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Armando “Chick” Galella (1921–2021), Pearl Harbor survivor

by Linnea Crowther

Armando “Chick” Galella was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and later worked to honor the military personnel who died there.

Pearl Harbor

Galella was 19 years old when he joined the Army in 1940. He later told the story of the day when he enlisted, when he initially weighed two pounds under the Army’s weight requirement. He stepped away, ate two bananas and drank some water, and came back to meet the minimum weight. Stationed at Pearl Harbor, he remembered having just finished breakfast when he heard the attack begin. Though Galella survived – living out of a volcanic crater for two weeks after the bombardment – his best friend from home, John Horan, didn’t. In later years, Galella worked to have a park alongside the Hudson River named in honor of Horan.

Galella served five years in the Army in the Pacific Theater, including fighting in the Battle of Okinawa. He was honored with a Bronze Star for his service and was a battalion sergeant major at the time of his discharge. In later years, Galella served as a village trustee and fire commissioner in his hometown. In 2013, he was instrumental in the restoration of a local group of memorials to veterans of World War I.


Notable quote

“I’m no hero. All of our heroes have crosses.” —from a 2010 interview for Patch

Tributes to Armando “Chick” Galella

Full obituary: lohud.com

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