Somerville Honors Three WWII Veterans This Weekend

The city will dedicate three new veterans squares to honor Peter Fantasia, Columbus Valentino and Robert Invernizzi.

One of them saw naval action in the Pacific during World War II, witnessed an atomic bomb test at Eniwetok Atoll and fought in the Korean War, losing an eye.

Another was a medic in northern France and the Rhineland, taken as a prisoner of war when he refused to leave wounded comrades during an enemy counterattack—an act of bravery that earned him the Silver Star.

The third was killed in action in the British Isles during the war.

All three will be honored this weekend as the city dedicates veteran squares in their names.

Here's the schedule for the dedications:

Technician Third Grade Peter P. Fantasia Square

Where: Boston and Hamlet streets
When: Saturday at 12 p.m.

Peter Fantasia, 96, who still resides in the same Boston Street home he lived in when he entered World War II, served as a medic in Europe with the 26th Infantry Division. He earned the Silver Medal for gallantry in connection to action seen on Nov. 12, 1944 in Rodalbe, France. Under heavy enemy fire, he administered care to wounded soldiers, and when his unit was ordered to a different position, he refused to leave his wounded comrades. As a result, he was captured and taken as a prisoner of war.

Read more about Fantasia here.

Private Columbus Valentino Square

Where: Dell and Tufts streets
When: Saturday at 1 p.m.

Columbus Valentino was killed in action in the British Isles during World War II. As of this posting, the Somerville Department of Veterans' Services was compiling biographical information about Valentino. 

Radarman Second Class Robert E. Invernizzi Square

Where: Gussie Terrace and Porter Street
When: Sunday at 11 a.m.

Robert Invernizzi, 84, joined the Navy in 1945, when he was just 17 years old. He saw action in the Pacific in the Marianas, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa. After the war, he witnessed an atomic bomb test on Eniwetok Atoll. He reenlisted during the Korean War and was seriously wounded, losing an eye. He earned at least 14 medals, including the Purple Heart and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. He married Claire Breen, and they had seven children. He also worked at MIT and at General Electric.

Read more about Invernizzi here.


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