Angelo Panasci enlisted in the Army when he was 17 years old because that’s what all of his friends were doing! He was given the title of “Rifleman” and sent to Europe for training during World War II. While in Europe, Angelo met a fellow serviceman, Dennis, and the two became best friends – they were inseperable. Dennis grew up in England, and the two would often travel there to visit Dennis’ father, a Sea Captain, who would spoil them with fresh baked breads, meals, and whiskey! Shortly after he began training in Europe, Angelo remembers taking some sort of IQ test, and he scored so high that an officer told him he was too smart to be a rifleman and wanted to send him back to the states where his intelligence could be utilized best. Angelo argued this, stating that he wanted to stay in Germany with all of his friends. The officer told Angelo, “if you’re 6 feet under, you won’t have any friends.” Angelo took a long, awful boat ride back to the US, where he trained with a then, brand new computer company called IBM, whose equipment was used for cryptography by the US Army.
Once discharged, Angelo went on to follow in his father’s footsteps and began working in the Iron Union. He traveled all over the country with work – he states that after the war ended, the US was expanding and building exponentially, which offered him plenty of work. While on a job in Maine, Angelo met his future wife, Theresa, the thought of whom, still makes him smile today. Angelo keeps in touch with his best friend from the Army, Dennis, to this day – the two talk once every few weeks.