Thousands of immigrants from the southern Italian region of Calabria came to the Chicago-area in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. As many as 8,000 of them served in the U.S. military during World War I, and until now no effort has been made to document their story.
Historian Peter L. Belmonte has been researching these men using military, immigration, naturalization, census, family, and other records for more than twenty years. This book recounts the military history of more than 380 men from the province of Cosenza, Calabria. Their history highlights the role of the U.S. military in World War I; they served in every type of unit, from stateside camps to the trenches of France and even to the frozen wasteland of Siberia.
Some of them earned medals for bravery. Many of the men suffered life-changing wounds, and some made the supreme sacrifice. Long without a voice in historical works, their story is finally told here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Peter L. Belmonte is a retired U.S. Air Force officer. He holds a master’s degree in history from California State University, Stanislaus, and has written articles, book chapters, and reviews on military and immigration history. Pete is the author of several books, including Italian Americans in World War II (Arcadia, 2001), The U.S. 26th Infantry Regiment in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, October-November 1918 (Schiffer, 2015), Forgotten Soldiers of World War I: America’s Immigrant Doughboys (with Alexander F. Barnes, Schiffer, 2018), and Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball during the Great War (with Alexander F. Barnes and Sam Barnes, Schiffer, 2019).