Italian American WWII Hero: Antonio Francis Federico

Launched in 2020 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 through the #IAWW2Heroes initiative. 

This entry is a special submission from Nancy Federico in honor of her late father.

Antonio (Tony) Francis Federico was born in Aprigliano Corte Cosenza in the Italian region of Calabria in 1915 and immigrated to the United States in 1927. After moving to America, he lived in Portland, Oregon, with his parents Rocco Federico and Maria Rosaria Muto Federico along with this two siblings, Teresa and Angelo.

Tony Federico joined the U.S. Army in 1941 and completed the U.S. Army Officer Engineer Course, where he earned a diploma in 1942.  He went on to become a 1st Lieutenant and a Platoon Commander-Engineer Unit, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge at Normandy as a M1A Shoulder Fired Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher Bazooka Gunner. Using the Bazooka Gunner made Mr. Federico permanently deaf in his left ear.

Mr. Federico was awarded a European and American Theatre Ribbon with 3 Stars; Normandy, Central Europe, Rhineland, and an American Defense Victory Metal. He left the Army in 1946 with Honorable Discharge.

Mr. Federico returned home and married Giacoma Apa. They had five children named Diane, Nancy, Teresa, David and Delores (who are twins).

 In 1956, Mr. Federico moved his family from Portland, Ore., to Santa Clara, Calif., in the Santa Clara Valley, now known as Silicon Valley.  His civilian career was with, The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company (Pacific Bell), and after working with Pacific Bell more than 29 years, he retired in 1977.

“In 2004, I honored my father with a WWII Certificate of Honor from the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., when the wall was completed,” shared his daughter, Nancy Federico. “In 1989, my father was also honored by another one of his children, with a certificate from the State of Liberty-Ellis Island, signed by Lee A. Iacocca, as ‘An American Immigrant Wall of Honor’ recipient, and his name was also engraved on a wall of Ellis Island. This honor was also given to my mother, Giacoma (Jacqueline) Apa.”

Mr. Federico lived to the age of 77 and is survived by his children and several grand and great-grandchildren

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

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