It seems I made a mistake in my last post about Vito Mauro — which is really the beauty of doing this blog. I’m learning more about my own family in the process of blogging Babe’s letters.
In the course of finding the mistake, I have also learned a little more about Babe’s life almost immediately after he graduated from high school in June 1942.
As I mentioned in the earlier post about The Bullard Company, my grandfather Frank Mauro received a certificate of condolence from The Bullard Company. It commemorated the death of a member of the Bullard family, Vito Mauro. I couldn’t figure out who Vito was, and I assumed it was one of my great-grandfathers.
But it turns out the only “Vito” in my family tree is Vito Martinelli, my maternal grandmother’s father. Or, put another way, Babe’s grandfather on his mother’s side.
Apparently, Babe worked for The Bullard Company right after he graduated from high school, and he must have called himself “Vito Mauro.” The Fairfield (County, Conn.) Museum and History Center answered my weekend email asking for information about “Vito Mauro” and The Bullard Company.
This is from Elizabeth Rose, library director for the Fairfield Museum:
The Bullard records that we have do not include a listing of individual employees for those years, but I did find Vito Mauro mentioned in a company newsletter, “Bullard Events,” dated September 13, 1945. Under the headline, “2 Bullard Men Killed; Two More Missing,” it reads,
“Pvt. Vito Mauro, 20, formerly of Scheduling, was killed in action in North Italy on May 4, according to his father, Frank J. Mauro, of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., who in a letter said, ‘Please accept my thanks. I deeply appreciate everything the Bullard Co. has done for my late son.’ Pvt. Mauro came to the Bullard Co., Oct. 29, 1942 and left for the service Feb. 18, 1943.”
This helps put some of the pieces together. Now I know what Babe did for about five months after high school and before entering the army. What I don’t know is this: Since when (and why) did he call himself Vito?