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Edward Salvatore Mascioli

"We owe our World War II veterans:and all our veterans:a debt we can never fully repay."

Doc Hastings

In the 1880s, the Mascioli brothers emigrated to the United States from Cocullo, Italy. It's not clear if all the children and both parents came to the U.S. at that point, but evidence among the gravestones in East Oak Grove Cemetery in Morgantown, West Virginia, indicates the earliest generation to come to the U.S. was that of Loreto (1849-1944) and Mary (1847-1925) Mascioli. Their son, Salvatore, along with his brothers, began a family business that was very well known in the Morgantown area, selling produce. It would eventually be known as Mascioli Brothers Wholesale Fruit and Produce. Evidence of this business was still visible as a sign painted on the side of a building along the Monongahela River in Morgantown as recently as 2015. (Letter from Loreta Mascioli, Morgantown Magazine, "This Is Home" edition, April/May 2015.)

Salvatore Mascioli married Guisippina, also known as Josephine. According to his naturalization documents, Salvatore immigrated in 1902 and became a naturalized citizen in 1916.

To Salvatore and Guisippina two sons were born, Edward and Victor. Sadly, Guisippina died in 1923. Her headstone in East Oak Grove Cemetery identifies her as "Josephine Mascioli." Salvatore remarried, to a woman named Teresa Santo. To them were born Grace, Joseph, Salvatore Jr., Mary Ann, Mathew, Paul, Carl, and Albert, according to information found in the 1940 and 1940 Federal Census and on the Find A Grave website. Good fortune followed the family's hard work. Census documents indicate Salvatore's occupation to be, first, manager of the produce business; then, proprietor; and, in 1940, president of Wholesale Fruit and Produce.

In the 1940s, as World War II loomed, the male members of the family of age registered for the draft. Salvatore Mascioli registered for the "old man's draft," a cataloguing of occupations of older men that might be helpful during war years. Of the Morgantown Mascioli family, John, Loreto, Edward, Victor, and Antonio registered for the regular draft, and there is evidence that Edward and Victor enlisted. Later, Mathew would serve in Vietnam. Edward Mascioli registered for the draft in 1940 and married Rita Marie Nataly (most often known as "Mary") in 1941.

Edward Mascioli became Army Private First Class Mascioli, in July 1942, serving in the 319th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Edward Mascioli had been working in the family business as a truck driver. The 80th was known historically as "Blue Ridge Division," referencing the mountainous geographic feature in the area from which most of the enlistees hailed. Its motto was "strength of mountains." The Division's website provides the following summary of its role in World War II:

The 80th Division set sail aboard the SS Queen Mary on July 4, 1944, landing a few days later on July 7 at Greenock, Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The arrival of the 80th Division in England brought the European Theater of Operations total of U.S. Divisions to 22: 14 infantry, 6 armored, and 2 airborne..

The Division proceeded south to Northwich [sic], England via trains for additional training. Training included learning how to waterproof equipment for the upcoming channel crossing. The Division crossed the English Channel in LSTs and Liberty Ships landing in Normandy on Utah Beach shortly after noon on August 2, 1944, D-Day + 57 and assembled near St. Jores, France. A few days later on August 8, 1944, the 80th was initiated into battle when it took over the LeMans bridgehead in the XX Corps area. ("80th Infantry Division: History of the 80th," accessed 26 February 2018,

In the meantime, Victor Mascioli enlisted with the Army Air Corps in 1943. He'd been working as a utility man at the family business. His enlistment record indicates he was a salesman, again, likely in the family business, and he had three years of college behind him.

Edward Mascioli was with the 319th Infantry during the first week of October. The 319th was on the move again. Morning reports on October 8, 9, and 10 note a coordinated attack on Hill 390, which was successfully claimed; there, 449 prisoners were captured. Another 82 prisoners were captured during its four-mile drive into Lixieres, France. The action report on October 10th says the 319th stayed in the same location, though it launched counterattacks. It matter-of-factly notes that morale was high, the weather rainy, but the road muddy, and a Lieutenant Moore had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and Sergeants Stonder and Perne [sic] were awarded Silver Stars. Entries for Joseph Moore Jr. and Joseph Perna can be found in after action reports. ("Section VIII, Section X: Officers and Men Who Have Distinguished Themselves in Action," accessed 4 March 2018, Military historian Ron Villegas has also posted a compiled listing of Distinguished Service Crosses awarded to members of the 80th. ("Distinguished Service Cross," accessed 4 March 2018, Movements of the 319th during the month of October are easily tracked due to the availability of morning reports. ("Headquarters Morning Report [1 Oct 1944 and following]," accessed 4 March 2018,

On October 11, 1944, Edward Mascioli died of wounds. The DOW classification usually means that the soldier survived wounds that were received in battle long enough to receive medical treatment but died. (USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation [USAKIA], "Definitions and Information on KIA-DOW," 8 December 2008, accessed 26 February 2018, Given the actions of the days before, it was perhaps during the attack on Hill 390 or the movement to Lixieres that Edward Mascioli was wounded. The unit report for October is more detailed, noting the numbers of casualties and deaths. The October 8 battle resulted in 83 U.S. soldiers wounded in action, with 24 deaths, and 450 taken prisoner; however, none of the personnel were listed by name. October 8 was listed as the 319th's bloodiest day during World War II. When the final tally was taken, 115 soldiers had died that day. According to the History of the 80th Infantry Division website,

By the end of the war, May 7, 1945, the 80th Division had seen 277 days of combat. It had captured 212,295 enemy soldiers. The 80th Division returned to the United States in January 1946, after spending time in Europe helping to restore and keep peace after the war. The 80th Division had been one of the stalwarts of Patton's Third Army, but it cost them dearly. During their 277 days of combat, the 80th Infantry Division had 17,087 casualties.

These casualties included: killed in action, 3,038; wounded, 12,484; missing, 488; and captured, 1,077.

Division reports note that its "bloodiest day" was October 8, 1944, where approximately 115 men lost their lives. The "bloodiest month" was September 1944.

Edward Mascioli was buried in East Oak Grove Cemetery. His grandfather, Loreto Mascioli, died at the age of 95 that December.

Military headstone for Pfc. Edward S. Mascioli in East Oak Grove Cemetery. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

The next January, the news arrived that Edward's brother-in-law, Virgil Nataly, his wife's brother, was wounded while serving with the 345th in France. Mary Nataly Mascioli was serving with the WAVES in Yorktown at the time. ("Virgil Nataly Is Wounded in Action," Fairmont Times, January 10, 1945.)

Salvatore and Josephine's other son Victor Mascioli survived the war and died in 1998. Edward's half-brother Joseph died in 2013, as the Rev. Joseph Mascioli.

Article prepared by Cynthia Mullens
December 2017


Edward Salvatore Mascioli

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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