Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Allied Landings in Italy
On Wednesday, January 24, 2014, at 11 a.m. (local time), Sicily-Rome American Cemetery will host a ceremony to commemorate Operation Shingle, codename for the Allied landings at Anzio and Nettuno. The ceremony will honor those service members who fought and died in the vicinity during World War II.
During the ceremony, students from the Istituto Comprensivo Nettuno III will share the stories of 2nd Lt. Ellen Ainsworth and Pvt. Toshio Sasano, two of the service members buried and memorialized at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
For any questions regarding the ceremony, please feel free to contact our cemetery staff.
Wisconsin native Ellen Ainsworth joined the service in 1942.
By February 1944, she was stationed in the hospital ward set up in an Italian army shooting range in Nettuno.
Wounded after an enemy artillery bombardment had targeted the hospital, she disregarded her own injuries, and continued to tend to patients, preventing panic. A U.S. Army report noted that "her selfless devotion to duty were an inspiration to all who witnessed her actions."
2nd lieutenant Ellen Ainsworth died four days later, on Feb. 16, 1944, at the age of 24. She is buried here at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, in plot C, row 11, grave 22.
In the United States a few buildings are dedicated to her honor; among them, a conference room in the Pentagon is named after her.
Honolulu native Toshio Sasano joined the service in 1941.
He was assigned to the 100th Infantry Battalion, exclusively composed of soldiers of Japanese ancestry, who were also known as Nisei.
Their spirit and courage were officially recognized by U.S. General Mark W. Clark, Commander of the Fifth Army, and later by President Barack Obama.
Pvt. Toshio Sasano was killed in action on January 25, 1944, near Cassino, Italy. His body was never recovered, and he is honored by name on the Wall of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
His service was recognized by with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. In 2010, the Congressional Gold Medal was also awarded collectively to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.