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Young singer became a World War II hero

Family treasures recordings of his voice
Posted at 7:48 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 20:25:44-05

Richard Sanone could have become a famous singer. According to his daughter Joann he was singing professionally by the time he was 18 years old. She says "he was fantastic-he was singing in the West Side Grill"

Richard married Evelyn and then he joined the Army. While he was in basic training, Evelyn gave birth to their little girl Joann. Joann says her father held her only once when she was nine months old. He went off to the war and never returned home.

When Richard was listed missing in action, it took decades before Joann and her Mother discovered what had happened to him. Richard was aboard the S.S. Leopoldville when it was hit and sunk by a German Submarine on Christmas Eve 1944. He had a chance to escape in one of the few lifeboats but he jumped into the icy waters of the English Channel to rescue four or five of his fellow soldiers. "After the fifth man he never came back up" Joann says. 

Joann has a handful of photographs and and some letters on records with Richard talking and singing-they are family treasures. 

The kid from the West Side with the great voice may have become a famous singer, but there is no doubt that PFC Richard Sansone gave his life as a hero.