WWII Hero Robert Persichitti Dies Traveling To France For D-Day Anniversary

Photo by Joe Rosenthal, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Spencer Contributor
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A WWII hero who witnessed the raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima passed away Friday, May 31, while traveling to France for a D-Day commemoration ceremony.

Robert Persichitti, a 102-year-old Navy vet from Fairport, New York, suffered a medical emergency while on a ship heading to France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings. He was airlifted to a hospital in Germany where he later passed away, according to 13 WHAM.

Persichitti reportedly listened to his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, and was at peace in his final moments.

“The doctor was with him. He was not alone, he was at peace and he was comfortable,” Persichitti’s friend and travel companion Al DeCarlo told 13 WHAM. “She put his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, on her phone and he peacefully left us.”

Persichitti was a Navy veteran who served as a radioman aboard the USS Eldorado. He served in Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam during WWII, according to Stars and Stripes.

“I was on the deck,” Persichitti told Stars and Stripes in a 2019 interview upon returning to the region he once served. “When I got on the island today, I just broke down.”

The then-96-year-old Persichitti recalls the atrocities he witnessed and the several sea burials he was present for. (RELATED: Last Remaining Sailor Of USS Arizona Dies At 102)

After the war, Persichitti became a carpentry teacher at a school in Rochester.

Among those in attendance at the 80th Anniversary of D-Day at Normandy American Cemetery included President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s King Charles, reported Reuters.