NORTH SMITHFIELD – A new program honoring the town’s deceased veterans by raising a flag in their honor is recognizing a member of the U.S. Navy who served during World War II for the month of August.
A flag was raised at the Memorial Town Building at 1 Main St. in Slatersville on Sunday, Aug. 6 in honor of the late Carlo Mencucci, who received several commendations for his time in military service.
The North Smithfield Heritage Association put out a call out to the families of North Smithfield-based veterans last month requesting memorial flags, to be flown a the historic building for one month. The organization publishes a brief biography of each honoree’s military service in their monthly newsletter, and returns the flag at the end of the 30 day period – or replaces it by another flag, depending on the family’s wishes.
The first to come forward was the family of the late World War II veteran Frederick Klockars, whose memorial flag currently hangs outside the former town hall building.
NSHA President Richard Keene said Mencucci’s family contacted the organization soon after the last newsletter.
According to a release on the latest honoree by the organization, Mencucci came to the U.S. from Italy in 1932 at the age of 8. He was drafted into the Navy at age 18, while still in high school, and not yet a citizen.
Mencucci was part of the United States Naval Advanced Base Number 12 as a signalman. He participated in the Invasion of Normandy, landing on Utah Beach, having crossed the English Channel in a landing ship tank.
He received the WWII Victory Medal, the American Area Ribbon, the European-American-Middle Eastern Area Ribbon/1 Star, and a commendation for meritorious services above normal duty while serving under NOIC-Utah Area in the Invasion of Normandy.
In 1950, Mencucci married Mary Urrico, and the couple moved to North Smithfield in 1957. Those who knew him say he was known for stating that the three most important things in life are God, country and family. Mencucci died on December 19, 2014 at the age of 89.
The brief flag-raising ceremony took place on Sunday, and the flag will remain in place for the remainder of the month. The public was invited to attend the event.
Other families interested in participating are asked to email email@example.com or call (401) 651-6316.
Editor’s note: The above article was edited following Sunday’s event.