OBITUARY

George Prezioso

May 24, 1919January 9, 2015

George Prezioso, 95, of Belleville, passed away on January 9, 2015 at the VA Hospital, Lyons, NJ. Funeral services will be conducted by the Zarro Funeral Home, 145 Harrison Street, Bloomfield, NJ on Thursday at 9:00 am followed by a mass at 10:30am at St.Anthony’s Church, Belleville. The burial will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Bloomfield. Visitation will be 4-8pm. on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. George joined the CCC at age 17 and then joined the US Army in 1939. Assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group, 63 rd Bombardment Squadron he was sent overseas to Australia. Trained as a radio operator, he remembers being able to achieve roughly 35 words per minute in Morse Code. He flew combat mission from 7-MILE Drome near Port Moresby as a radio oerator and gunner on a variety of B-17 crews beginning on April 5, 1943. On April 20, 1943 he flew a mission against Wewak, flying with Captain Folmer Sogaard in B-17F “ Fightin’ Swede” 41-24520 that skip bombed a tanker which was “burning fiercely” and “definitely sunk”, then bombed the airfield. Only other shipping damage claimed on that mission was Lt. Willia, O”Brien in B-17F “Tailsman” claiming two “very near misses” on another ship. While flying as a radio operator during a night bombing mission on the night of July 10-11, 1943, he survived the ditching of B-17F “Black Jack / joker’s Wild” 41-24521 off Cape Vogel and was rescued along with the entire crew, if you would like to know about this here is the link http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-17/41-24521.html . Later was assigned to the 317 th Troop Carrier Group, 39th Troop Carrier Squadron, flying B-17s converted to armed transports, with their lower turret removed and cargo bins installed in the bomb bay. They participated in mission dropping supplies to Allied troops beyond the reach of fighter escort. I total, he flew 72 combat missions totaling over 500 combat hours. In late 1944, he returned to the United States and spent the remainder of the war stateside. Postwar, he worked for Curtis Wright, in Woodridge, building engines. He lived and retired in his hometown New Jersey in the Silver Lake Section of Belleville. George was a member of the Belleville Senior Citizens Club and the Silver Lake Civic Association. He is survived by his sister, Assunta Pipitone and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Raffaella (nee Squitieri) and Salvatore Prezioso; sisters, Margaret Raimondi and Eleanor Nigro; brothers, Salvatore and Carmen Prezioso. In lieu of flowers donations will be accepted in his memory to the VA Hospital, East Orange, NJ.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, January 14, 2015
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, January 15, 2015
REMEMBERING

George Prezioso

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Steve Birdsall

March 4, 2015

I consider it a privilege to have known George Prezioso.

March 2, 2015

Our deepest condolences on the loss of your friend and family member. George was an active part of the greatest generation who gave so much to his community and his nation.

From the 43rd Bomb Group - "Ken's Men"

Alexis Guarrasi

January 21, 2015

George was the first Veteran I had the honor of meeting while volunteering at the VA. His story is incredible and I am so blessed, honored, humbled, and grateful to have had the opportunity to be in his life, even for such a brief time. God bless you George! Thank you for all you have done for our country.

Barbara Mayurnik

January 17, 2015

Meeting George at the VA in Lyons was a pleasure and an honor. He was a Renaissance man who taught me many things. His experiences as a radio man, POW and jungle warfare enhanced my understanding of WWII. Teaching me to make sfogliatelle was a highlight. George's love of family as the number one priority is a lifelong lesson.
I will always remember you. i will miss you.
Thank you so very much for sharing yourself. It was a gift.
My condolences to all of your family.

Tom DePiano

January 15, 2015

I never met George but knew of his courageous exploits with his B17 missions through his cousin and family friend, Irene Pelosi. I was in awe when she related stories to me and sent me newspaper articles about him. Another of the Greatest Generation moving on. God Bless.

Janet Blaes

January 15, 2015

I had the privilege of meeting George at the VA where I volunteer. He was a wonderful gentleman. He shared his stories of growing up, his service in WWII and his love of flying. He always had a big smile for me. I will miss him dearly. Godspeed George, you were a true American. It was an honor to have known you.

January 15, 2015

From Australia - George, you made my family's home your "base" in between missions over The Pacific during WW2. You did your country proud (USA) and you helped stop the enemy from invading my country Australia. We became great friends when I tracked you down in 2010. Hundreds of emails we have exchanged and you flew over here to meet me in 2012. I will miss your friendship more than you know. You are a hero and always will be. Rhonda Bullivant Clulow NSW Australia

Dianne Salandra

January 14, 2015

I was blessed to have met George a few years and I will will be grateful for that always. He graciously volunteered to be our guest of honor during my 4th grade students salute to Veterans Day. They were in awe of his bravery and courage as he shared his experiences during WW II. A short visit soon became an entire afternoon of George earning the respect of my students as a true hero. By the time he was ready to leave, he had 125 students. my colleagues and administrators wishing he could stay!! He touched all our hearts and we continued to correspond through holiday, birthday and get well cards. His impact on my students will remain with them forever. Godspeed, George. We salute you and your service to our country. More importantly, we salute you for being such a humble hero. RIP as you now soar with the angels??

John Golderer

January 14, 2015

My sympathies and condolences to the family & friends of George P, one of the greatest generation that are quickly passing into memory. Enjoyed your B-17 stories the few times we met.

January 13, 2015

Cousin George: I will miss you on Naples Ave., who is going to come over and fix my sewing machine, like you did. Naples Ave. has been a part of the Prezioso family for years and we had great family times there. My grandson Joseph is missing you and loves the airplane you built for him and all the stories you told him about the war. You have joined the Prezioso's in heaven give Lebro a big hug for me. Love Cousin, Rita

FROM THE FAMILY