Master Sergeant Dominick Spirito
Reflections on this veteran's military service
Submitted by Lisa Rapp
My father, Dominick Spirito, was extremely proud of his service during World War II and his experiences truly changed his life.
With his mother and two sisters, he came to the United States as a baby from Pastena, Italy to join his father who had emigrated earlier to work as a marble polisher in Los Angeles. He graduated from John C. Fremont HS in 1939 with a vocational certificate in printing. After graduation, he worked at the Voit rubber factory, but when it converted to a defense industry factory, he was laid off because he was considered to be an enemy alien. He went to William Volker & Co., a warehouse operation in Los Angeles, until he was drafted.
My dad told the story that on the day he reported to the induction center, after going through a short medical exam, he was issued uniforms, and then sworn in as a US Citizen! After basic training, in February 1943 he was ordered to Keesler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi to attend the B-24 Airplane Mechanic’s Course. His first overseas assignment was Honnington Airfield, England, from early 1944 to September 1945 when he was transferred to the Istres Army Air Base in Istres, France.
While on furlough in May 1945, he visited Edinburgh, Scotland where he met my mother, Mary Ann Kane on V.E. Day. He visited again in August, and they were married on November 29, 1945. He was shipped home on March 7, 1946. Once he got to New York, he hopped a C-54 and flew back to California, stopping in Dallas, Long Beach, San Francisco, ending at Camp Beal. My mom had to wait for a year for the US Congress to pass the War Bride Act before she could set out for California at age 19 to join my dad to start their life together. After discharge, my dad returned to the job he had left when he was drafted, and he worked there for the rest of his life. Due to the extreme shortage of housing for returning GI’s, they stayed first with my grandparents in Los Angeles, and they eventually bought a home in South Gate where they raised their family.
My dad passed away in 1979 at age 57, just after I graduated from college. He was a life-long patriot, always remembering with pride his service in the US Army.
Dominick was the father of Lakewood's Director of Public Works, Lisa Ann Rapp.