Louis A. Capozzoli 1947 through 1960 — including the Korean War Years

After all the Staff NCO’s in the Enlisted Detail Section at Marine Headquarters were replaced by civilian personnel, Lou was transferred on May 6, 1947. He was given a choice of duty, and since the Recruiting Service needed several administrative NCOs, he chose Atlanta, Georgia. When he left HQMC, Lou took a 21 day leave, with Jane and Barbara, and spent the time in New York; first in Flushing, then in Marlboro. Lou left for Atlanta in late May, but Jane and Barbara remained in Marlboro until late July, 1947. The family spent many hours enjoying their new family and special time together as new parents.

Baby Barbara

Baby Barbara

Leaving Jane and Barbara in Marlboro, Lou drove to Atlanta, Georgia. On May 27, 1947, he reported to Headquarters, Southeastern Recruiting Division and was assigned to the Public Information Section. This was Lou’s introduction to the PIO field in which he was to serve the next 15 years, until his retirement in 1961.  In late July, 1947, Lou obtained family quarters in a government housing project in Marietta, 20 miles north of Atlanta.  At the end of July, 1947, Jane and Barbara took a train from New York and joined Lou.

Lou and Barbara on Locker Box 1947

Photos in Lou’s album depict his busy life during this time. Lou participated in many public relations functions for the Marine Corps. He marched in the lead of the Georgia State Fair down the main street in Atlanta as Marine color guard. He participated at Atlanta’s Biltmore Hotel event with other Marine Recruiter in July, 1947. He found time to play with Barbara and enjoyed  fatherhood very much. He went on many sightseeing trips with Jane and Barbara learning about the Civil War battle grounds and other Georgian historical events. On November 10, 1947, he and Jane attended the U.S. Marine Corps’ 172nd Birthday Ball in Atlanta.

On February 21, 1948, Lou was transferred from Atlanta, Georgia, and ordered back to Washington, D.C. and Headquarters Marine Corps, this time to fill a vacancy in the Division of Information’s Press Section. Lou took a two week leave and again drove Jane and

Barbara to New York to stay until he found a place to live. He reported to HQMC for duty on March 8, 1948. Lou obtained a two room apartment in Northeast Washington, just four blocks from the Capital Building, then Jane and Barbara joined him in late April, 1948.  While in Washington, the family visited several sites, such as, the Washington memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the White House, the Capital Building, and Arlington Cemetery.  Washington is where they bought their fourth automobile, a 1947 yellow Ford convertible, which Lou bought on his birthday.

Jane in 1947 Yellow Ford Convertible

Jane in 1947 Yellow Ford Convertible

The car which was 18 months old and cost $2,100. They embellished it with new seat covers. Lou’s parents, John and Maryann, came to visit the family in Washington D.C., in June 1948. During this time, Lou was stationed with William R. Neuburger, Jr.  Bill, his wife Bubbles, and two daughters, Joyce and Kathy, enjoyed their time together socially, as well.

On April 17, 1949, the family made a trip to Marlboro, New York, to spend Easter Sunday with Jane’s family.  Time was enjoyed with Jane’s aunt Tiny (McCarthy), and her brother’s,  Dick and Mike.  Lou’s photo album shows Barbara was all dressed up in her Easter outfit and hat ready to go to Mass.  Lou was a wonderful historian and took many photograph’s to preserve the memories.  On June 12, 1949, Jane received her Bachelor’s degree in Education at N.Y. State University, New Paltz. In attendance were her brothers, Mike and Dick, with Lou proudly taking photographs.

