Joseph Arnaldo American Hero
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The Story

Sonny in France.
Sometime in the 1990s, the Boston Red Sox and TV 38 Boston ran a public service announcement about why we stand during the national anthem. General Norman Schwarzkopf narrated the story while photos of military personnel were viewed. My uncle's photo showed up at some point. I have been trying to find a copy of the announcement for years.

Sonny's service record.

Service Record and Discharge

Sometime during the winter of 1945, Sgt. Reg Kenny, photographer for YANK Army Weekly, captured Staff Sgt. Joseph “Sonny” Arnaldo, my uncle, somewhere on the German front. The photo is one of the most recognizable of WWII. At the time of the photograph, Sonny had been on the front for 10 days. My grandmother told me that he was "snow blind" at the time of the photo. Multiple photos were taken and at least two were used as covers for YANK. I have found three versions of YANK with his picture.

My mom often told me a story that once, when he was on the front, he became lost and unaware of exactly where he was. Below is the story in my mothers's own words.

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Military Record

  • Induction (November 15th, 1943)
  • Combat Infantry Badge (1944)
  • Marksman Rifle Badge (1944)
  • Squad Leader #653 (1944)
  • Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland Campaigns
  • European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 3 bronze battle stars
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • Purple Heart (April 29th, 1945)
  • Good Conduct Medal (1944)
  • Honorable Disability Discharge (May 21st, 1946)
© 2010 Mitchell Williams / email editor
Poem from the history of the 331st