Far Rockaway GI Honored At West Point
At the ceremony at the West Point Club at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, the medals and awards that Crovello won during his service in World War II were presented to his sister Mary (Crovello) Phelan. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Koast presented the awards.
Ms. Phelan, age 90, now lives in Inwood.
Crovello, whose parents emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s, was born in Far Rockaway in 1915. One of nine children, his brother Joseph also served in World War II. He graduated from PS 39 in Rockaway and Far Rockaway High School.
Crovello enlisted in the Army in January, 1941, achieving the rank of First Sergent. During his slightly more than three and one-half years of service, he was awarded four Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, a Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one silver service star and one bronze service star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Inf antryman Badge First Award (for participation in more than 100 consecutive days of combat), and the Belgian Fourragere. Because he died in combat, his sister received a Gold Star Lapel Button Pin as well as his medals and awards.
Crovello participated in six military campaigns, which took him to the fighting in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium and Germany.
The equivalent of an Army Ranger in today’s military, he trained as a commando in England before D-Day. Among the first to land on the beaches in Normandy, he scaled the cliffs at Utah Beach to disable Germany artillery in preparation for the ensuing invasion.
Crovello was killed in action in the Battle of Aachen in Germany on October 17, 1944.
He was 29 years old. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Evelyn Barnicoat from England.
Crovello is buried at the Henri- Chapelle United States Military Cemetery in Belgium.
His proud family was greatly honored to have his service and valor gratefully acknowledged by the country which he gave his life defending.