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Farmingdale Resident Shares D-Day Memories with High School Students

On Thursday, June 6, 2019—the 75th Anniversary of D-Day—Farmingdale resident, 1943 graduate of FHS, and WWII Veteran Salvatore Citrano shared his incredible WWII experiences with the faculty and students of Farmingdale High School. He brought along wonderful artifacts, such as pages from his Farmingdale High School yearbook, war time pictures and videos, his dog tags, his WWII medals, and even his first-grade report card!  

Mr. Citrano began his presentation by recalling the night he would remember forever—December 7, 1941. He was just a sixteen-year-old junior at Farmingdale High School, having dinner with his family when the announcement came over the radio that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. With permission from his father, Mr. Citrano immediately enlisted in the Navy. He was given two months of boot camp training, followed by five months of radio communication school where he learned how to read Morse Code. He was assigned to an amphibious vessel, the Landing Ship Tank (LST) 674—designed to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and supplies to foreign shores. The ship was sent to England and made three trips to France (Utah and Omaha Beaches) before being assigned to the Pacific for the Okinawa Invasion.

Mr. Citrano logged in over 33,000 miles on LST 674, ending his career as Petty Officer First Class. After the war, he continued working with electronics and became a technical writer for Republic Aviation. Mr. Citrano was awarded the Navy Occupation Service Medal (Asia), American Campaign Medal, European African Medal, Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Star, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and were delighted to learn that Mr. Citrano knew the namesake of the district’s middle school. Mr. Weldon E. Howitt was his high school principal and his wife Sara Howitt was Mr. Citrano’s first-grade teacher!

Mr. Citrano is the uncle of FHS French teacher Jill Nimphius. His presentation originated in her classroom five years ago when she invited him to partake in her French history unit. The lecture was expanded to give more students the opportunity to hear Mr. Citrano’s first-hand account of D-Day history—coinciding with the anniversary.

If you are a Farmingdale resident with a personal story to tell, that is reflective of a certain time in history, or related to specific event, please email Samantha Black at sblack@farmingdaleschools.org to learn how to share your story.

To see the slideshow of his presentation—which includes some amazing Farmingdale memorabilia—click here