A key objective of this blog is to provide readers with interesting and inspirational stories about individuals who were either born or have at one time lived in Amsterdam, New York. My intent is to highlight all kinds of examples of how folks from this city made positive impacts on the lives of others. Most of my subjects come from very humble beginnings and use their heads, hearts, hands and guts in varying degrees to make that impact. Gabe Vertucci provides a near perfect example. Why? Gabe’s story is both interesting and inspirational yet almost typical of the kind of people who have made this upstate community such a special place to call home. Allow me to show you what I mean.
Gabe was the son of Italian immigrants who came to this country at right around the turn of the century and settled in Amsterdam. Actually, Pasquale and Josephine DeRose Vertucci settled just west of the city, in Ft. Johnson where they raised a large family of eight girls and four boys. Gabe was born on April 13, 1924. He attended local schools and after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the US Marine Corp.
His Battalion was activated on May 1, 1943 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina as the second Battalion, 25th Marines. They relocated to Camp Pendleton, California later that summer. They were deployed for combat during January of 1944 and Corporal Vertucci saw action on Tinian, Saipan and Iwo Jima.
On Saipan, he was involved in fierce close quarters fighting. He took a bullet through his helmet…
The rest of Gabe Vertucci’s birthday post will be published in the second editionof A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which will be available for sale right after Thanksgiving. To make sure you get your hands on one of the first copies, join my mailing list here.
The first edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays, which features my birthday posts for 320 current or former Amsterdam residents, is currently being sold at Liberty Fresh Market, on Route 30 in Amsterdam. You can also purchase it online here.