Adopted grave of TEC 5 Joseph Fumagalli
While investigating the 17th Engineers who died in Europe during World War Two, we found a grave in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery that had not yet been adopted.
One of our members has ensured that the grave has been adopted by our association MARS and has also managed to contact the relatives in America.
It is the grave of:
Joseph (Giuseppe) Silvio Fumagalli
Grade: Technician 5th Grade
Born: in 1923
Residance: New York, the Bronx
Enlisted for active duty: 02/23/1943
Awards and Citations: Purple Heart
Deceased: 01/19/1945 (KIA) Killed in Action
Location: near Houffalize (not confirmed)
Army Serial Number: 32813723
Burial: Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial
Arrondissement de Verviers
Plot: E row 12 grave 24
GPS (lat/lon): 50°41’53.4″N 5°54’05.3″E
Before the War
We have obtained information from the relatives, family, about the life of Joseph before and during the war, below a summary.
About Joseph Fumagalli
Joseph was born as Giuseppe (means Joseph) Silvio Fumagalli but enlisted as Joseph. He wanted to be an actor and was in contact with a New York City theater group when he was drafted in 1943. His parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1922 from Campofreddo, a small village in Italy where his brother Orazio was born. He spoke fluent Italian, English and Spanish. Joseph spoke standard Italian and English as well.
His father Francesco, was a Photographer and painter and served in WWI for Italy as a translator for the British Navy. His brother Orazio a sculptor in WWII, served in an anti-submarine sonar duty in the North Atlantic for the US Coast Guard (part of the US NAVY at times of war) even though he was not a US citizen. He obtained his citizenship several years after WWII. Orazio got the word of the death of his brother Joseph when he was serving in the North Atlantic.
US Sensus 1940, Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
|Event Place||Assembly District 7, Bronx, New York City, Bronx, New York, United States|
|Relationship to Head of Household||Son|
|Relationship to Head of Household||Son|
|Birth Year (Estimated)||1924|
|Last Place of Residence||Same Place|
|Joseph Fumegalli||Son||M||16||New York|
|Remiga Fumegalli||Daughter||F||15||New York|
|Louisa Fumagalli||Female||46||Married||White||Wife||Italy||1894||Same Place|
|Orazio Fumagalli||Male||19||Single||White||Son||Italy||1921||Same Place|
|Joseph Fumagalli||Male||16||Single||White||Son||New York||1924||Same Place|
|Remiga Fumagalli||Female||15||Single||White||Daughter||New York||1925||Same Place|
Where did Joseph Fumagalli live as a 16 year old son in the year 1940 with his family?
In England 1944
J. Fumagalli, England, 2 september 1944, “After a hard day work and still smiling” (Source: Piera Fumagalli)
“After a hard days work, and still smiling”
Lennie Diluro, Joe Cupido, Lt Haley,
“Marty Marlino, Me, Buddy Hanlon
SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND 2/9/44
Me and Buddy Hanlon
Dressed to kill “What?” Out of Uniform
“Taking a stroll in ‘rear’ English Sunlight”
Somewhere in England
During Normandy Campaign 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge 1945
After action reports states on the january 19th, 1945: “17th Engr Batt. were required the construction of several treadway bridges because of the enemy’s excellent demolition work. Several of these bridges were built under observed fire, but Engr causualties were light. Mines caused other casualties, as did enemy fire to mine—clearing parties working forward”.
“Joseph Fumagalli served in the Normandy invasion and was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. He had served previously in another unit but was wounded and sent to hospital. After his stay, he was sent back to the front but not in his unit and not with his buddies.”
(As being told by Piera Fumagalli)
We know from research that the days before and on January 19, 1945 the 17th Armored Engineer Battalion in the vicinity of Houffalize (Belgium) carried out various activities, a quote from one of the after action reports: “17th Engr Batt. were required the construction of several treadway bridges because of the enemy’s excellent demolition work. Several of these bridges were built under observed fire, but Engr causualties were light. Mines caused other casualties, as did enemy fire to mine clearing parties working forward ”. And between January 17 and January 21, 1945, 36 foot M2 treadway bridge is being constructed in Houffalize, so it is quite possible that Joseph Fumagalli was killed in the aforementioned activities on january 19, 1945.
Adoption grave in 2011 by MARS association
In Belgium, American Cementery Henri-Chapelle 2014
Research by: P van Esveld, M. Brandjes, R. van Beek.