Attilio Joseph Simone
On April 9, 1939, the Simones welcomed the birth of a baby boy, Harry Charles Simone. Some time between 1940 to 1944, Attilio and his family moved to 22 White Avenue in Mount Ephraim. On May 12, 1944, Attilio enlisted in the army at Fort Dix. Caroline was 5 months pregnant with their second child, Dorothy Mae Simone who was born on September 30, 1944.
"the On April 6, Bingham decided to hold Dallas's and Meeks's 1st and 2nd Battalions in place, allowing time for those fatigued units to rest, while swinging Puntenney's fresh 3rd Battalion in an end run around the 116th's western flank. That convoluted maneuver required the 29ers to perform a three-mile nighttime approach march from their reserve bivouacs, starting around 4: 30 A.M., and cross the Dortmund–Ems Canal on a seventy-foot footbridge constructed by a platoon from Company B, 121st Engineer Combat Battalion, near Groppenbruch. Then, at 7: 00 A.M., Puntenney's men were to begin their attack, directed at the western fringe of Dortmund's industrial district, three miles south. The plucky engineers began their taxing task in the inky gloom at 1: 30 A.M. “At 0515 hours the work was completed, and the infantry started to cross at 0525 hours,” noted the sappers’ report. “In a short while the entire battalion had crossed and the platoon's mission was successfully completed.”
Led by Capt. Berthier Hawks's Company I, the 3rd Battalion fanned out on the far side of the canal and warily headed south just as the first pink hints of dawn appeared on the eastern horizon. Company K's Lieutenant Easton recalled, “It was a little like attacking New York City. Imagine a long meadow resembling Central Park, but V-shaped, its apex pointing from the suburbs into the heart of downtown.” The 29ers crossed the empty Reichsautobahn at one of its distinctive cloverleaf junctions and headed south, giving the Dortmund suburb of Mengede a wide berth on their right. Unfortunately, that move exposed the battalion's right flank, and according to a report, “The enemy seized the opportunity and began to throw in an increasing volume of artillery.”
Also, as Easton related in a letter to his wife, “The German FOs [forward artillery observers] were up in the skyscrapers and had a truly beautiful view of us.” The 116th's action report remarked that German resistance was “overpowered with a violent barrage from every mortar and artillery piece in the supporting units.” A vital element of that support was provided by Company B, 747th Tank Battalion, and a light tank platoon from Company D, both of which had crossed the canal at the autobahn bridge at dawn, joined up with the dogfaces as they trudged southward, and opened fire with 75-millimeter shells and machine guns on any German who dared to offer resistance. A 747th account reported that resistance “ceased as soon as the tanks closed in.”
Lieutenant Robert Easton of Company K of the 116th Infantry Regiment wrote a book entitled “Love and War: Pearl Harbor Through V-J Day” containing letters and reflections that he wrote during World War II. The following is a paragraph from this book. It was a letter he wrote to his wife, Jane that directly mentions Attilio and what happened to him on that fateful day: