World War II Honor Roll

Joseph Galiazzi

Staff Sergeant


Company A
399th Infantry Regiment
100th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: January 22, 1945
Buried at: C O 1971
                  Beverly National Cemetery
                  Beverly NJ
Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart

STAFF SERGEANT JOSEPH GALIAZZI was born August 14, 1920, to Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Galiazzi. He lived in Camden NJ, where he lived with his wife Jane at 16 South 33rd Street in the Rosedale neighborhood. 

16 South 33rd Street Camden NJ - December 7, 2002

Called to service in December of 1942, Joseph Galiazzi was training at Fort Jackson SC in February of 1944 when the Camden Courier-Post published his photograph. He was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 399th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division on September of 1944. Another East  Camden man, Private Edward Gondolf, who lived a few blocks away in the Westfield Acres Housing Project, also served in the 399th Infantry, with Company I. 

The 399th Infantry Regiment took part in the Tennessee Maneuvers in the winter of 1943-44, then moved to Fort Bragg NC until the it went overseas by way of Camp Kilmer NJ and the New York Port of Embarkation on October 6, 1944. Staff Sergeant Galiazzi and his unit arrived at Marseilles, France on October 20, 1944. 

Elements of the 110th Infantry Division went into combat at St. Remy in the Vosges Mountains on November 1, 1944. On November 12, the 397th Infantry and brother regiment the 397th attacked across the Meurthe River at Baccarat to outflank Raon-l'Etape. Defeating a German counter-attack, the 100th Division took Raon-l'Etape on November 18. The 1st Battalion, 399th Infantry regiment, was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions at Raon-l'Etape. The division took Moyonmoutier without opposition on November 21, and overran St. Blaise on November 23, and fought in the Vosges for three more days before halting its attacks on November 26. From November 27 through December 2, the division held defensive positions in the Saarebourg sector and held the Severne Gap Bridgehead while rehabilitating.

The 100th Infantry Division began the drive on the heavily fortified town of Bitche, Germany on December 3, 1944. After clearing Meisenthal and surrounding Mouterhouse by December 6, the 399th Infantry began its assault on Lemberg, on December 7, 1944. Wingen and Lemberg were occupied in fierce fighting ending on December 10 and Reyersweiler fell after three days on December 13. Fort Schiesseck capitulated after a heavy assault, on December 20. With the outbreak of the Von Rundstedt offensive, the Division was ordered to halt the attack and to hold defensive positions, south of Bitche, as part of the Seventh Army mission during the Bulge battle. German counterattacks of January 1 and January 8-10, 1945 were repulsed; thereafter the sector was generally quiet and the Division prepared for a resumption of the offensive.

The 100th Infantry Division settled into a static position, enduring the most severe winter in Europe to date, maintaining defensive positions and patrolling its lines in the sector it occupied. Staff Sergeant Galiazzi was killed in action in France on January 22, 1945 in fighting west of Bitche, France. 

Joseph Galiazzi was survived by his wife, four sisters, Rose, Laura, Margaret, and Lena; and three brothers, Thomas, Ephraim, and Anthony Jr. of 1274 Mechanic Street in Camden. 

After the war, Joseph Galiazzi was brought home to New Jersey. He was buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly NJ on January 26, 1949. 

The Distinguished Unit Citation for

1st Battalion, 399th Infantry Regiment

is authorized by War Department General Order 103-46

The 1st Battalion, 399th Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding performance in combat during the period 16 November 1944 to 17 November 1944, near Raon l'Etape, France. Overlooking the important Meurthe River city of Raon l'Etape, In the thickly forested foothills of the Vosges Mountains, is a bill-mass known as the Tęte des Reclos. This high ground, affording perfect enemy observation, barred an assault upon the vital communications city. On the rainy morning of 16 November, the 1st Battalion launched an attack to clear the enemy from these strongly fortified bill positions. Fighting through the dense, pine forest under intense enemy artillery, mortar, machine gun and automatic-weapons fire, the 1st Battalion, after three hours of effort, drove across a trail circling the base of the hill-mass. A withering, 45 minute artillery preparation at this point proved ineffective against the deep, concrete- and log-covered enemy bunkers built into the side of the hills, and it soon became evident that basic infantry assault was the only feasible method for driving the enemy from their positions. In a fierce, close-in, small arms firefight, which increased in fury as they climbed the precipitous slopes, the 1st Battalion wormed its way toward the top of Hill 462.8, key to the enemy's defenses. Battling against fanatical enemy resistance, it finally reached the crest. Bitter, hand-to-hand fighting developed as the enemy hurled repeated counterattacks against the inspired infantrymen. Once, the 1st Battalion was driven from the hilltop, but rapidly regrouping, it regained its positions. At dark, the enemy finally withdrew, leaving the 1st Battalion in possession of high ground. Throughout, supplies bad to be hand carried up the steep slopes under continuous enemy fire. Only the teamwork, coordination, and determination of all elements in the heroic 1st Battalion made the success of this attack possible, opening the gateway through the Vosges Mountains to the Alsatian Plains beyond. (General Orders 206, Headquarters, 100th Infantry Division, 23 July 1945).


Camden Courier-Post * August 15, 1945
Ex-officer Also Honored in City Hall; Vet Groups Aid in Ceremony

A former Camden army first lieutenant and relatives of nine deceased war heroes received Army awards last night in the city hall commission chamber.

Presentation of medals was made by Capt. Conger Brown, of the Fifth district, Second Service Command.

This was the first large group public presentation of Army decorations here. Leaders of three county veterans organizations joined families of war heroes and honorably discharged and furloughed service personnel at a ceremony sponsored by the Camden County Executive Committee of the American Legion.

Lauded by Brunner

Mayor Brunner lauded the bravery and heroism of those awarded the medals before an audience of 300 persons. He stressed hopes that “there will be no more wars." ,

Alfred W. Nelson, Jr., of Runnemede, recently discharged after serving with the Third Infantry as first lieutenant, received an Oak leaf Cluster as a second award of the Silver Star.

Posthumous awards were received by: ..

Mrs. Harriet B. Woolcock, 80 East Main Street, Marlton, widow of 1st Lt. Daniel B. Woolcock, Jr., infantry, Bronze. Star Medal.

Mrs. Sarah E. Wright, Bells Lake; RFD 2, Sewell, widow of Pvt. Wesley Wright, 83d Infantry, Bronze Star Medal.

Mrs. Mamie Barnes, Church Street, Medford, mother of Pfc. Elmer E. Barnes, 32d Infantry, Silver Star Medal.

Mrs. Margaret Smerhovsky, 348 Atlantic Avenue, Camden, mother of T/Sgt. William B. Smerhovsky, 100th Infantry, Silver Star,

Others Honored

Nicholas Rossi, 347 Liberty Street, Camden, father of Pfc. Rosso J. Rossi, Corps of Engineers, Silver Star.

Mrs. Anna T. Lee, 735 Spruce Street, Camden, mother of PFC Robert E. Lee, 1st Infantry, who was awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second Silver Star.

Mrs. Jean M. Galiazzi, 16 South Thirty-third street, Camden, widow of S/Sgt. Joseph Galiazzi, 100th Infantry, Silver Star.

Mrs. Rose W. Mills. Pine Hill, widow of T/4 James L. Mills, medical unit, 88th Infantry, Bronze Star.

A Bronze Star was sent to Mrs. Anna G. Wilkie, 631 Jersey Avenue, Gloucester City, widow of T/5 James W. Wilkie, 102nd Infantry..

Camden Courier-Post - Sunday, June 6, 2004

Joseph Galiazzi 
Courier-Post Staff

Joseph Galiazzi was one of the last few men in his Lindenwold neighborhood to get drafted. But he never returned.

His nephew, William Galiazzi, is 71 now and still lives in Lindenwold.

But when he was 10, he remembers his uncle having a catch with him or helping out around his parents' house.

"He never had children," said William Galiazzi. "He was supposed to get married, but it didn't work out."

William Galiazzi recalls a series of communications after D-Day, which his uncle survived.

"I couldn't tell you what he did," said Galiazzi, but the family received a letter saying his uncle had been promoted to sergeant.

"My grandfather and grandmother in Italy said sergeants were usually the first ones to get killed," he said.

Then came a telegram informing the family that Joseph Galiazzi was missing in action. Finally, the family received a telegram, which notified them he was dead and received a Purple Heart.

"The way I heard it from a couple of friends in the service was that he went out on patrol and that's how he got killed," Galiazzi said.

What Galiazzi definitely recalls are the silver stars in the windows of houses in his neighborhood that indicated a family had a relative in the war. They were changed to gold when one died.

He also recalled the photos of soldiers posted at school that would be moved to a different part of a bulletin board when the soldier died.

William Galiazzi said he didn't comprehend the impact of war then.

"I was a kid," he said. "Everyone had fun playing war."

He thinks about his uncle and his age - 24 - when he died.

"Yes," he said. "He never had a life."