World War II (Last Names A-D)
The Radnor High School Wall of Honor features 48 inductees who served in World War II. The below biographies on these brave veterans were researched and compiled by Radnor High School students. If you believe there may be discrepencies in the below information or have additional details to share about these inductees' lives, please email RHSWallofHonor@rtsd.org. To browse the the student-produced videos of these and all the 57 inductees, visit the RHS Wall of Honor YouTube channel here.
Raymond J. Ballone
Raymond J. Ballone was born on December 10, 1922 to parents Nick and Mary and lived at 190 Conestoga Road in Wayne for most of his life.
At Radnor High School, Mr. Ballone palyed on the basketball and football teams. He graduated in 1941 and sought work at the Sun Ship Building and Dry-Dock Company. About two years later, he entered into the 104th Infantry of the 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion, where he was a part of Company C.
During a battle toward the end of World War II, on April 17, 1945, Mr. Ballone was fatally wounded by sniper fire. He was survived by his parents, his two brothers Emidio and Nicholas, and his three sisters Rose, Florence and Christine.
Mr. Ballone received the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star and is buried in Margraten, Netherlands.
Elwin M. Blackstone
Elwin M. Blackstone was born on June 20, 1917 and raised in Wayne with his older brother Harold. Both boys attended Radnor High School, where the younger Mr. Blackstone participated in many extracurricular activities such as playing for the tennis and basketball teams, being a member of the Law and Order Club, the Glee Club and the Triangle Club, and performing in the band. Mr. Blackstone also earned membership in the National Honor Society for earning high marks in his courses and community service.
Mr. Blackstone attned college at the Delaware Institute of Technology. After graduating, he got married to his college sweetheart. He was drafted into the U.S. Army two years later and, after completing basic training, deployed to Europe in Gen. Patton's Third Army, seeing action in France, Belgium and Germany.
Sadly, Mr. Blackstone was killed in action in Pintsch, Luxembourg on January 25, 1945. His body was returned to the United States and buried at the Cemetery of Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge National Historical Park.
Arlington Ward Canizares, Jr.
Arlington Ward Canizares, Jr. was born on October 26, 1921 and lived at 257 Pembroke Avenue in Wayne. His draft cards describe him as a white male with brown eyes and gray hair. He was a part of many clubs and groups at Radnor High School, including the Student Council, the Radnorite, the senior play, the Senior Dance Committee, the Glee Club, the Science Club, and tennis team.
Report cards from his time in 7th, 8th and 9th grades indicate that Mr. Canizares was a good student. After he graduated in 1939, he confirmed this assessment by attending Lehigh University and earning the Sophomore Honor in 1941, which was given to students who maintained an average grade of a 3.0 or higher.
On November 15, 1942, Mr. Canizares enlisted into the Army Air Corps. He started his service on January 1, 1944 and was given the serial number O-693103. He was part of the 62nd Fighter Squadron and ranked as a Second Lieutenant in the 56th Fighter Group. He flew a big blue Republic P-47 Thunderbolt with an insignia of Saucy Shirley the III on the side.
Mr. Canizares flew in a couple of missions and destroyed three enemy planes by the age of 22, which was a major accomplishment. Sadly, it was during one of these missions where Mr. Canizares met his fate.
On Easter of 1944, Mr. Canizares and two wing mates flew across the English Channel into Germany where they won a battle against Germany's Messerschmitt Air Force. Mr. Canizares and his mates then turned back for England before he noticed that his plane was dangerously low on fuel.
Suddenly, another Messerschmitt fighter plane came from behind and started firing. Through radio communication, the leader of Mr. Canizares’ group ordered Mr. Canizares to stay on course and allow his wing mates to handle the German plane. Mr. Canizares refused the order and turned around to help his wing mates.
The German fighter retreated and Mr. Canizares headed back to England, now with even less fuel. The crew flew over the English Channel until Mr. Canizares’ engine cut off. He was forced to bail out.
He pulled the ejection lever, the cockpit cover flew off and an explosive charge launched him into the air. Unfortunately, he sprung into the slipstream of the plane and struck its tail. He fell two miles into the English Channel, where a rescue launch was waiting to rescue him. Sadly, when he was pulled from the water, he had already passed, having died before he fell. His official date of death is April 9, 1944.
