Jerry J. Giordano

Branch: ARMY
Rank: Private First Class
Outfit: 4th Infantry Div, 12th Infantry Reg, Co. “K”

Jerry was born Gennaro J. Giordano on November 7, 1917 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania to Italian immigrant parents, Pasquale and Rosina “Rose” Giordano. Jerry was the eldest child of Giordano family. His siblings were Angelo born in 1918, Frank born in 1920, Nicholas born in 1922, and Charles who was born in 1923 but died from diphtheria at 9 months old. The family lived at 1839 Morris Street by 1920 and later at 1733 Cleveland Street. Both address are located in the Point Breeze section of Philadelphia. 
According to the 1930 Census, the Giordano family had moved to 57 West Kings Highway in Mt. Ephraim (presently the office of Kingsgate Realty). All of the children were attending school and Pasquale was working at a company that manufactured gas stoves. By 1940, Jerry had left school after attending 7th grade and was working in sales for the stove manufacturer that his father and now his brother Angelo were also employed. 
Jerry enlisted into the Army from Camden, NJ on February 15th, 1943. After basic training, Giordano was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division. After corresponding with Mr. Bob Babcock, National President of the 4th Infantry Division Association, he seems to think that PFC Giordano could have come ashore with the division on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, and served through France, Belgium and into Germany. That may either be fantastic luck, or more likely he was a replacement that entered the company at a later date. While I am still working to confirm dates and locations where Jerry had served prior to the time of his death, it is known that he was with the division and was involved in what was known as the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. Below are excepts of After Action Reports from the 4th Infantry Divison dated November 8-14, 1944. They explain the daily report of action the division encountered each day. 
(November 8, 1944, marks the beginning of the most epic battle in the long and proud history of the 4th Infantry Division. Most of you have never heard of the Hurtgen Forest. The toughest battle ever fought by the 4th Infantry Division was waged in the Hurtgen Forest in November and the first few days of December of 1944. The 12th Infantry Regiment entered the battle first, followed on 16 November by the rest of the 4ID. -Bob Babcock)
8 November 1944 - D+156
The 4th Division was relieved from attachment to V Corps and attached to VII Corps.
The 8th Infantry closed in its new assembly area in the vicinity of Zweifall at 0730 and started tactical reconnaissance. The 1st Battalion of the 12th Infantry attacked at 1230 to take a limited objective. Companies B and after C were stopped by machine gun and small arms fire at 1442. The enemy was well dug in and had put in tactical wire covered by its machine guns. Positions were consolidated for the night. The 22nd Infantry remained in the vicinity of Krinkelt until 2200 at which time movement was initiated.
9 November 1944 - D+157
The 8th Infantry remained in assembly areas and continued tactical reconnaissance.
The 12th Infantry remained attached to the 28th Infantry Division. Company K of the 3rd Battalion attacked at 1100, advanced 250 yards and received machine gun fire at 1110. A fire fight occurred at 1144, 400 yards across the line of departure. A counterattack was also repulsed at 1305 and several men from the 109th Infantry Regiment were rescued. Company I moved forward at 1305 on the left, and elements of Company K passed across the enemy tactical wire at 1630 were stopped by heavy enemy fires. 
The 22nd Infantry closed in the new assembly area by 0930 and reconnaissance was conducted in areas of projected operations. The 801st Tank Destroyer Battalion, less Company A, which has been a permanent attachment since D-Day, was relieved by the 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion at 0800.
10 November 1944 - D+158
The 8th Infantry continued active reconnaissance, and in anticipation of the projected attack, various attachments were effected.
The 12th Infantry remained attached to the 28th Infantry Division until 1900. New attachments were effected. The 1st Battalion moved out at 0630 and attacked at 0700. It advanced 100 to 200 yards when Company F hit a mine field and was forced to withdraw to reorganize. The 3rd Battalion was counterattacked at 1220 by enemy using flame throwers and the 2nd Battalion was also counterattacked at 1300. In both cases, the enemy employed one company. The enemy was repulsed and 38 prisoners were taken. The 22nd Infantry, still assembled, made extensive reconnaissance and preparations for impending operations. Attachments were effected. 
