Patrick Caruso, 90, took this photo of Army chaplains conducting a service during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

Patrick Caruso, 90, took this photo of Army chaplains conducting a service during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

Patrick Caruso: Normandy veteran shares story 70 years after D-Day

By: Brian Louwers | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published June 4, 2014

 Patrick Caruso, 90, still has the bugle he used in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served in an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon and was wounded in action.

Patrick Caruso, 90, still has the bugle he used in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served in an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon and was wounded in action.

Photo by Brian Louwers

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Patrick Caruso
90, Clinton Township (formerly of Warren)
Utah Beach

Patrick Caruso waited more than three months after the invasion began to get to the beach of Normandy.

When he got there on Sept. 7, 1944, with the 328th Regiment of the Army’s 26th Infantry Division, he was reunited with his brother, Nick, an anti-aircraft gunner on a Navy tanker at the time. 

“The greatest surprise I had in Europe was finding my brother on Utah Beach,” Caruso recalled. “He came to the area where we were bivouacked and he surprised me.”

The division never went to England, sailing to Normandy directly from Boston. Although Caruso had left work in Michigan to fight the war, he was drafted with other men from his home region of Pennsylvania.

“All of us in our group, we were all draftees from western Pennsylvania, from the Pittsburgh area and the Fayette County area. Thousands of us, I guess,” Caruso said. “We all got drafted together, we trained together, we served together and got discharged together.”

Within a month of its arrival in France, the division moved south through the hedgerows to join Patton’s Third Army, engaged in combat with the Germans. 

Caruso drove a jeep in an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon and recalled white-knuckle rides over roads dotted with mines.

He was shot in the right arm on Nov. 7, 1944, and treated at the regimental aid station.

After a brief respite in Metz, the division was rushed to the Ardennes Forest in December to counter the German offensive during the Battle of the Bulge. They later pushed into Germany and Austria, and ended the war in Czechoslovakia.

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