Advertisements

Bristol’s last remaining Pearl Harbor survivor dies at 96

413_Riccio_cocktail

Major Edward J. Riccio Jr.

Bristol’s last remaining Pearl Harbor survivor Major Edward J. Riccio Jr., 96, of Bristol, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, six days shy of his 97th birthday on Nov. 29, 2016.

Edward (Rick) was the loving husband of Theresa Ann Riccio, who predeceased him this year on Feb. 10, 2016. Born in Bristol on Nov. 29, 1919, he was the last surviving of the 10 children of the late Edward Riccio Sr. and Angela (Ferrucci) Riccio.

Edward leaves his children, Mark E. Riccio and wife, Amy of Naples, Fla., Eddie Riccio III of Bristol and Jo-Ann Riccio-Larson and her husband, Stephen, who he loved like a son. He leaves grandchildren, Stephanie, Eddie-Joe, Jennifer and Alexandria, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Ed attended Northside, St. Joseph’s and Jennings grammar schools, before moving to New Rochelle, N.Y. He returned to Bristol after the war and operated Ed’s Amoco for 18 years on Route 6 in Bristol and built his own airplane out of balsa wood in one of the bays there, which he kept at Plainville Airport and is now showcased at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks. After closing the gas station, he worked and later retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Southington at age 65.

Ed’s biggest accomplishment was being a Pearl Harbor Survivor. Ed enlisted in the Army Air Corps when he was 20, about a year before World War II started. He was stationed at Hickam Field, right near Pearl Harbor when the first bomb from Japan was dropped.

He worked night and day on the remaining planes that were not destroyed to get them back into working order. Later in the war he volunteered as a top turret gunner for the Calamity Jane, a B-17 bomber. He was on the bomber above the Fiji Islands when it was hit and the pilot and co-pilot were killed. He had never flown a plane before but he didn’t have much choice.

He missed the landing at Guadalcanal and after getting an American flying escort he landed the plane with one wheel up, one wheel down, and one engine blown out. U.S. forces seized Guadalcanal from Japanese troops and after the battle Ed was approached by two generals in the hospital while being treated for injuries and told them he would like to go to pilot school. The Army gave him a Distinguished Flying Cross even though he was not a pilot.

He returned to active duty in the states after the war ended as a pilot and had several assignments at the Berlin Airlift in 1948 to 1949 where the Russian army had blockaded all entry into Berlin and he flew provisions of food and medical supplies to the people there. Ed served in the Army Reserves for the next 25 years.

Ed was a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and partook of the 50th reunion in Hawaii in 1991 where he was celebrated with other survivors in a parade to honor them. He was also a member of the American Legion. Ed gave numerous discussions of the attack on Pearl Harbor over the years to schools and military gatherings and loved to be in the Bristol parades honoring their veterans.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, his birthday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home, 24 Lincoln Ave., Bristol/Forestville. All are welcome to meet directly at the church for a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 235 Maltby St., Bristol, CT. Committal services will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol.

Memorial donations may be made in Edward’s name to New England Air Museum, 36 Perimeter Road, Windsor Locks, CT 06096.

Advertisements

Latest Stories From Roundup Partner : FOX 61

9 years later, son finds letter with heartwarming revelation

9 years later, son finds letter with heartwarming revelation

A kind gesture has struck a chord on the internet. Nearly a decade ago, Jacques Ruffin was given the gift of music, but didn’t know it at the time, reports MNN. Recently Ruffin, now 21, was cleaning out a hallway closet and found a letter from James Jones, owner of Allegro Music Centre in Florida, to Ruffin’s mother. Dated Dec. 17, 2009, the letter said that the store owner was forgiving the mother’s debt on the trumpet she had been renting […]

Science teacher who tackled school shooter identified by students, parents

Science teacher who tackled school shooter identified by students, parents

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – The teacher who tackled a shooter at Noblesville West Middle School and swatted the gun away was identified by numerous parents and students as  seventh grade science teacher and middle school football coach Jason Seaman, according to WXIN. A seventh grader who was in the classroom where the shooting took place told WXIN the students were in class when the suspect asked to be excused. He later returned with two handguns and opened fire. Students said a 13-year-old girl […]

Soldier surprises son at high school graduation

Soldier surprises son at high school graduation

ELKMONT, Ala. – A soldier flew home so he could surprise his son on stage during  the Alabama senior’s high school graduation Thursday. “I haven’t seen my son in a year,” U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Nate Owen said, according to WHNT. “I missed his birth while I was at basic training 18 years ago by 12 hours. So, I didn’t want to miss this.” Owen said he was counting the days before he could get back for the ceremony. As the […]

‘It’s horrific’: Kindergartner sexually assaulted by older student on school bus, attorney says

‘It’s horrific’: Kindergartner sexually assaulted by older student on school bus, attorney says

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio – An Ohio family is fighting for justice after they say a kindergarten student was sexually assaulted as she rode on a school bus. Attorney Laura Mills, of Canton, is representing the family of the kindergarten student, who they say was sexually assaulted in the fall of 2016 by a fifth grade student while on a Jackson Local School District bus. “This fifth grade student had previous, serious issues on the bus. He was accused of throwing […]

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s