Jane's Graduation New Paltz College of Teaching

Lou with Jane at her graduation ceremony - B.A. in Education N.Y. State University, New Paltz

On April 25, 1950, Lou received orders transferring him from HQMC to the U.S. Navel Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois, to attend the 12 week Naval Journalism course.  His orders stated that he was to report to Western Recruiting Division Headquarters, San Francisco, upon completion of the course.  Lou took Jane home to Marlboro, where she and Barbara remained during the time Lou was at school. On May 15, 1950, Lou left Marlboro and drove to Chanute Field, Illinois, where he spent a day and night with his cousin, Marty Nowak  (a master sergeant in the USAF). He then proceeded to Great Lakes, reporting on May 18. On August 10, 1950 Jane and Barbara took a train to Chicago. Lou met them and drove them to a hotel in Waukegan, Illinois.  The next day, August 11, Jane and Barbara attended Lou’s graduation on the base and later his class party in Waukegan. Lou graduated with a 92.26% grade, 4th in the class of 29, and second highest of the 10 Marines in his class.

On August 12, 1950, Jane, Lou, and Barbara, left Waukegan, Illinois, and drove south. They hit Route 66, and headed west. The family arrived at Helen’s and John’s (Lou’s brother) home in Santa Ana, California, on August 16th.   While there, sightseeing in Los Angeles and Orange County, was “the order of the day.” On August 19, they left for San Francisco,  the location of Lou’s new duty station. They checked into the Marine’s Memorial Club the following day. Lou reported for duty with Headquarters, Western Recruiting Division on August 21st, and was assigned duties as Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, Public Information Section.  After a few days of apartment hunting they rented quarters in a government housing project in Richmond, just north of Berkeley on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay.  In December, 1950, when the Public Information billet in the Los Angeles District office became available, Lou requested a transfer and was assigned to fill the vacancy. He was transferred to Los Angeles on December 26, 1950.  Jane, Lou, and Barbara, left San Francisco the day after Christmas in 1950. The following day they arrived in Santa Ana where they lived in John and Helen’s home until late January, 1951.  Lou reported to the Los Angeles District Recruiting Office on January 4, 1951, and was assigned duties as Public Information NCO.  After a thorough, but futile, search for housing in Los Angeles, Jane and Lou bought their first home in Whittier.  It was purchased in early January 1951 under the G.I. Bill with no down payment. Monthly payments were $50.08. Located at 9244 Valley View Avenue, it had two bedrooms, living room, one bath, kitchen, and single car garage.

Lou, Barbara, and Linda 1951

Lou, Barbara, and Linda 1951

Notable dates during this tour of duty were:  March 24, 1951 Lou was promoted to technical sergeant; May 2, 1951, Linda was born at the home in Whittier; September 1951, Barbara began kindergarten at Valley View School in Whittier; January 24, 1952, Lou re-enlisted for 6 years; March 28, 1952, Lou was promoted to master sergeant.

Linda was one month old before her first photos were taken on June 2, 1951.  They were taken at the home in Whittier following her baptism at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church. Glenice Obermeire, a neighbor, was Linda’s Godmother. Her Godfather was Lou’s brother, Eddy. The first photo of the family of four was also taken that day.

Linda was born on May 2, 1951, at home in Whittier, two weeks ahead of schedule. Eddy had just returned from Korea on a 30 day leave and was spending several days of his leave with the family before going to Camp Pendleton.

Lou holding baby, Linda after Baptism with Jane and Barbara Whittier June 2, 1951

During this tour, Lou was assigned many Marine Corps public relations duties which included public events, press releases, photo shoots, and parades. He posed in uniform with Lauren Bacall in a Hollywood Studio where she, and Humphrey Bogart, taped a new radio series, “Bold Venture” in February, 1951. He also posed with band leader, Jerry Gray, who read a citation he received from Marine Commandant for making radio shows for the Marine Corps.  On February 15, 1951, Lou met with actor Robert Ryan for a photo shoot at his North Hollywood home.

Lou and Gloria DeHaven

Lou and Gloria DeHaven 1951

Lou and movie star, Gloria DeHaven posed together in publicity shots  “On How to Display the Flag”, at 20th Century Fox studios in West L.A., July 1951. In December 1951, Lou was photographed with actress Joan Crawford for publicity pictures on the Warner Brothers  movie lot. Clippings appeared in the L.A. Examiner promoting “Toys for Tots” and Ms. Crawford’s new movie she was making with actor,  Dennis Morgan.

