John S. Paliotta

  • Private
  • WW II


John Salvatore Paliotta was born in Cranston, Rhode Island on 29 August 1924. He is the son of Joseph and Filomena Paliotta. John graduated from Cranston High School in February 1943 in the “speeded up program” adopted by the school during World War II. John was an outstanding student and a member of the Football Team, President of the Italian Club, Vice-President of the Student Council and a member of the Rhode Island Honor Society. John entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in February 1943 with the class of 1947. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and participated in the Rhode Island State College Army ROTC program.

Like so many of his classmates, he left RISC after one semester on 5 May 1943 to join the U.S. Army. Private Paliotta was assigned to Camp Croft, South Carolina for basic training before being shipped to Italy in September 1943 where he joined the 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion. The 83d played an important role in the campaigns through the Mediterranean Theater and the mainland of Europe. The 83d took part in the Sicilian Campaign and remained in continuous combat during the invasion of the Italian mainland and the Anzio landing.

On 22 January 1944, the landing at Anzio was almost a complete surprise to the enemy. A Ranger task force, the 509th Parachute Battalion, and two companies of the 83d Chemical Mortar Battalion landed in the city of Anzio at 0200 hours on 22 January 1944. The mined beach was crossed, and contact was made with the enemy. Motor fire from the 83d caused the enemy to withdraw, and the Ranger task force advanced rapidly towards Rome. On the night of 26 January 1944, the remainder of the 83d aboard a follow-on LST was sunk by enemy action. In the rough sea, many men were killed in action to include Private Paliotta.

Private John Salvatore Paliotta’s body was recovered; and he was buried with full military honors in St. Ann’s Cemetery, Cranston, Rhode Island. Private John Salvatore Paliotta was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service during World War II and gave his life in service to Rhode Island and America. He was another member of the “Greatest Generation.”