Americans in Wartime Experience

Domenick Constantino

World War II

Domenick Anthony Constantino served in the United States Navy during World War II.  Domenick was born in 1923 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

On June 7, 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Domenick enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended Navy Boot Camp in Newport, Rhode Island.  His first assignment was at the Amphibious Training Base Solomon, Maryland.  He would train as a Boat Coxswain on a LCVP Higgins boat, and training would take 5 months.

In November 1942, Domenick was sent by train to San Diego, California and assigned to the USS Pinkney (APH-2).  From there they set sail to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  After loading supplies, the USS Pinkney sailed to Saipan to refuel.  The USS Pinkney would carry men, food and ammunition to battles in the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and the Mariana Islands.  Among the islands were Guadalcanal, Guam, Okinawa and the Philippine Islands.  Domenick’s General Quarters position was at the forward gun station.  They would arrive at Iwo Jima Island on the day the U.S. Flag raised on Mount Suribachi.  They evacuated the causalities and seriously wounded men were transferred to a nearby Hospital ship.  The remaining wounded would go to New Caledonia to a Naval Hospital.

On April 28, 1945 at 1730 hours while in Okinawa Bay, the USS Pinkney took a direct hit by a kamikaze aircraft.  The ship was on fire, and ammunition was exploding.  Some crew had to abandon ships while other ships picked up the survivors.  The ship was badly damage, but stayed afloat. It would take eight days to make temporary repairs before getting underway.  Manually steering the ship from the stern, the crew had to make a hard right turn in Okinawa Bay to avoid torpedoes; a destroyer escort had alerted them.

The USS Pinkney would arrive at Saipan to refuel and for more repairs and would sail on to Pearl Harbor.  From there, finally arriving at Alameda, California.

After arriving in Alameda, Dominick transferred to Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay and went on 30 days leave.  While Domenick was on leave, the war in the Pacific ended.

Domenick discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1945, but then reenlisted and completed a two-year tour in Panama.

Domenick felt it was his duty to fight for our country.

Thank you Domenick for your service to the United States of America.

Bio prepared by Rebeccah Christovich.

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The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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