1942, the government allowed Palozzi to complete one year of college before he was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943.

While in the army, Palozzi served as a gunner’s assistant and cook. He fought in New Guinea, and in Manila in the Battle of the Liberation of the Philippines. In 1946, he was discharged and returned to RIT, graduating in 1947. Palozzi was the first in his immigrant family to complete college.

“He credited that first year in school with saving his life because other guys from his neighborhood who went in ’42 didn’t come back,” shared Palozzi’s son, Vinnie.

Palozzi became a commercial artist in retail advertising, married and fathered four children.

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

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