My dad, Petty Officer, 1st Class Arthur C. Prisco (Retired), is a WW II Navy Veteran and honorably served from 1942 to 1946 in the Pacific on the USS Hamlin, a Kenneth Whiting-class seaplane tender. He is 104 years old and still lives at home with my
My dad, Petty Officer, 1st Class Arthur C. Prisco (Retired), is a WW II Navy Veteran and honorably served from 1942 to 1946 in the Pacific on the USS Hamlin, a Kenneth Whiting-class seaplane tender.
He is 104 years old and still lives at home with my sister Joan who is a remarkable care giver.
He entered the service at the age of 27 as a best in class tinsmith. He could do remarkable things with metal; after the war he started a sheet metal business from the ground up that provided for his family and private college education for his 4 children.
He and his team repaired many damaged aircraft during the war. The more complicated sheet metal assignments were always given to that “guy from Little Rhody”.
He shares many stories of his proud service in the Navy.
While on board the Hamlin repairing a damaged aircraft, a kamikaze pilot was heading towards the USS Hamlin and my dad recounts the event when a Black fellow crew member manned his artillery weapon and shot at the incoming aircraft causing it to move off target and the aircraft crashed into an adjacent Navy ship killing many enlisted men who were in sick bay. He always tells the story on how this fellow crewmember saved his life.
My dad had the honor and privilege to be in Tokyo Bay to witness the signing of the armistice on the USS Missouri. The Hamlin and other ships pulled up into Tokyo Bay to witness this historic event. As a symbol of victory, all the crewmembers were given a Japanese Arisaka Rifle to take home. My dad’s bunkmate did not want his rifle so my dad gave him a bottle of whiskey for his rifle. I have one of the rifles in my home and the other is in a display case in his home.
He had the privilege to go on the Honor Flight for Veterans to Washington DC in May 2017 at the age of 102. His kid brother Joe, also a WW II Veteran, passed away this year at 101 years old from the Covid 19 Virus.
My dad is a tremendous role model to his children Joan, Charlie, Joe and Len. We owe all of our success to an incredible man who instilled strong values in us.
He was married for 60 years until my mom, Della, passed away at 96 years old. He is a devout Catholic and the parish priest brings him Communion on the first Friday of the month.
Arthur celebrates his 105th birthday tomorrow.