MIGHTY NINETY

Deno Dolci
Yeoman 2nd Class, USS ASTORIA 1944-1945
C Division


 
Mighty Ninety plankowner Deno Dolci, Yeoman from C Division.
-closeup from photo taken by USS ASTORIA ship's photographer Herman Schnipper.



Dolci recalled in contributing to this website:
I graduated from high school in Canastota, New York in 1943.  I was 17 years old and was not old enough to be drafted until November 8th, 1943.  I received my draft notice and was told to report March 4th, 1944 to Oneida, NY Armory.  From there, they bussed us to the Chimes Building in Syracuse for our physical, which I passed.  There were representatives from the Army, Navy, and Marines; the Army rep said "you are now in the Army" and raised his stamp to stamp my papers.  I stopped him and said, "please sir, I always wanted to go in the Navy."  He replied "you were drafted and we can put you wherever we want."  I said that I knew that, but couldn't he make an exception and put me in the Navy?  He asked the Navy representative if he had any slots open; the Navy rep said he had two or three and accepted me.  So that is how a draftee got into the U.S. Navy.



CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE
The graduation photo of Company 207, USNTS Sampson.  Deno Dolci is 3rd row from bottom, 2nd from left.  Future USS ASTORIA shipmate Anthony Migliorisi is 3rd row from bottom, 3rd from right.
-courtesy of Robert A. Migliorisi


Following boot camp at the Naval Training Station in Sampson, NY, Dolci was given a test and designated as a yeoman striker.  He was assigned to the new light cruiser USS ASTORIA and transferred to Newport, Rhode Island, where the ship's company was being mustered.  From there the ASTORIA crew took a train to Philadelphia, where they would pick up the ship at the Navy Yard.

Dolci recalls:
When I left Newport I didn’t have a dime in my pocket and that day was payday.  I told my officer in charge and he said my money would catch up with me; that didn’t do me any good at the time.  At the base I didn’t know a soul so I couldn’t ask anyone for a loan.  Everyone at the yard was getting slicked up for liberty; it was Saturday night and all of a sudden the yard was empty and I was all alone with no money and nothing to do.  I decided to go out in the yard, where I met a girl running a tow motor.  She asked me why I wasn’t on liberty and I told her I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a dime for the bus to go downtown.  This nice girl told me to come back in 30 minutes, when she would be done with her work, and she would take me to a party with her. She brought me back when the party was over.  I called my father and he wired me some money the next day.




Dolci (front) with a buddy in a post-war photo, circa 1946.
-courtesy of Robert A. Migliorisi



Yeoman 3rd Class Deno Dolci served in C Division aboard USS ASTORIA throughout her war cruise--through the typhoon of December 1944, from the Philippines to Iwo Jima, from Okinawa to the Japanese home islands.  He spoke of his General Quarters assignment:

During battle stations, I was assigned to Damage Control below decks; I manned the captain’s phone from the bridge.  When the ship was hit, I got the calls from the bridge, and then sent the teams to the area needing repairs.

When the war ended and ASTORIA came home, Dolci left the ship and reported to the Maritime Building, Port Hueneme.  There he received his rating of Yeoman 2nd Class, and Dolci worked at Port Hueneme until he was discharged from the Navy in June 1946.

When he returned home he went to college for a year under the G.I. Bill, then took several jobs before finally deciding to go into construction, where he spent the remainder of his career.  Dolci also remained active in the USS ASTORIA reunion association, attending the events in 1986 at Mankato, MN and in 1988 at Buffalo, NY.



C Division sailors at the 1986 reunion.  Left to right: Clarence Rhodes, Clifford Wenthur, Deno Dolci, and Whit Cushman.
-photo from Brent Jones collection




CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE
The USS ASTORIA CL-90 plankowners in attendance at the 1986 reunion.  Dolci is in the front row, 3rd from right.
-photo from Brent Jones collection


In 1988 Deno Dolci retired from the Carpenters' Union Local 12 in Syracuse, NY.  He and his wife Barbara now enjoy retirement, living in the same house where Dolci grew up in Canastota.



Deno and Barbara Dolci at home in Canastota, NY in 2008.
-photo courtesy Deno Dolci




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