Private First Class John T Di Mauro

Name John T Di Mauro
Rank Private First Class
Army Serial # 42132279
State New York
Date of death 1945-01-13
Plot, Row, Grave H, 3, 21
Cemetery Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Henri-Chapelle, Belgium, Google Maps
Unit 2nd Plt, E Company, 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division
Awards Purple Heart
Remarks Tribute to soldier Private First Class John T. Di Mauro, ASN 42132279, 2nd Platoon, E Company, 331st Regiment, 83rd Division written by Tom DePiano.

Originally from 306 Haven Avenue, New York (Bronx), New York. Killed in Action 13 January 1945, forest outside Bihain, Belgium – 19 years old

This brief story was told to me years ago by my father-in-law, Private First Class Fiore “Frank” DeCarolis, who was a member of the same unit as that of John Di Mauro. They both were assigned to E Company on 2 January 1945 along with many other new replacements according to researched Company E Morning Report. On 13 January 45, the Company’s position was hit by a severe German artillery barrage while occupying their positions in the densely wooded Ardennes forest. Company After Action Reports (AAR) listed this area as outside of Bihain, Belgium but DeCarolis said he had no idea of their map location. That was the plight of the infantryman – just keep moving without knowing where you are or where you were. He stated that the barrage produced a lot of tree bursts which were just as deadly as the shrapnel in causing wounds or death and was terrifying. The AAR entry for 13 Jan 45 referred to severe artillery barrages in the area of operations. A sterile comment considering the AAR listed 127 casualties for the company that day.

After the barrage, DeCarolis leaned his M1 Garand rifle against a tree for unexplained reasons. The rifle would have been a new one as he was a new replacement recently having completed training. I never thought to ask what was he doing that caused him to leave the rifle – tending to wounded? We will never know. He said when he came back, his M1 rifle had been replaced with a rusty, battered and inoperable rifle. Obviously the soldier who did this was a veteran of previous time in the field under harsh conditions and did not properly care for his rifle. Realizing the rifle was useless, DeCarolis took possession of another M1 rifle – the one that had been issued to Private First Class Di Mauro. He said Di Mauro had been killed by the artillery barrage and had suffered a severe leg wound which ultimately led to his death. My father-in-law apparently was deeply moved by this experience and never forgot it or Private First Class Di Mauro. Being a 19 year old soldier, newly assigned and placed in to the harshest of field conditions in the Battle of the Bulge, and seeing your fellow soldier, a 19 year old replacement just like you, die with only 11 days in combat is something no one would forget. As far as I know, DeCarolis carried that M1 garand through the end of the war.

As part of research on his father in law Tom also researched the morning reports for E Company, 331st. These confirm that Private First Class. Di Mauro joined the unit on January 2, 1945, from the 92nd Replacement Battalion. The pages can be seen below.
Documents - MR E Co, 331st IR, January 2, 1945
- MR E Co, 331st IR, January 2, 1945
Grave Soldier
John T Di Mauro (42132279) John T Di Mauro (42132279)

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