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Private First Class Alfred Cristina, who recalled that the war changed his view of life forever, returned to Fort Dix on December 19, 1945 and was separated from the service there on December 23.He was awarded the American Service Medal, European-African-Middle-Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal for his service.
If you didn't manage to get your hands on this number in time then might we suggest you check out our pick of styles below?Beating off German attacks in the depths of winter, the division resumed the offensive in March, and Cristina recalled that his unit moved fast after crossing the Rhine River and clearing and securing the Ruhr Pocket, which was accomplished by April 13.With the end of the war, the division was assigned to occupation duty in Dortmund, Sudetenland and Bavaria, until returning to the United States in December, 1945, when it was again inactivated.After basic and advanced training as an artilleryman, Cristina was assigned to Battery A of the 310th Field Artillery Battalion, which was attached to the 79th Infantry Division.The 79th was nicknamed the “Cross of Lorraine” Division, following extensive combat in the province of Lorraine, France, during World War I and bore the cross as its divisional insignia. Cristina was born on Manhattan’s East Side in 1921 and spent his formative years living in a “cold water flat” in the hurly burly cosmopolitan cauldron of Manhattan’s Lower East Side during the “Roaring ‘20s” and Great Depression. Cristina recalled taking wood from a wagon to bring home to burn in the apartment coal stove to provide heat in the winter.
Far more than a hotel at the time, the Plaza provided a rare window into the lives of the privileged, far beyond the struggles most Americans endured during the depression years preceding World War II.
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Cristina eventually worked his way up to becoming a waiter.
Like most Americans, Cristina was aware of the growing conflagration in Europe.
Eventually he would be shipped overseas to fight as an artilleryman with Battery A, 310th Field Artillery, with the military occupational specialty of “cannoneer.” From The Plaza to basic training and eventually the front lines, Cristina’s world transitioned from a lavish spectacle of luxury to scenes of horror he could never have imagined.