Signalman 2nd Class SV-6 - USS Patterson DD 392. The USS Patterson DD No. 392 was named for Commodore Daniel Todd Patterson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. The DD 392 was the second Naval vessel so named with the first being the DD-36 (World War I) and the third being the present FF 1061, the USS Patterson.
The USS Patterson 392 was commissioned Sept. 22, 1937, at the Puget Sound navy yard. She was decommissioned Nov. 8, 1945, after service to her country was no longer needed.
The USS Patterson DD-392 in World War II was a veteran of 13 major engagements; a Bronze plaque commemorating these events are on display aboard the USS Patterson FF1061M.
Samuel Joseph Zanghi, U.S. Navy
Vessels/ Duty Stations - NTS Sampson, N.Y?, USS Patterson DD-392
Medals and Awards - Point System to be discharged, World War II Victory Medal , American Campaign, Asiatic Pacific 6 Stars, Philippine Liberation 2 Stars
Married: childhood sweetheart Concetta (Connie Nicosia) on Sept. 21, 1946, at St. Patrick's Church in Brocton, now St. Dominic's.
Children: Douglas, wife Mary Jo (Caccamise) of Fredonia; Cindy Cassidy, daughter, of Fredonia.
Grandchildren: Mallory Kay Zanghi and Brenden Samuel Rybij
On the July 27, 1924, Samuel Joseph Zanghi was born at home at 88 Central Ave., in Brocton. He was the son of Joseph and Mary (Nicosia) Zanghi. The family consisted of six boys: Anthony, Joseph, Angelo, John, Russell and Samuel and two girls: Frances Grabowski and Lucy Didio. The family had also lost a set of twins at birth.
When Samuel was old enough to attend school, he headed for the Brocton Elementary School where he attended classes from the first to eighth grade. After elementary, came high school at Brocton where he excelled at football and basketball. When he found time he participated in summer baseball.
Zanghi stated growing up in Brocton there really weren't a lot of places one could find to get into trouble. Mostly, everyone in town knew everyone. So as a child it was best just to be good.
When a few boys got together, Zanghi recalled playing in the fields near the Brocton fire hall (near Densmores) and other times with the gang at West Avenue and Pecor Street fields. He recalled finding pieces of wood for home plate and bases made out of old feed bags. Some boys had gloves and the bats were always broken, with screws in them and heavily taped to hold them together.
As a young boy work was hard to find. His father was a foreman on the New York Central Railroad. One of the perks was a job for Zanghi. His job was using a sledgehammer eight hours a day in the hot sun driving railroad spikes for the newly rebuilt tracks that were being built for the New York Central. His pay was 25 cents per hour and he was ever so thankful that he as a son could only work in the area that his dad covered.
Once the work in his dad's area was completed, he had the rest of the summers off. Working on the railroad was a hard job. He knew it wouldn't last long. While he was getting older he knew each day he was closer to being drafted into the Army. He had not enlisted in the Marine Corp or Navy and knew that a letter from Uncle Sam would mean his military job would be a foot soldier in the Army.
Zanghi did not want to spend his military time in a fox hole, so he enlisted in the Navy. At that time students were permitted to leave school at 18 years old to enlist in the military and still receive their diploma.
He made the decision to leave school and in May 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He also received his war service high school diploma in 1943.
On May 17, 1943, in accordance with the Selective Service Act of 1940, he became the property of the U.S. Navy. He voluntarily enlisted as an apprentice seaman class V-6. It would take around nine months of boot camp, leave and signalman school along with a brief stay in the U.S. Navy Mare Island Naval Hospital before he would board his first navy ship.
The furthest place away from Brocton he had seen before the Navy was Silver Creek. He explained that the Zanghi family had relatives in Silver Creek so when he was 16 he took the train from the Brocton Train Depot to Silver Creek. He also recalled the stop in Dunkirk. He boarded his first Naval war ship and sailed on it. He saw an ocean for the first time, the Pacific Ocean. He also remembers crossing the equator latitude 000 longitude 144 on Sept. 19, 1944.
This local sailor had logged in the following military campaigns in his military record book once he boarded the DD-392. While doing his duties as a signalman, second class he participated, lived and witnessed the following days in harm's way.
Actual records recorded in the ship's log of chronological records USS Patterson DD-392 read:
June 6 to 28 through August 1944, participated in the capture of Saipan and Tinian as a screening unit for the fast battleships and fast carrier force operated extensively with the assault forces and conducted numerous shore bombardment missions.
June 19, 1944, participated in the battle of the Philippine Sea as part of the fast battleship formation which underwent attacks by enemy carrier based planes.
Aug. 31 through Sept. 3, 1944, participated in air strikes against Iwo Jima and Chichi-Jima Islands as screening unit for a fast carrier task group.
Sept. 6 to 8, 1944, participated in air and surface bombardments of the Yap Islands in company with units of the fast carrier force.
Sept. 11 to 18, 1944, participated in the operations supporting the amphibious assaults on the Palau Islands.
Oct. 10 and 11, 1944, participated in air strikes against Okinawa Jima as a part of the screen of a fast carrier task force.
Oct. 11 to 15, 1944, participated in air strikes against Formosa as part of a screen of fast carrier task force underwent numerous daylight and dusk bombing and torpedo attacks by enemy based shore planes.
Oct. 25, 1944, participated in the battle of Leyte Gulf (Cape Engano phase) operating with a cruiser-destroyer striking force which resulted in the sinking of one Japanese aircraft carrier.
Jan. 3 to 17, 1945 participated in the operations in which provided direct air support in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon Island as a part of an escort carrier group in the South China Sea, under repeated attacks of several days duration by Japanese suicide air planes rescued numerous survivors from the escort carriers.
When Zanghi's military obligations were completed, he returned home and found employment with A.J. Wahl Inc. in Brocton. A.J. Wahl's is a company that made machinery for major pottery companies such as Buffalo, China, Syracuse. Pflaltzgraff and Lenox China to just name a few companies. Countries such as France and Venezuela also contracted A.J. Wahl Inc. to produce machinery for products internationally. In 1951, A.J. Wahl's named Samuel Zanghi its plant superintendent, a position he held until his retirement in 1989.
He has stayed active in the community and holds memberships in the Brocton Fire Department (lifelong, now exempt) St. Dominic's, formerly St. Patrick's, St. Patrick's Holy Name Society, American Legion, J.W. Dill Post 434. He is an avid Buffalo Bills fan who has held season tickets for the past 25 years. In the summer months, he watches all the New York Yankee baseball games.
Zanghi is a man who can build anything. He built his home on Park Street in Brocton and when he isn't helping a member of his family, he enjoys the time he has to spend with them.
Another great story that has not been told, Samuel Zanghi, 87 years young, still relives his days aboard the USS Patterson No. 392, as if it were yesterday. Before the war his farthest trip from home was to Silver Creek and he had never seen a ship or even an ocean.
This sailor from Brocton went on to participate in some of the Navy's largest sea battles that helped win the war including Saipian, Tinian, Philippines, Iwo Jima, Formosa and Leyte Gulf and numerous kamikaze attacks.
All this history and all those memories. He has no regrets, and if called again to serve I'm sure he would report. What an honor to hear these stories from a person who actually lived them! A person who witnessed the battle of Leyte Gulf, a battle where history records ships firing at each other without seeing them and standing your duty station knowing a 16-inch projectile is on its way from the enemy.
A man who easily could have wrote a book on his service time just came back, put the war behind him and went on. For that Samuel Zanghi is our Hero of the Week.