CBI Theater, Eugene V. Rizzi

Pacific Paratrooper

While my father, Smitty , was training in North Carolina, fellow blogger Allen Rizzi’s father, Eugene Valentine Rizzi, entered the U.S. Army on December 21, 1942.

On route to China via India on an aircraft carrier, his company was strafed by Japanese aircraft. resulting in huge causalities. After making it over “the Hump,” Eugene was posted with the 396th Signal Company (AVN) under Captain Willard Simpkins as a high speed manual radio operator (Morse Code) in support of the Flying Tigers.

Before entering the army, Eugene Rizzi was a concert master (violinist) with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Vienna) an actor and radio announcer with Fox, Warner Brothers and RKO (Hollywood). As a musician he was noted to have had perfect pitch and therefore found radio operation using Morse Code fairly easy. In this capacity, he learned Chinese and also served as an enemy code breaker.

Rizzi eventually became station master…

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