Mr. Canizares was honored with many medals, including the Purple Heart, which is awarded for being killed in action; the Air Medal, which is awarded for meritorious achievement in the war; the World War II Victory Medal, which was awarded for helping the U.S. and its allies defeat Germany; the American Campaign Medal, which was awarded for performing military services in the American Theater of Operations during World War II; and the Distinguished Flying Cross, which is awarded for heroism or distinguished achievement while on aerial duty.
Mr. Canizares is buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Plot C, Row 4, Grave 75 in Cambridge, England.
Vincent Cappelli, known as Vincenzo Cappello prior to entering the military, was born on March 13, 1922 and lived at 401 West Wayne Avenue in Wayne for 20 years. He enlisted to serve in World War II on May 29, 1942, joining the Coast Guard and becoming a First Class Seaman.
During his service, Mr. Cappelli served at the Manhattan Beach Training Station and also at the Coast Guard Station at Tilden.
Sadly, Mr. Cappelli died on October 5, 1942. He is buried in Our Lady of the Assumption Cemetery in Wayne.
Samuel E. Carr
Samuel E. Carr was born on September 11, 1924 to Ella and James Carr. He lived at 264 Williow Ave. in Wayne with his parents, a brother and his grandparents. Mr. Carr graduated from Radnor High School in 1942.
On April 12, 1943 Mr. Carr was asked to report to selective service, Draft Board Number 7 in Media, PA, where he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After three months of basic training and earning the rank of Seaman Second Class, Mr. Carr sadly died in automobile accident while on leave back in Wayne.
He is buried at Arlington Ceremony in Delaware County, PA.
Domenic Joseph Castorani was born on August 31, 1927 into a family of three: father Gaetano "Thomas" Castorani, mother Maria "Mary" Filipponi, and brother Saverio "Samuel" Castorani. In 1931, the family welcomed another member, Grace. They lived at 265 Aberdeen Avenue in Wayne.
Mr. Castorani attended Radnor High School for two years before enlisting in the United States Army on October 29, 1945. He was inspired to enlist by his father, who served in U.S. Army during World War I, and his brother, who was serving in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Castorani's enlistment term was for the Panama Canal Department. His Army-issued serial number was 13198757 and he achieved the rank of Private. In 1946, at the age of 19 and prior to being deployed overseas, Mr. Castorani served in the Merchant Marines for ten months.
In October 1946, after Victory Over Japan Day, Mr. Castorani was drafted into the Army and began training at Fort Belvoir (Virginia) and at Fort Jackson (South Carolina). After training, Mr. Castorani was sent to Belgium as part of the demobilization effort after World War II.
On a Monday morning in 1946, Mr. Castorani’s parents received a telegram from the War Department informing them of the death of their son. They learned that on July 10, 1946, Mr. Castorani was assigned to guard a train in Belgium that was transferring army supplies and equipment for shipment back to the United States. As he was riding on top of a train car approaching a low bridge, Mr. Castorani did not see the bridge and was struck by it, thus suffering a compound fracture of his skull. At the time of his tragic, accidental death, Mr. Castorani was playing a key role in the demobilization efforts for the United States.
Ralph M. Colflesh
Ralph Morrison Colflesh was born on August 21, 1916 to Ettweine Colflesh and Josephine Williamson. He had a sister, Helen, who was born two years earlier. During his youth, he lived in Wayne with his family.
Mr. Colflesh was a busy student at Radnor High School. He played football, ran track, participated in the Christmas Play and was a member of the Glee Club and the Athletic Council. He graduated from RHS in 1935 and later married Virginia L. Gassman on December 11, 1942.
After high school, Mr. Colflesh he joined the U.S. Air Force. His service number was O-760964 and he reached a rank of First Lieutenant.
One of Mr. Colflesh’s first military duties was at the Guantanamo Bay, where he was a patrolling officer in 1942. After training, he received his pilot’s wings and commissioned in Yuma, AZ in December 1943.
Shortly after receiving his wings he was sent on numerous bombing missions in Germany. He was the leader of the 96th Heavy Bombardment group, which spelicialized in deep penetration bombing runs into Germany.
