SmokeSignals Logo Large

        digitaledition3

John D'Antonio 003

John D'Antonio PHOTO BY JIM FRANCIS

The Greatest Generation

Thank you for your service, John D’Antonio  

By Harris Green

At the beginning of the dramatic final year of WWII, 17-year-old John D'Antonio left his Brooklyn home to join the Navy. He served as a radioman aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. It had a huge radar mast. The ship's assignment was to "picket" for a naval task force, to alert the rest of the ships of incoming kamikaze planes or other Japanese offensives.

In August, 1945 his ship was one of the many escorts for the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, where General Douglas MacArthur signed the terms of surrender with the Japanese Empire. Later he and his shipmates were given liberty in Tokyo. He said they didn't worry much about being there because they understood and admired the intense self-control of the Japanese people.

During his civilian life, John worked as a teacher, lead teacher and administrator. He helped launch the field of special education along the way. His final years before retiring were spent working as an administrator with the city of Atlanta and later with Fulton County

Still quite energetic at ninety, he has enjoyed a wide range of hobbies, which include riding motorcycles, flying airplanes, and sailing (and living aboard) his motor cruiser.

He only recently gave up tennis and still plays golf occasionally with the ACEs. When I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up, he said "younger."

He was married twice and has one daughter by the first wife and three sons by the second. I have met his daughter and her daughter, and both are attractive and charming. John's granddaughter is a big fan of her Papa and comes often from NYC to visit.

His sons in Atlanta recently gave him a huge ninetieth birthday party that was attended by friends and relatives from New York and neighboring states. A second, slightly smaller party was given at the Black Bear Pub by and for his Big Canoe friends. He was very pleased with both celebrations and very much wants to thank everyone involved with the planning and attending.

You can easily run into John in the Black Bear Pub, as he developed a great fondness for pubs while growing up in NYC (as did his granddaughter). If you see him, stop by and tell him how young he looks. Then thank him for his service as one of the last of those Americans we humbly refer to as the Greatest Generation. Then buy him a drink.

Save

Newest Stories - News

Lake Lanier provides training for military, first responders

Lake Lanier provides training for military, first responders Lake Lanier proved to be a worthy training...

Update on Pickens seniors’ efforts to improve property tax exemptions

Update on Pickens seniors’ efforts to improve property tax exemptions Pickens Seniors for Change—the local group...

GA 400 & SR 53 Continuous Flow Intersection Opens

GA 400 & SR 53 Continuous Flow Intersection Opens The much anticipated opening of the GA...

Grogan voted out of office

Grogan voted out of office Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan was voted out of office during the...

Pickens leaders graduate from Economic Development academy

Pickens leaders graduate from Economic Development academy The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development...

Ellijay Telephone Company presents high-speed internet plan for Big Canoe

Ellijay Telephone Company presents high-speed internet plan for Big Canoe Big Canoe residents were updated on...

POA celebrates Volunteer Month with thanks, picnic for volunteers

POA celebrates Volunteer Month with thanks, picnic for volunteers On Sunday, April 30, the Big Canoe...

Dawson County opens Amicalola Regional Farmers’ Market—the place to go…

Dawson County opens Amicalola Regional Farmers’ Market—the place to go on Friday afternoon Dawson County’s Amicalola...

Dawson welcomes visitors from Georgia—the country

  Dawson welcomes visitors from Georgia—the country What do the Bowen Center for the Arts, Dawsonville Moonshine...

WPSA names LTG (Ret) Steve Arnold 2017 Distinguished Graduate

WPSA names LTG (Ret) Steve Arnold 2017 Distinguished Graduate The West Point Society of Atlanta named...

LBC graduates 12th class on April 28

Leadership Big Canoe graduates 12th class on April 28 The first Leadership Big Canoe board of...

Home Plate: a support initiative for local farmers

Home Plate: a support initiative for local farmers “Home Plate” is a concept being organized by...

Dawson County pancake breakfast honors North Georgia veterans

Dawson County pancake breakfast honors North Georgia veterans Come enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake extravaganza Saturday, April...

Relay for Life wine tasting to raise money for cancer…

Relay for Life wine tasting to raise money for cancer research A wine tasting benefit to...

Leadership Big Canoe Volunteer Fair brings organizations, community together

Leadership Big Canoe Volunteer Fair brings organizations, community together The Leadership Big Canoe (LBC) Volunteer Fair...

Advertisement

Advertisement

SmokeSignals Online
11293 Big Canoe
Big Canoe, GA 30143
PH: 770-893-1594

©2017 Big Canoe News