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Old 05-27-2018, 12:36 PM   #1
Rustyford
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Default Re post for the uncle I never met

I wanted to post this in remembrance of my uncle who I never met. He died in battle about a year before I was born.

PFC John Camillo "Johnnie" Colonna








Birth: Aug. 28, 1926
Dallas
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: Sep. 29, 1950, North Korea

Son of Camillo Joe Colonna and Rosalee Hamilton.

--------

Marine's Casket Borne to Dallas

Six white-gloved Marines carried a casket through the bright tunnels at Union Terminal Sunday.

The body of Pfc. John C. Colonna of 615 Liberty Street, Dallas, was in the flag-draped casket.

A Marine gunnery sergeant named Lawrence O'Malley cleared the way through gay Sunday train crowds.

"What are the men carrying, Daddy?" asked a little girl.

Colonna's pretty sister, Mrs. D. E. (Mary) Davis, followed, crying.

Johnnie Colonna, 23, and already the owner of a Purple Heart with two gold stars, left a good job last summer to go back to the Marine Corps. The former Crozier Technical athlete died last September in a frontal assault on a Communist-held mountain in Korea.

Colonna was the first of the Marine dead to reach the United States from Korea under a new reburial program.

Gunnery Sergeant O'Malley escorted the body here from San Francisco. O'Malley, who won a Purple Heart at Iwo Jima, is a Marine who wears a black band on his sleeve most of the time. Since 1947 he has been escorting the bodies of dead Marines back to their home towns.

"The saddest duty in all the Marine Corps," said the man who goes to three or four military funerals every month.

Services for Johnnie Colonna will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Weiland-Merritt Funeral Church at 2909 Live Oak. Navy Chaplain Paul F. Bobb will be in charge of services. Burial will be in Grove Hill Cemetery.

His other survivors are his father, Joe C. Colonna; two brothers, Billy (William Fred) Colonna and Joe Colonna Jr., all of Dallas; and two other sisters, Mrs. Pete (Mildred) Payne of Hearne, and Mrs. Calvin C. (Geneva Mae) Porter of Grand Prairie.

Colonna was wounded twice in the Pelelieu invasion, one of the most savage operations of World War II, but he lived to fight all through the Okinawa campaign.

He was with the 1st Marine Division on Pelelieu. He was still fighting with the 1st Division when he died on that Korean mountain.

Colonna's pall bearers Tuesday will be Master Sergeants Peter Butz, Daniel Bowman and Herbert McQueen; Technical Sergeants Harry Polete and John Linyard, and Staff Sgt. Holon Wright.

And standing by the grave will be Sergeant O'Malley, the man with "the saddest duty in all the Marine Corps."

- Dallas Morning News
April 2, 1951


Parents:
Camillo Joe Colonna (1887 - 1967)
Rosalee Hamilton Colonna (1899 - 1947)

Sibling:
Geneva Mae Colonna Porter (1921 - 1978)*
John Camillo Colonna (1926 - 1950)



Burial:
Grove Hill Memorial Park
Dallas
Dallas County
Texas, USA

Created by: Fluttergirl
Record added: Nov 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44027577

PFC John Camillo Johnnie Colonna
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Old 05-27-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
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I just found his medals on the "Korean War Project" site.

Combat Action Ribbon (Navy)
Purple Heart
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
United Nations Service Medal
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:10 PM   #3
MBV77
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RIP Marine. He is what Memorial Day is all about.


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Old 05-27-2018, 03:14 PM   #4
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Semper Fi
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:36 PM   #5
Playa
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May those of thee forgotten war never be forgotten
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:54 PM   #6
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Real hero.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:03 PM   #7
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He fought at Pelelieu if I followed correctly - that’s one of, if not the, toughest ground battles ever fought.

Those men were as hard as woodpecker lips.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:42 PM   #8
DUKFVR
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God Bless!
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:07 PM   #9
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Glad he was brought back to US. My Uncle Sam served in Korea. When they came down for my Dads funeral, I showed him an old photo of him in Korea. He didn't remembered sending it to my Dad, said that was the only photo of him in the bush in Korea. I gave it back to him, he got pretty emotional over it. Korea was a nasty war for a lot of US soldiers.
RIP Soldier.

God Bless
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:18 PM   #10
Rustyford
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Regretfully I have never seen a picture of Uncle Johnny but he will not be forgotten!
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:25 PM   #11
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My brother n law was shot down in Korea and Mia for a year before he made his way back. He said the closest he ever came to dying is when he and his two buddies came running back to the us forces looking like crap and the us forces almost shot them. He always joked about his mom getting $400 death benefits for him
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for the account!
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:00 PM   #13
Anvilheadtexas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrayDog View Post
He fought at Pelelieu if I followed correctly - thatís one of, if not the, toughest ground battles ever fought.

Those men were as hard as woodpecker lips.

What he said. Pelelieu was fierce!
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