Band of Brothers
Dubbed the “Fighting Allegretti Brothers” by the Chicago Sun, few groups of siblings have served their country so fully and faithfully. All told, nine sons of Leonard and Rose Allegretti of 1916 Race Ave. in Chicago served over a span of nearly three decades.
The most decorated among them was Captain Edward Allegretti, a bombardier for the Army Air Forces who earned a Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal with four Oak Leave Clusters while flying 35 missions over Germany. “Encountered heavy flak over Calais,” he matter-of-factly reported in his flight journal. “A piece of flak hit one foot from my head.”
Captain Thomas Allegretti served in Army intelligence in Paris during the same war, and as a war crimes lawyer and military governor in Germany after the Nazi surrender.
Three Allegretti brothers served in medical capacities during the Second World War: Lieutenant Michael as a squadron surgeon on a destroyer escort in the Atlantic, Lieutenant Leonard as a Navy dental officer attached to the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific, and Lieutenant Colonel Anthony as chief of staff at the Veterans Hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
As an Army mechanic working on B-24s, Pfc. Jerry would scratch his nickname, Huck, on the bombsight of each plane he worked on, hoping his brother Eddie would see it. And at the tender age of 41, Pfc. James served for nine months as an Army rifleman.
The two eldest Allegrettis served before and during World War I: John on the Mexican border and Rocco in Hawaii and the Philippines.
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For highlights from our Medal of Honor exhibits, click here.