World War Hero Honored by Maloney and State House Members
HARRISBURG – U.S. Army veteran Cpl. Dominic Martorana was honored this week on the House floor for his service during World War II, state Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) said today.

The amazing story of Martorana’s experiences as a combat soldier behind enemy lines came to light when his family recently sought assistance from Maloney and Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA) in being transferred to the Veterans Administration hospital in Lebanon.

“Meeting Dominic and learning about all his experiences was incredible; there are just no other words to describe it,” Maloney said. “This is a man who stood only about five and a half feet tall, and at age 17 enlisted and ended up in the 5th Army, 9th Division. He was issued a BAR, a squad automatic weapon that weighed 40 pounds – almost half his own weight! – and sent on reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines.”

Martorana was injured by a German hand grenade during a firefight and was captured and sent to Stalag II B, outside of Hanover, Germany.

He often offered to work as a trustee so he wouldn’t have to spend his days in the prison camp, usually helping a local farmer plant or harvest crops with a horse-drawn farm implement. They were so deep in Germany, escape wasn’t an option. But, when no one was looking, Martorana would sometimes do something to make the equipment break, and then the day would be wasted as the farmer had to figure out what was wrong and fix it while they sat around waiting.

During his stay in the camp, Martorana witnessed Russian soldiers being weeded out from the rest of the prisoners for summary execution for all to see. Then, one day during February 1945, the sky above the prison camp was darkened by hundreds of Allied bombers and the next day the prisoners woke up and all the guards were gone.

“Men like Dominic are indeed our country’s Greatest Generation, and we should thank them for their service whenever we meet them,” Maloney said. “I was honored to have that opportunity, and to present him with a House citation thanking him for his service on behalf of the Commonwealth.”

Representative David Maloney
130th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner