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Joseph Bissanti

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Joseph Bissanti Obituary
Joseph Elio Bissanti died on June 30, 2014. He was born January 23, 1921 in Manfredonia, Italy to the late Vincent and Catherine Bissanti of Franklin, MA. Four months old on arrival to the US, he became a US citizen with his father by derivative citizenship March 15, 1927. He attended Admiral Farragut Academy, Toms River, NJ beginning his senior high school year, graduating 1938 and continued his studies through 1939. He won a competitive principal appointment to the US Naval Academy from MA 14th Congressional District, entered in June of 1940 and was graduated with rank of Ensign, USN, June 9. 1943. His first assignment was three months observational training, accompanying Naval Aviators undergoing operational exercises. He then served as Assistant Gunnery Officer, USS Hailey (DD556) a unit of Destroyer Squadron 47, which as part of a small naval force of destroyers, destroyer escorts and escort carriers fought heroically against a powerful Japanese Central Force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers in the Battle Off Samar. On board the Hailey, 14 September 1943 to December 1945, he participated in major Pacific capture and occupation operations from Kwjulein to Leyte Landings. His vessel also supported Third and Fifth Fleet Operations and participated in the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima. In June 1946 he married Margaret McNaughton of Wanaque, NJ. After the USS Hailey his assignments included: XO, USS James C. Owens (DD776); First Lieutenant Staff, Cruiser Minelayer USS Terror (CM5); Commanding Officer, USS (LSM397) 1948 - 1949; assistant Professor of Naval Science, NROTC Unit, University of Pennsylvania, 1949; XO, USS Huse (DE145) 1951 - 1952. He was honorably discharged from the US Navy 20 April 1952 by reason of service-connected disability. His civilian work record includes: Gibbs and Cox, Naval Architects, NYC 1953 - 1956; Vitro Research Laboratory, West Orange, NJ, 1956 - 1964 where in 1958 he was staff assistant to Special Projects Office for the Polaris 5LBM Weapon System. During 1960 -1962 he was consultant to ONR on Artic Operations studies, receiving a personal letter of commendation from the Chief of Naval Research; Underwater Systems Laboratory, ACF Electronics Division, Paramus, NJ, 1964 - 1966; Raytheon Company Equipment System Division, Wayland, MA, participating in sea and land Military Defense Systems, 1966 to his retirement in 1983. Mr. Bissanti was an experienced pianist. He enjoyed working on his own classical compositions. In addition to his wife of 68 years (June 6, 1946), he is survived by his son Joseph Michael; four daughters: Ann Qutab, Catherine, Elizabeth Cellucci, Virginia Barbati; eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; three sisters: Rose Ryan, Barbara Graziani, Vincentina Odoardi; two brothers: Matthew and Edward. Family and friends gathered in Shawsheen Funeral Home in Bedford on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on July 3, 2014 in St. Michaels Church in Bedford; burial followed in Shawsheen Cemetery in Bedford. Donations in Mr. Bissantis memory can be made to St. Michaels Parish, 90 Concord Rd., Bedford, MA 01730.

Published in The Bedford Minutemen from July 4 to July 11, 2014
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