Advertisements
LATEST STORIES

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

ABOUT BRISTOL ROUNDUP

Bristol Roundup is a popular source for Bristol Connecticut news, events and information. The Roundup, started by Bristol resident Mike Uchalid currently has over 5,000 subscriptions and a local social media following of over 25,000 readers across multiple sites, pages and groups. The Roundup provides accurate information, events, news and so much more. We hope you enjoy the site!

MORE NEWS FROM WORDPRESS PARTNER: FOX 61

Lawmakers set aside June 29 for possible budget vote

Lawmakers set aside June 29 for possible budget vote

HARTFORD — At least one group of Connecticut legislators says it’s pushing forward with a possible state budget vote before the fiscal year ends June 30, even though there’s currently no agreement. Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives said Thursday their rank-and-file members prefer voting June 29 on a new two-year-budget rather than allowing Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to use his executive authority to temporarily run state government. If no budget agreement is ready next week, House Speaker […]

Pharmaceutical company denies drug to child in New Hartford

Pharmaceutical company denies drug to child in New Hartford

NEW HARTFORD —  New Hartford parents, Eric and Edward Mumm, are pleading for the big name pharmaceutical company to continue making the seizure medication they say their son desperately needs. The company is reportedly pulling the drug off the market by the end of June 2017. Their son, Christian, celebrated his first birthday in April. He and his twin brother are the youngest of the five children in the family. Christian’s official diagnosis came when he was about four months […]

Motorcyclist kicks car in road rage incident, triggers chain-reaction crash

Motorcyclist kicks car in road rage incident, triggers chain-reaction crash

LOS ANGELES — An apparent road-rage crash involving a motorcyclist and the driver of a sedan was captured on cellphone video Wednesday morning on the 14 Freeway near Los Angeles, according to KTLA. The crash was reported about 5:49 a.m. Wednesday on the southbound side of the 14 Freeway near Newhall Avenue in Santa Clarita, California Highway Patrol Officer Bond said. Tim Morrison and Chris Traber, who shot the video, were on their way to work when they say the driver […]

Bill Cosby spokesman says town halls are planned

Bill Cosby spokesman says town halls are planned

PITTSBURGH —  A spokesman for Bill Cosby says a series of town halls is planned to help educate young people about the problems their misbehavior could create. Spokesman Andrew Wyatt tells a Birmingham, Alabama, TV station Cosby is eager to get back to work following a mistrial over the weekend in his suburban Philadelphia sexual assault trial. Wyatt said Thursday the issue “is bigger than Bill Cosby” and can affect any young person, especially young athletes. He says young people […]

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s