It’s time for our weekly history lesson from our friends at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area. Today we learn about a local connection to D-Day.
Yesterday was the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, and today would be referenced as D+1. The GI’s would have been deep into heavy combat making their way through the Normandy countryside. One such soldier was Phoenixville’s own, Anthony “Shorty” Cionti, born and raised on the North Side. Shorty (on the right in the photo) was serving with Co. B, 325th Glider Infantry, 82nd Airborne when he landed behind enemy lines at Omaha Beach on June 6. Shorty described the sound as a constant loud noise that could never be replicated. It was around this day when he was hit by a piece of shrapnel in his chest, but luckily it was stopped by his bandolier across his chest. It knocked him on the ground and severely bruised his chest, but he kept fighting without pause. He would continue through Normandy, Holland, Battle of the Bulge and into Germany with many close calls and wounds, but came home in 1946 and picked up his work at Phoenix Steel. Still a North Side resident to this day, Shorty would tell you to remember those that didn’t make it home.