SECOND LIEUTENANT JACOB C. ATTONE was born on June 2, 1920. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Attone of 2121 Berwick Street in Camden NJ. Jacob Attone was a 1939 graduate of Camden High School, where he was on the track team and took part in the school newspaper and yearbook publication. After high school he took a job with the RCA-Victor Corporation in Camden.
Jacob Attone's family hademigrated from Italy. The original family name was Altadonna, but it had been mangled at Ellis Island when his parents came to America Over the years various members of the family changed the name back to Altadonna. Jacob's brothers Anthony and Rosario, known as Russell, changed it when they went into the service. Jacob enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard on June 3, 1940 as Jacob Attone, and was called to active duty when the Guard was mobilized on September 16, 1940. Jacob Attone was planning on retaking the Altadonna name but sadly, his time ran out.
After qualifying for flight duty, Jacob Attone completed his pre-flight training at San Antonio TX in December of 1942, along with another Camden resident, Ernest Hartline. The Camden Courier-Post reports that he trained as a radar observer on a fighter plane. This indicates that he was training with a night fighter unit, a concept which had only become possible with the development of wartime radar. Jacob Attone graduated from the Boca Raton FL Army Air Field, after which he went overseas, flying his first mission as a radar observer on September 24, 1944. He was reported as missing in action on September 25, 1944.
The Department of War changed Jacob Attone's status to killed in action on April 11, 1945. Besides his parents, he left two brothers, PFC Rosario Altadonna, who had been serving in overseas since July of 1942, and Private Anthony Altadonna, who was then stationed in North Carolina, and three sisters, Angeline, Josephine, and Catherine. A Solemn High Mass was said for Jacob Attone as St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Federal Street, Camden NJ on Monday April 23, 1945.
Jacob Attone was brought home after the war, and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Delaware Township (present-day Cherry Hill) NJ on December 7, 1948. His block on Berwick Street was razed in the early 1950s to make way for the Peter J. McGuire Gardens public housing project.
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