Mr. Colflesh completed bombing runs Munich, Stuttgart and Merseburg before he sadly lost his life in a bombing run near Merseburg on July 29, 1944. He earned many awards, such as thew Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Presidential Unit Citation; the Purple Heart; and the E.T.O Ribbon with one Bronze Star. He is buried in Neuville, Belgium.
Vincent J. Cornacchio
Vincent J. Cornacchio was born in 1924 to parents Domenick and Rose. He attended Radnor High School for three years, playing football each year, but did not graduate.
Mr. Cornacchio entered into military service with the U.S. Army 513 Parachute Division and took part in combat operations with Gen. Patton's Third Army during the Balle of the Bulge.
Sadly, Mr. Cornacchio was killed in action in Belgium on January 7, 1945 and was buried at the Normandy American Cemetery. He was survived by his sister Antoinette and his brother Benito.
Anthony Leslie Cowan
Anthony Leslie Cowan was born to James and Agnes Cowan on September 13, 1917. He was the second oldest in the family and had six siblings: James, Charles, John, Lawrence, Patricia and Joseph. The family lived on on Aberdeen Avenue in Radnor and still owns Cowan’s Flowers, a florist in Wayne in operation for 88 years.
Mr. Cowan attended Radnor High School for only two years because he and his twin brother, Charles, were needed to help Agnes with the family business. On September 19, 1944, at the age of 26, Mr. Cowan started serving in the U.S. Army. In January 1945, he started serving in foreign service, training as a private.
Unfortunately, two months before the end of World War II, Mr. Cowan was killed in Germany on March 7, 1945.
Louis DeRico was born on August 7, 1906 and lived on Highland Avenue with his mother Florence and his father Charles, who both immigrated from Italy in 1904, along with his eight siblings. Later, the family lived at 112 Morris Road. His father worked as a gardener.
Mr. DeRico attended one year of high school. His whereabouts between school and enlistment, a 20-year period, are currently unknown. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 7, 1943 in Maryland and was assigned the enlistment number of 33794264. He fought in France in the 314th Regiment, 79th Infantry Division, known as the Cross of Lorraine Division, which was part of the first army under the command of Lieutenant General Omar Bradley.
Less than a year after his enlistment, Mr. DeRico died in conflict. Barely a month after D-Day, Mr. DeRico’s regiment and its parent division helped secure Cherbourg, a French port that was vital to the success of the D-Day Invasion. The regiment was integral to helping capture the heavily fortified German Fort Duroule, which commanded the heights at Cherbourg.
After Cherbourg, Mr. DeRico’s regiment was heavily engaged in house-to-house fighting at La Haye du Puits from July 3 -5, 1944. It was at the start of this battle where Mr. DeRico met his demise on July 3. He received the Purple Heart Award, the oldest military award, given to solders who were injured or died in battle. He is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in France.
James DiBartolomeo was born June 1, 1923 to parents Frank and Eugena. He had two sisters, Josephine and Evelyn. The family lived on a farm at 14 Summit Terrace in Bryn Mawr.
While at Radnor High School, Mr. DiBartolomeo decided to leave school in order to work on his father’s farm. When World War II began, Mr. DiBartolomeo decided to enlist in the U.S. Army, following in the footsteps of his father, a World War I veteran.
Mr. DiBartolomeo enlisted in in 1943 . He became a Warrant Officer who oversaw many operations throughout the war. Warrant Officers specialize in tasks like intelligence, aviation and military police.
Mr. DiBartolomeo died at Camp Mackall in North Carolina on August 22, 1943.
Charles A. DiValerio lived in Wayne Pennsylvania on 251 Highland Avenue and went to Radnor High School for one year. He started service in World War II on January 13, 1943 and his service serial number was 33, 479, 958.
Mr. DiValerio was in the 121st Infantry, 8th Division. The unit was activated in January 1918 but did not engage in combat during World War I and returned to the United States. The division was activated again on July 1, 1940 at Camp Jackson in South Carolina as part of the build-up of military forces before the United States entered World War II. The division then saw extensive action in the European Theatre of Operations.
Mr. DiValerio’s division went overseas on December 5, 1943 and he died on August 13, 1944 in France. He is buried in the Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in France in Block H, Row 17, Grave 16. The cemetery contains the remains of 4,410 World War II American soldiers, who mostly lost their lives in the Normandy and Brittany campaigns of 1944.
Charles was honored with a Purple Heart medal, which is a military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed in action.