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CBI Theater, Eugene V. Rizzi

While my father, Smitty , was training in North Carolina, fellow blogger Allen Rizzi’s  father, Eugene Valentine Rizzi, entered the U.S. Army on December 21, 1942.  

On route to China via India on an aircraft carrier, his company was strafed by Japanese aircraft. resulting in huge causalities. After making it over “the Hump,” Eugene was posted with the 396th Signal Company (AVN) under Captain Willard Simpkins as a high speed manual radio operator (Morse Code) in support of the Flying Tigers.

Gene Rizzi, U.S Army, 1945

Before entering the army, Eugene Rizzi was a concert master (violinist) with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Vienna) an actor and radio announcer with Fox, Warner Brothers and RKO (Hollywood). As a musician he was noted to have had perfect pitch and therefore found radio operation using Morse Code fairly easy. In this capacity, he learned Chinese and also served as an enemy code breaker.

Rizzi eventually became station master of the Fourteenth Air force Headquarters in China overseeing 60 radio operators. He was discharged December 7, 1945 at Fort McArthur, California as a Staff Sergeant. 

Gen. Claire Chennault always knew where his men were and what they were up to, according to his superiors.  Chennault was not one to kid around, but if you did your job, you would have no trouble from him.

The attached letter is a “true copy” of a letter sent by Major General Claire Lee Chennault to Captain Willard Simpkins congratulating him and his men for a job well done. “True Copies” were distributed to key personnel in the unit as a “thanks from the top.”

For further information on “The Hump”, please click HERE>

396th Signal Co. (Avn) – Kunmin, Kweilin, Kanchow, Luliang, Hengyang, Luichow, Tushan. 

For U.S. Army lineage page, click here>
https://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/lineages/branches/sc/0396scco.htm

The 14th Air Force as of 30 December 2019 became designated as the Space Operations Command.

Mr. Rizzi is the father of fellow blogger, Allen Rizzi, located here>

https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes –

John Butterly – Tampa, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ Co./187/11th Airborne Division

image courtesy of Dan Antion

Harold Clark – Junction City, OH; US Army, WWII, ETO, Tank gunner, 740th Tank Battalion

Leslie P. Delles – St. Charles, IL; US Navy, WWII, Electrician’s Mate, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Robert Ford – Bibb County, GA; USMC, WWII, PTO / Civilian, Robin AFB, Dir. of Engineering

Jack E, Hill – CO; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc., Co. D/1/6/2nd Marine Division, KIA (Betio, Tarawa)

James A. Requenez – San Antonio, TX; Spec., 6th Ranger Training Battery

George Segal – NYC, NY; US Army / beloved actor

Alfred ‘Fred’ Turgeon – Cordova, AK; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, KIA (Romania)

Nicholas J. Valentine – Grant County, WI; US Army, Korea, Sgt., Battery B/57 Field Artillery/ 7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Willie Williams Jr. – Bath, SC; US Army, SSgt., 11th Airborne Division

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