Lou with Lauren Bacall

In early November, 1952, Lou received orders to Korea. He was detached from the Los Angeles Recruiting Office on November 30, 1952.  On December 30, 1952, after a 30 day leave, he reported to the 29th Replacement Draft at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station for transportation oversees and further assignment with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea.  Jane, Barbara, and Linda continued to live in their home in Whittier while Lou was in the Far East.

On January 18, 1953, Lou sailed from San Francisco aboard the USNI Daniel I. Sultan, and arrived in Yokahama, Japan (via Okinawa) on February 11th. Two days later, on February 14th, Lou flew from Itami, Japan, to Pohang, Korea. He was assigned as NCO-in-Charge of the 1st Marine Air Wing’s PIO Section. Refer to Louis Capozzoli’s Artwork page of this site for more on Lou’s time served in Korea. After his tour of duty, Lou left Korea on February 19, 1954. He spent three weeks at Itami USAF Base in Japan, then on March 5, flew to the Naval Air Station at Atsugi.  After a night at the Yokusaka Navy Base, he flew from  Atsugi to Guam, passing over Iwo Jima. The following day he flew to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, and two days later flew on to Johnston Island and to the NAS at Barber’s Point in Hawaii. Lou completed his final leg of his trip to the states on March 8 when he flew from Hawaii to the Naval Air Station at Moffett Field near San Francisco, California. He was bussed to the Treasure Island Naval Station, then on March 10, flew to Burbank Airport where he was met by TSgt. Les Wadleigh, an old recruiting buddy and Whittier neighbor.  Lou had orders to report to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego following a 30 day leave.  Upon return home to Whittier, friends and family were waiting to give him a big “welcome home”.

During Lou’s 30 day leave, the family drove to New York to visit family. Lou’s photo album contains several pictures of the visit to his parent’s home in Flushing, N.Y.  A few rare photos include four generations. Please view the photos on this website: Luigi Capozzoli 1876. The caption under one photo reads, “Barbara poses with her grandfather, and her great-grandfather in Flushing, N.Y., on March 28, 1954. Great-Grandfather Louis Capozzoli, 78, was born in 1876 in Italy. Grandfather John Capozzoli, 56, was born in 1898, also in Italy. Lou, Barbara’s dad, 30, was born in Flushing in 1924. Barb, 8, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1946. Another photo includes Linda with her great-grandfather, grandfather, and father. She was almost age 3.  This trip also included a visit to Jane’s family in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where her brother, Dick and his family lived and her brother, Mike and his family, in New York. This family trip across the country included sightseeing in South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, and other states.

On April 16, 1954, four days after returning to Whittier from New York, Lou reported to San Diego for duty. While his family continued to live in Whittier, Lou drove home, 110 miles each way, on weekends.  Many photos in his albums show his girls growing up and his special time with them, and Jane, on the weekends.  They include Barbara’s First Holy Communion at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, May 17, 1954. Barbara was 7. There are many photos of Linda playing in the yard. Barbara is photographed with her new bicycle she received for 8th birthday. Lou and Jane decided to sell their home and put up the “For Sale” sign.  It was rented out in July and August, and sold in September 1954. It was sold  for $9,750, a profit of $2,064. Memorable neighbors, and close friends at the time, were Glenice and Bud Obermeire, and Chuck  and Marion Painter.

As noted earlier, Lou served as NCO-in-Charge of the Public Information Office and also as editor of “The Chevron”, the base newspaper. Jane, Barbara, and Linda moved from Whittier to San Diego on July 20, 1954. The family rented a house at 3987 Dallas Ave., in Clairmont, San Diego, from August 1954 through March 1955. The rent was $85 a month. On October 7, 1954, Lou traded in the 1950 convertible Studebaker and bought a new 1954 V-8 Studebaker commander. The 5 passenger coupe was red with a black top and gray interior. This was their 6th car.

