Interviewees

Petriello, Frank

  • Image
  • Links to Oral History Sessions: Petriello, Frank (February 28, 2014)
  • Conflict(s): World War II
  • Military Branch & Unit: Navy
  • Theater(s): Pacific
  • Navy Ship: USS Bunker Hill (CV-17)

Description:

Frank Petriello was born in 1921 in Sassano, Italy. In 1929, when he was eight years old, he moved to the U.S. with his mother and brother, following his father, who came earlier, served in the U.S. Army, and became a citizen. The family settled in Garfield, New Jersey. After graduating from high school, he worked in the textile industry, until World War II started and he enlisted in the Navy. After training, he was assigned to the newly-commissioned Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) as a naval corpsman. In the interview, Petriello traces the Bunker Hill's engagements in the Pacific in support of the U.S. invasions of Tarawa, the Marshall Islands, the Mariana Islands, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He details the kamikaze attacks on the Bunker Hill that occurred on May 11, 1945 and resulted in major damage to the carrier and over six hundred casualties. After the war, he went into the dry cleaning business. He attended reunions of the Bunker Hill crew for many years.