George Arthur Giannotti
Submitted by: Chris Mulholland
George Arthur Giannotti served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known 1918-1918.
In April 1917, the United States joined the “war to end all wars” and declared war against Germany. During the next few months, many Italian-Americans filled out draft registration cards, including George who filled his out on 5 June 1917. For his ‘present trade, occupation, or office’ he listed “musician” in “business for self” but for the question ‘Where employed?’ he wrote “[illegible] Lithograph”. For those who relied upon him for support he listed his “mother, father”. The Draft Board official noted on George’s registration that he was of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.
Just before the end of World War I, George received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army but the Armistice to end the “War to End All Wars” was signed before he was sent overseas.
His brother, Artillio, was not so lucky. He was drafted and sent overseas to Europe in 1918 where he was gassed during a German attack and returned home a disabled veteran with partially burned lungs. He turned to drinking to alleviate his chronic chest pain and slept many nights in the basement of the Old North Church, just across the street from his parents’ home.
His drinking eventually became so bad that his own son, another Peter, changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name, Gabarino, and refused to recognize his father, even crossing the street in at least one instance in order to avoid meeting him on the sidewalk. Some other members of the Giannotti family perceived this as an affront on the family name and refused to acknowledge the young Peter as a member of the family and event went out of their way to mistreat him when they could