Lou with Ray Rebsamen - Yuma, AZ 1955

Lou with Ray Rebsamen - Yuma AZ 1955

On March 25, 1955, Lou was transferred from the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot to recruiting duty in Milwaukee. Three days later the movers packed the household effects, and on the following day, “they loaded and hauled the gear away”. At the same time, Lou, Jane, and the girls, began the drive east. Once again the family stopped to sightsee in Yuma, Arizona. Lou met up with his boyhood friend, Ray Rebsamen, in Yuma, March 30, 1955. Ray is also Barbara’s godfather.  Ray was stationed in Yuma with the border patrol. The family traveled on sightseeing through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Dodge City, Kansas, and Nebraska. One of the first things Lou did upon arrival to Milwaukee was to wash the car. He reported to the Marine Recruiting office on April 6, 1955 and  assigned duties as Public Affairs NCO for the district which included Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

One of Lou’s first assignments was to design and decorate a float for the Annual Wisconsin Music Festival in south Milwaukee, July 23, 1955. He also marched with the color guard in F.O. Eagles parade in Milwaukee on July 30, 1955. During this time, his parents, John and Maryann, came to visit the family in their new home in Milwaukee. His aunt Liz, Maryann’s sister, also visited that trip.

Lou’s duty was public relations for the Marine Corps. He and his buddy, SSgt. Ralph Austin, manned the recruiting booth and the exhibit at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis in late August, 1955. Lou arranged for the space for the Marine Corps’ traveling exhibit. In January, 1956, Lou made arrangements with the Cream City Outdoor Advertising Co. to use 20 – 24 sheet posters each month all around Milwaukee without charge. He also arranged to have recruiting ads painted free of charge on both sides of two Milwaukee city buses.

Lou's Idea: Recruiting on Milwaukee Public Bus Line

These ads normally cost $600 per year. Lou collected $240 to pay for the sign painters. Another of Lou’s promotions was having several door panel signs painted for USMC vehicles to advertise special recruiting campaigns.  As part of the publicity campaign to promote “Special Milwaukee Platoon”, Lou arranged for use of the City Hall electric sign on January 5, 21 and 22, 1956. A-sign inserts were painted by Lou and used.

Lou playing with Barbara and Linda in snow. Hales Corners 1956

Jane soon taught 3rd grade from January 1956 through April 1958 at Valley View School in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Barbara completed 3rd, 4th, 5th grade and part of 6th grade at Blessed Sacrament School in Milwaukee. Linda finished most of the first grade at Blessed Sacrament after attending kindergarten at Manitoba Elementary School.

During Lou’s leave in April, 1956, the family made a trip to New York to visit both sides of the family. Easter Sunday, April 1, 1956, was enjoyed with Lou’s mother and father in Flushing, New York. Other family members came to visit that day; Helen and John Capozzoli with baby, Gary (Lou’s older brother,wife, and son), Marty Nowak, Lou’s uncle (Maryann’s brother), and Lou’s cousin Bobby and husband, Eddy Zelesny. By April 4, 1956, the family traveled to visit Jane’s side of the family in Marlboro, New York. Time was enjoyed with Jane’s brother, Michael and family. Barbara and Linda played with their cousin, Julie Flannery. Prior to returning home more sightseeing took place at the S.S. United States at New York pier and the Iwo Jima statue, in Washington.

Lou's Creation: Window Display Milwaukee Municiple Airport 1956

Back at work in July 1956, Lou designed, constructed and erected a window display at the Milwaukee Municipal Airport. The window encased a gold American Eagle with its wings spread wide, the American Flag, and two USMC emblems. An estimated 3 million passengers and others viewed the display annually. Lou obtained the space for free which usually rented for $600 per year. Lou was proud of his trophy winning float which won second place in the Wisconsin State Music Festival Paraded on July 28, 1956. Lou designed and obtained the mannequins, uniforms, and other materials for the float himself. The uniforms worn by the mannequins were from the 1776, 1812, and 1848 periods.

