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.