World War II veteran, 102, dies traveling to France for D-Day event

The veteran passed away while listening to his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, his friend said.

Published: June 6, 2024 1:14pm

A 102-year-old U.S. World War II veteran died while traveling to France for a ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion

Robert Persichitti, of Fairport, NY, flew into Germany with a group from the National World War II Museum, and was on a ship traveling down the coast of Europe when he suffered a medical emergency and had to be airlifted to Germany, according to an NBC affiliate based in Rochester, N.Y. He passed away on Friday morning.

Persichitti served in the Pacific Theater and witnessed the raising of the U.S. flag by Marines on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19. 1945, the Stars and Stripes reported

After the war, Persichitti taught carpentry in the Rochester school system. He remained active in education while in retirement, as he would regularly visit New York school children to teach about World War II. 

Al DeCarlo, Persichitti's friend who traveled to Europe with him for the D-Day ceremony, said the doctor played the veteran's favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, as he passed away. DeCarlo said he believed Persichitti would have "no regrets" about the trip. 

"He taught us how to live every day to the fullest and he left his tank empty," DeCarlo said.

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