Barbara and Linda enjoyed playing in the snow in the winter. Christmas 1956 was a close time for the family. Lou received his Kaye guitar for his present.

Lou with Christmas Guitar 1956

After Lou’s death, his daughter Barbara maintains possession of it. Christmas tradition always included Jane baking a turkey and Lou carving it. The dinner was eaten on the maple dining set which Linda inherited after Lou’s passing.

Christmas Family Dinner 1956 Milwaukee, Wisconsin

To this day, the family comes for Christmas dinner at Linda’s house. For tradition sake, the family eats at the same dining room table.

The family’s seventh car was purchased on November 19, 1956. It was a 1957, yellow and white, 4 door, Ford station wagon. On June 21, 1957, the family began a 30 day vacation and headed for California.  The Badlands in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and the majestic Grand Teton Mountain range in Wyoming, were a few of the sites visited on this trip. At Yellowstone National Park in  Wyoming bears were all around and “Old Faithful” geyser  was observed shooting warm water hundreds of feet in the air every 67 minutes. Jane posed for a photo at the Continental Divide. and a visit was made to the Utah State Capitol Building and Mormon Temple. Lou’s mother and father, John and Maryann, were living in Santa Ana, California at this time. The family reached this destination July 2, 1957. Barbara celebrated her 11th birthday while at her grandparents home. On July 4, 1957, the family made a car trip to see old friends and neighbors living in Whittier. The reunion included Betty and Vernon Kelley, David and Carol Painter, Glenice, Rita Jane, and Curtis Obermeire, and Lou’s brother, Edward (Eddy).

Barbara and Linda with 1957 Ford Wagon Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Other adventures included a trip to Tijuana, Mexico, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Disneyland. Lou filmed the entire vacation, from beginning to end with his  35 mm. movie camera. He creatively filmed the family movies which Barbara keeps safe at her home.

On November 5, 1957, Lou was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Great Lakes, Illinois, to await further assignment by Marine Headquarters. On November 27, 1957, he received orders to the Marine Corps Air Facility, Santa Ana, California. Leaving Jane, Barbara, and Linda in Milwaukee, Lou flew to the West Coast, and took up residence with his parents in Santa Ana. He reported to the Air Facility on December 20, 1957, and assigned as Public Affairs NCO and editor of “The Blade”, the station newspaper.

Lou purchased a home at 2317 W. St. Gertrude Place, Santa Ana, California, late April, 1958. Jane and the girls were still in Milwaukee. In late March 1958, Lou took leave and flew to Milwaukee. After moving the household effects, Jane and the girls flew to California on April 8, 1958. At the same time, Lou started west, driving the station wagon.

Living at Lou's Parents Home in Santa Ana, Ca. 1958

The family resided at Lou’s parents home until the furniture arrived. In April 1958, the family moved into the new home. Jane, Lou, Barbara and Linda were together again. During this difficult time period, Jane was receiving treatment for cancer.  The family remained in this home until February, 1963, when they purchased their next home in Tustin, California.

On October 6, 1958, Lou transferred to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and became editor of the “Flight Jacket”, the station newspaper. Lou was presented with many certificates, honors, and awards during his career. Soon after being assigned as editor, Lou was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington by B.W. Freeborne, El Toro’s Red Cross Director. Lou was commended, as editor of the “Flight Jacket”, for publishing favorable photos and stories about the Red Cross on a regular basis.  On July 28, 1960, after serving two years as editor of the “Flight Jacket”, Lou (upon request) became beat correspondent at the Santa Ana Air Facility. There he covered, through stories and photos, the activities of six helicopter squadrons and the squadron’s personnel.

Published on November 16, 2009 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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