Robert E. Invernizzi Biography

Information about Robert E. Invernizzi, a World War II and Korean War veteran. Somerville is naming a square after him on Oct. 7.

The following was provided by the Somerville Department of Veterans' Services:

Robert Edward Invernizzi was born February 22, 1928 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the Navy on September 1, 1945 at the age of just 17, and trained as a radar operator, achieving the rank of Radarman Second Grade.

Mr. Invernizzi’s World War II service brought him into some of the most intense combat of the Pacific Campaign. With the attack cargo ship USS Uvalde, Radioman Invernizzi saw action in the Marianas, Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa, earning the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two battle stars. In 1947, he transferred to a weather ship, PCE-844, and then to an amphibious force flagship, the USS Mount McKinley. After attending radar operator’s school at Point Loma, Califormia, Radarman Invernizzi witnessed the atomic bomb test on Eniwetok.

Mr. Invernizzi re-enlisted during the Korean War, and was seriously wounded, losing one of his eyes. By the end of his naval career, he had served on no fewer than seven ships:

PCE-844                                             Weather ship

USS Grosse Point                               Patrol craft

USS Mount McKinley                       Amphibious force flagship

USS James Miller                               Destroyer

USS General George M. Randall        Troop transport

USS Herbert Thomas                          Destroyer

USS Uvalde                                         Attack cargo ship

At age 84 (ed. note: Patch edited his age based on his birthday. The text originally said he was 83), Mr. Invernizzi is today one of Somerville’s most decorated veterans. During his seven years in the Navy, he received the following awards:

Purple Heart

Combat Action Ribbon

Navy Unit Commendation

Navy “E” Ribbon

Good Conduct medal (2)

China Service Medal

American Campaign Medal

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Navy Occupation Service Medal

Korean Service Medal (with two stars)

Philippine Liberation Medal

United Nations Service Medal

Ten months after his discharge from the military, Mr. Invernizzi married Claire Breen. Together, they have seven children. Now retired, Mr. Invernizzi worked first at MIT, helping design guidance systems, and later as a senior draftsman on jet aircraft engines at the General Electric Company in Lynn.

Reiko McKendry October 06, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Recently, I watched “The War,” a seven-episode program by Ken Burns on DVD. (It originally aired a decade ago on PBS.) I was born and raised in post-WWII Japan. During and immediately after the war, for the victor to show mercy to the vanquished was a foreign concept to the Japanese military. Consequently, when Japan surrendered unconditionally, compassion shown by American soldiers was a turning point in the Japanese perception of the so-called “enemy.” They became witness to an amazing grace beyond the realm of their comprehension. This is the reason people of my parents’ generation hold America to the highest pedestal – as I still do today. My 2-minute video message of gratitude on YouTube at www.ThankYouVeterans.net was created for WWII veterans, such as Mr. Robert Edward Invernizzi, who served in the military to keep freedom alive for future generations. I would appreciate it very much if you would please watch the video and share it with Mr. Invernizzi as well as all other veterans and their families that you know. Thank you.


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