A World Conflict II Navy veteran who witnessed the elevating of the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima died whereas touring to France to take part in an occasion commemorating D-Day, a veterans group stated.

Robert Persichitti, 102, died Friday, stated Richard Steward, president of the Honor Flight Rochester, a veteran’s group that Mr. Persichitti belonged to. Mr. Persichitti, of Fairport, N.Y., was among the many dwindling variety of his era still attending D-Day celebrations.

According to WHEC News 10, an NBC affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., Mr. Persichitti flew abroad with a gaggle related to the Nationwide World Conflict II Museum and a companion, whom the group recognized as Al DeCarlo. He was on his method to have a good time the eightieth anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, referred to as D-Day, which turned the tide of World Conflict II in Europe.

However Mr. Persichitti suffered a medical emergency whereas aboard a ship crusing towards Normandy, the place the celebration was being held, and was airlifted to a hospital in Germany, WHEC 10 reported.

Mr. Persichitti had a historical past of coronary heart issues, however his loss of life was not anticipated, Mr. Stewart stated. “He died peacefully, and he didn’t die alone,” he stated.

According to Stars and Stripes, the U.S. army information group, Mr. Persichitti served in Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam as a radioman second class on the command ship U.S.S. Eldorado. He was named to the New York State Senate’s Veterans Corridor of Fame in 2020.

“I served within the Pacific for 15 months aboard a ship,” Mr. Persichitti said in a 2022 interview with WDSU, an NBC affiliate in New Orleans. He stated he helped deal with “all of the communications for the 2 operations: Iwo Jima and Okinawa.”

Stars and Stripes reported that Mr. Persichitti was on the deck of the Eldorado when he witnessed the elevating of an American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945, a second depicted in some of the well-known photos in American historical past.

Mr. Persichitti later returned to Mount Suribachi in 2019. “After I acquired to the island in the present day, I simply broke down,” he told Stars & Stripes in a 2019 interview.

Mr. Stewart described Mr. Persichitti lively and sharp, even at 102.

“He was a match and upright and acquired round, and had the whole schools of somebody who can be many years youthful,” Mr. Stewart stated. “He was actually one thing.”

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