May, 1944.  Private  Before D-Day  Plymouth, England
May, 1944.
Before D-Day
Plymouth, England

Rocco “Rocky” J. Moretto was born on June 20, 1924 in New York City.  He grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York, where he played baseball and boxed in his spare time.  He was drafted into the Army when he was 17. Rocco passed away on August 26th, 2018 at the age of 94.

“Soon after Pearl Harbor, which happened when I was age 17, they lowered the draft age,” said Moretto. “I was in the first group of 18-year-olds to be drafted, on Feb. 12, 1943. The induction center was Fort Dix, N.J. I went to Camp Wheeler, Ga., for 13 weeks basic training.” After Georgia,  Rocco went to Texas and then England for extensive training for his first mission – the invasion of Normandy (New York Daily News, 2011).

Moretto arrived in Liverpool, England, in November 1943 and joined the 1st Infantry Division as a replacement. “It was widely known that we were preparing for an invasion of Europe,” he said, “but no one knew where the invasion would take place. I made private first class a week or two before the invasion.” (Defense Media Network, 2010)

7 thoughts on “About

  1. I truly love Rocco ‘like family’ and we’ve grown so very close over these past years. He’s one of the finest men I am privileged to know – and honored to call ‘my friend’ – so humble, gracious, appreciative, sincere, smart, genuine, warm, interesting, concerned, and the list goes on. We share an easy flow of communication as Rocco is well-versed on many subjects. I affectionately call him, ‘Rocco, my Rock Star’ – he is (even got him a Rock Star magnet that he proudly displays). “Rocco”, you make me so proud to know you”! Much love always,

  2. I love Rocco like ‘family’ and we’ve grown very close over these passed years. He is one of the finest men I’m privileged to know and am honored to call him ‘my friend’. He is gracious, sincere, humble, appreciative, smart, interesting, sharp, witty, intelligent… and the list goes on and on. Rocco is well-versed on many subjects and communication flows so easily and naturally. I’m in awe of his service and life experience that continues into today – actively sought after by media, schools, Parades, etc! He is Rocco, my ‘Rock Star’ – he truly is! May we rejoice in many more birthdays and years of friendship ‘like family’! Cheers to you, Rocco!!!
    With much love,

  3. Rocco is one of a kind, and the datum of “The World is a Better Place for Having him” rings as true as true can ever be. Pat Gualtieri

  4. I am asking if Mr. Moretto knew of my father, Lt. Emmette F. Gathright, Jr. who was a Platoon Leader in Company C, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He began his WWII service with the 159th Regiment, 7th Division fighting the Japanese at the Battle of Attu in the Aleutian Islands. Upon leaving Attu he attended OCS in Fort Benning, GA receiving his 2nd Lt. commission and thereafter joining Company C of the 26th Infantry Regiment in November of 1944. He served thru Belgium and Germany until he was severely wounded near Paderborn, Germany on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. He was awarded the DSC (Rottbitz, Germany), Silver Star (Frankenberg/Paderborn, Germany), Bronze Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster. I do not know my Father’s Platoon number and he passed away in August 2008. I would love to visit with Mr. Moretto about Company C if it all possible. Thank you.

  5. I have a heavy heart today after hearing of your passing, Rocco! I am really glad that we have spent some time together last month when I came to visit. Loved talking with you and sharing stories together! Rest now my friend till we meet again once more. Say hello to all when you see them for me! Love ya!

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