Segment 1


William Disanza was born on 120th Street in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx. In 1950 Disanza got married and moved to New Jersey. Disanza was a boxer growing up in the Bronx. He also participated in the Catholic Youth organization. Disanza’s family consisted of three brothers and one sister. A couple of times they were separated because of financial problems. Disanza and his older brother used to pal around a lot. Disanza’s brother burned his face while trying to check out a problem with his car one time. His brother had a big scar on his face because of the incident. Disanza’s dad beat the hell out of them because he was upset they were messing around. They always tried to make a dollar if they could. His older brother worked construction and Disanza worked on a laundry truck. Disanza had another job helping the milk man. Disanza earned the respect of his father by cleaning shoes and at nine years old was awarded his own box to clean shoes so he could make money. If Disanza made more than two dollars he would keep the difference. When Disanza worked delivering milk he made a dollar a day, sometimes two. Disanza got his brother involved in the milk business. Disanza’s brother went into the Merchant Marine. His brother’s name was Joe and his ship got torpedoed during the war and was killed. Disanza was in the Merchant Marine. Every ship he got off of was torpedoed at some point after Disanza’s stay on the ship. His first deployment in the Merchant Marine was to South America. He was off the coast of North Africa two days after D-Day. Disanza went to Glasgow and then England. Disanza got home one day shortly after his brother was killed and his mother requested that he get immediately out of the Merchant Marine because she did not want any more sea burials. Disanza left and went into the Army. Disanza was sent to New Orleans and then Maryland for his training. Disanza began his OSS training in Maryland. They taught him different types of warfare and taught him how to be proficient with American weaponry. Disanza did not like the Browning Automatic Rifle because it was too damn heavy. He went into Burma and from there they engaged in guerilla warfare as well as reconnaissance.


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