11 November 1944 - D+159
Our advances were contested stubbornly; the enemy was even counterattacking at every opportunity in strength varying from platoon to company. At least three such counterattacks were preceded by heavy artillery preparation. In addition to the formal counterattacks, the enemy aggressively attempted to infiltrate our line and attack our forces from the rear. Shelling by enemy artillery was constant throughout the period. Tanks and self-propelled guns were seen mostly in the vicinity of Hurtgen.
The 2nd Battalion of the 8th Infantry moved to a forward assembly area, dug in and secured itself for the night. The 12th Infantry improved positions beginning at 0800 and efforts were made to clean enemy resistance in the rear areas of the 2nd Battalion. Enemy pressure in this area continued throughout the day and resulted in Companies E and G being isolated. The 1st Battalion attacked to reach isolated companies but was stopped by heavy machine guns, small arms and 88 mm fire. The 22nd Infantry continued reconnaissance, planning and coordination for next operations.
12 November 1944 - D+160
By holding our attempts to advance practically to a standstill, and his thorough employment of mines of all kinds, barbed wire, and blocks of various nature, the enemy found little difficulty in counterattacking fiercely with infantry supported by armor. Continuous shelling by three to four batteries, ranging in caliber from light to medium, made it difficult for our forces to organize a thrust against the enemy.
No changes for the 8th and 22nd Infantry. The 12th Infantry repulsed enemy counterattacks at 0841, 0846, 1020 and 1413. The enemy attack at 1020 consisted of approximately 150 infantrymen and some tanks but was forced to retreat toward Hurtgen at 1203, leaving about 90 men isolated behind companies F and G, and the 1st Battalion which had previously attacked and broken through to relieve F and G companies. At the end of the day, the enemy had cut communications and contacts between the CT 12 and 1st Bn and F and G companies.
13 November 1944 - D+161
The 12th Infantry was engaged in fierce fighting in the Hurtgen Forest. Casualties were high and it was necessary to unify all efforts to obtain necessary replacements.
The enemy remained relatively inactive. Its defense was organized along the same front lines from which patrols operated to probe our positions and to determine our strength. Twenty-one shellings were reported by the 4th Infantry Division units. It was estimated that there were three battalions of enemy artillery capable of firing into the sector held by CT 12. All battalions of the 8th and 22nd Infantry conducted instructions for all officers in adjustment of artillery fire. Beginning at 0730, isolated companies A, C, F and G, 12th Infantry, initiated a short withdrawal to reestablish contact. By mid-afternoon, while being harassed by small arms and artillery fire, the operation had been completed successfully.
14 November 1944 - D+162
The Assistant G-1 First Army visited the division to check on casualties and replacements. The hazards of fighting were intensified by the dense forest and the lack of roads. Medical aid men found it necessary to carry litter cases up to two miles over rough terrain and through extensive mine fields. The casualty rate among aid men and litter bearers was extremely high and replacements were difficult to obtain. It was necessary to use other means for this purpose and to utilize personnel from rear installations.
The enemy defended its same front line with heavy artillery and mortar barrages. Only one other action, a single patrol; which withdrew hastily upon engagement with the 298 Engineer Combat Battalion was reported. No change of activities for the 8th and 22nd Infantry. The 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry relieved the 2nd Battalion on the main line of resistance and the 2nd Battalion moved to an assembly area, closing therein by 1700.
PFC Jerry J. Giordano was listed as wounded in action on November 13, 1944 and died of his injuries the next day in the area of Düren, Germany. He is interred at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, Plot F Row 10 Grave 48. Jerry was survived by his parents, Pasquale and Rose, and brothers Angelo, Frank and Nicholas. All 3 brothers were also World War II veterans, serving in the army. 
The bell in the steeple of Sacred Heart Church in Mt. Ephraim was donated in Jerry’s memory by his parents. The bell was first placed on the old church on Black Horse Pike, and later transferred to the new church on Kings Highway when it was built.


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