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MG Theodore Antonelli

Major General Theodore Antonelli was born January 6, 1920 in New Haven, Connecticut. He was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the University of Connecticut, ROTC program, Class of 1941.  He would find himself in combat in less than two years landing near Oran, Algeria on November 8, 1942 with the 1st Infantry Division.   

Ted was a platoon leader and company commander in the 1st Infantry Division.  He a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received in the North African Campaign. When he recovered, he served in Italy and took part In the Salerno and Anzio landings. He was twice awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action during the North African  Campaign.

He and the men of the Big Red One were chronicled in war correspondent, Ernie Pyle's "Here is Your War".  Ernie was traveling with the 1st while they were in Tunisia.  Antonelli’s unit was trying to take back a German-held hill.  The company had been lying hidden in a wheat field during the day, trying to avoid getting shot by the Germans. At dark, the company slowly inched around to the left end of the hill, planning to take the Germans by surprise from behind. When a German shell shattered his commander’s leg, Antonelli, 23, suddenly found himself commander of the company. He ordered the men to fix their bayonets and to yell and scream as they made the attack.

“Lieutenant Antonelli, instead of staying behind his company, pulled out his .45 and led the company up the hill,” Pyle wrote. “Usually a company commander doesn’t do that, but at the time it was the thing to do. Antonelli paid for his bravery. A hand-thrown German grenade scattered fragments over his chest and he fell.”   He was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds and the Silver Star for gallantry.

In the postwar years, General Antonelli received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University and graduated from the Command and General Staff College, the Army War College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Army Transportation School. His later career was in the Army Transportation Corps.  He served at bases in the US, Korea, and Germany. In 1953, he participated in scientific research activities on the Greenland Ice Cap, including leading a reconnaissance party there.

He also was a veteran of the war in Vietnam.  

His career included several assignments in Washington D.C., including director of distribution and transportation with the Army Materiel Command. He was commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces when he retired in 1978.

His medals include two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Service Medals, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, three Army Commendation Medals and a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

He died November 19, 1993.

Artifacts:  The uniform in the collection of the Sons of Liberty Museum, is when he was a Brigadier General.   He was promoted to Major General in 1974.   Various ranks held, insignia.

First person accounts of his and other members of the 1st Infantry Division in World War II can be found in "No Mission Too Difficult! - Old Buddies of the 1st Division Tell All About World War II" by Blythe Foote Finke, Copyright 1995.   Not surprisingly the motto of the 1st Infantry Division is " No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First."

Ted Antonelli, embodied this motto.  He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

#Leadership #Duty #LifelongLearning


 MG Theodore Antonelli  MG Theodore Antonelli  MG Theodore Antonelli  MG Theodore Antonelli


Silver Star

Awarded for Actions During World War II to 1st Lieutenant Theodore Antonelli.

GENERAL ORDERS:  Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 25 (1943)


Silver Star

Awarded for Actions During World War II to 1st Lieutenant Theodore Antonelli.

GENERAL ORDERS: Headquarters, 1st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 35 (1943)
US Army


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