102-Year-Old US Navy Veteran Passes Away While Traveling to D-Day Commemoration

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Written By Lori Walker

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A 102-year-old US Navy veteran from Rochester, New York, named Robert “Al” Persichitti passed away while traveling to France for an event commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War Two.

Mr. Persichitti, remembered as a “great, humble man,” suffered a medical emergency aboard a ship heading to Europe and was airlifted to a hospital in Germany on May 30. He sadly passed away the next day.

He was part of the allied operation in Japan and was a member of Honor Flight, a veteran organization that helps transport former US servicemen to war memorials. The National World War Two Museum in New Orleans selected him to attend the Normandy event, covering his trip expenses.

Before his journey, Mr. Persichitti expressed excitement about the trip, saying his cardiologist encouraged him to travel. His friend and fellow veteran, Al DeCarlo, who served alongside him in Japan, was also on the trip. He mentioned that Mr. Persichitti did not die alone, as a doctor was with him, playing his favorite singer Frank Sinatra, and he passed away peacefully.

Mr. Persichitti had a zest for life and often visited local schools to share his war experiences with children. He was also a former teacher and was honored by the New York State Senate’s Veteran Hall of Fame in 2020. His local Honor Flight chapter in Rochester expressed their sadness at his passing.

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