Sgt. Salvatore Distefano was born in 1923 in West New York, New Jersey. During World War II, he served in the 120th Evac. Unit and helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp. After the war, Sgt. Distefano lived in New Jersey, where he raised four children with his wife Frances and worked for forty years as an engineer. He rarely discussed his wartime experiences. After Sgt. Distefano died in 2014, his son Dan Distefano discovered what he refers to as “my dad’s time capsule,” a collection of objects that his father had hidden in 1952 “ready to tell the story he could not.” Dan and his siblings Nina Picone and Paul Distefano will discuss what they know of their father’s wartime experiences, and what they discovered of their father’s story from the time capsule.
Image credit: Photograph of Salvatore Distefano. 2020.5.10. Gift of the Distefano Family, in Memory of Sergeant Salvatore Distefano.