WWII veteran ‘Al’ Persichitti, 102, has died while traveling to attend D-Day memorial in Normandy

Robert “Al” Persichitti, a 102-year-old Navy veteran of World War II, died Friday morning while on a trip to attend the 80th memorial celebration of the Allied forces’ pivotal D-Day invasion.

Mr. Persichitti, of Fairport, and his guardian Al DeCarlo flew overseas with the National World War II Museum Group. They flew into Germany and were on a ship sailing down the coast to Normandy — where the memorial celebration will be held — when he had a medical emergency and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Germany, fellow veterans traveling with him confirmed.

News10NBC reported last month that Persichitti would attend the 80th celebration along with Navy veteran Joe Grossman, 97, of Fairport and Army veteran Siegfried “Ziggy” Weinthal, 95, of Pittsford.

Persichitti was named to the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame in 2020, honored by then Sen. Rich Funke. According to his biography on the Senate page, he served as a radioman second class on the command ship USS Eldorado, and served in the Pacific Theatre, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guam. Prior to his wartime service, he worked in President Roosevelt’s Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. He was a former teacher in the Rochester City School District and the author of a 2015 autobiography, “Building an American Life.”