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

Thomas and Jean Ficht to celebrate 60th anniversary

Thomas and Jean Ficht to celebrate 60th anniversary On Sept 7, Thomas and Jean (Lightner) Ficht...

WalletHub compares strictest and most lenient states on DUI

WalletHub compares strictest and most lenient states on DUI With drunk driving resulting in roughly 1...

Chase Kemp receives US Army Second Lieutenant commission at University…

Chase Kemp receives US Army Second Lieutenant commission at University of North Georgia Chase Kemp, a...

The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer Kat Alikhan’s photo, taken at the Big Canoe marina on a...

Archeology in Big Canoe

Archeology in Big Canoe The final program in the Big Canoe Expert Series, “Archaeology and Big...

AJC shines spotlight on Georgia’s landfill industry

AJC shines spotlight on Georgia’s landfill industry Sunday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution carried a front-page story—“Other states...

Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee to meet Aug. 22…

Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee to meet Aug. 22 at University of North Georgia The...

Notice of public hearing on the proposed expansion of eagle…

Notice of public hearing on the proposed expansion of Eagle Point Landfill The Georgia Environmental Protection...

Celebrate National Regional Farmers Markets Friday, Aug. 11

Celebrate National Regional Farmers Markets Friday, Aug. 11 Amicalola Regional Farmers Market joins markets across the...

Big Canoe Chapel to sponsor GriefShare Group

Big Canoe Chapel to sponsor GriefShare Group Big Canoe Chapel will sponsor a GriefShare Group, which...

Drive carefully, new school year starting

Drive carefully, new school year starting Summer break is over for local students and education professionals...

Chamber Announces New Ambassador

Chamber Announces New Ambassador The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce has a new ambassador and she’s...

GA State Route 136 Update

GA State Route 136 Update Georgia State Route 136 is scheduled to open this week.

Sen. David Lucas to host Rural Georgia Study meeting

Sen. David Lucas to host Rural Georgia Study meeting Sen. David Lucas (D – Macon) will...

Landfill issues growing

Landfill issues growing In a recent presentation to the Dawson County community, it was shared that...

Advertisement

Advertisement

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

©2017 Big Canoe News