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Angelo DeLucia

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: May 25, 1918 Reading, PA
Date and Place of Death:    June 18, 2004 Flying Hills, PA
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Infield
Rank: Technical Sergeant
Military Unit: 11th Bomb Group US Army Air Force
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Angelo P. DeLucia was born on May 25, 1918, in Reading, Pennsylvania. A 1936 graduate of Reading High School, he played semi-pro baseball and had a tryout with the Bluefield Blue-Grays of the Class D Mountain State League in 1939. He didn't make the team that year, but was back for another tryout in 1940, and this time the 5-foot-9 infielder was signed.

DeLucia played only briefly with Bluefield and was released on April 30, by manager, Vic Sorrell, so he could sign with the Salem-Roanoke Friends of the Class D Virginia League. He wasn't long with the Friends, and joined the Pocomoke City Chicks of the Class D Eastern Shore League, where he played handful of games before being released in June.

DeLucia entered military service in August 1940. He was stationed in Hawaii, and was at Hickam Field with the 11th Bomb Group during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

A gunner aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Corporal DeLucia participated in many missions from bases at the New Hebrides, the Gilbert Islands, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Guam and Okinawa. On August 3, 1942, DeLucia was a gunner on one of three B-17s that were sent to bomb enemy installations in the Solomon Islands area. Nearing the target, the B-17s were attacked by seven Japanese fighter planes. One B-17 was lost but four of the enemy fighter planes were shot down and the remaining B-17s effectively bombed their target.

DeLucia also participated in the bombing raids on Guadalcanal in early 1943, and was wounded at this time. Later in the war, his plane was shot down and crashed intot he Pacific Ocean. The surving crew members, including DeLucia managed to get to an island where the local people were friendly and radioed to the US Navy to pick them up.

When the war ended, DelUcia was a technical sergeant. He had received two Purple Hearts and the Soldier's Medal.

DeLaucia did not return to baseball. He worked as a jet-engine inspector at Olmstead Air Force Base, near Middletown, Pennsylvania, and was then employed in quality assurance by the United States government from 1965 to 1980.

Angelo DeLucia passed away on June 18, 2004, in Flying Hills, Pennsylvania. He was 86 years old and is buried at Gethsemane Cemetery in Laureldale, Pennsylvania.

Date Added December 31, 2017

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