Private Emil F Ragucci, E/2/2
Serial # 489364
Killed in action November 23 1943 at Tarawa.
"I don't know whether any others veered off with us or not. I do know that we were the only one to get over the sea wall. Can't tell you how, but we did. A Jap threw a grenade in with us and it went in the engine room and knocked the motor out and we fell into the sixteen inch shell hole. There was a pill box just above the hole with a back entrance to it just above the amtrac and the shell hole. Japs were between us and the beach also all around us. They didn't know we were in the shell hole and it was a turkey shoot. Yes, we were isolated for the three days. Never saw any other Marines anywhere near us. Unfortunately, Ragucci got out the morning of the second day but came back to get me. As we started up the side of the hole on the beach side, he was shot and fell back in my arms. All I could do was lay him down where he was."
-Corpsman Lonnie Yancey
There were a total of 9 Ragucci brothers of which five out of the 9 were in the service during WWII. During that time two brothers were killed. Emil in the Marine Corps at Tarawa, and Nicholas in January, 1944 at Monte Casino, Italy. Emil was 18 or 19 when he was killed at Tarawa. Nicholas had not gotten the news of his brother's death by the time he was killed two months after Tarawa. The other 4 brothers served in the military after WWII. There was an article in The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin during WWII about the Five Ragucci Brothers, all serving at the same time.
1. Emil at Paris Island in uniform.
2. Formal Portrait taken at that time in uniform.
3. Emil's Cross at Tarawa.
4. Plaque and Other crosses erected after the battle.
Photograph 3 & 4 were taken in early 1944 at Tarawa. After the battle Anthony Ragucci, knew a Captain who was going to Tarawa and asked him to take a picture of Emil's cross so he could send the pictures home to his Mother. The Captain did and he also took a picture of the Marker erected shortly after the Battle that reads, "Here Lie Officers and Men of The Second United States Marine Division."
copyright 2007 T.O.T.W.
Created 11 August 2007 - Updated 30 September 2007