Friends of the Andrea Doria Newsletter

Vol. 1 Issue 9 Sunday, September 29, 2002

Hello friends,
Just a quick newsletter this time. The big news is about the photos of the memorial wreath now on the web site. Capt. Dan promises putting the video of the event together and sending it to me over the winter. It will be worth waiting for.

An old friend of the Andrea Doria, Rafael Suazo, informed me of a book to be published in December. Out Of The Fog: The Sinking Of The Andrea Doria has been translated from Swedish. The book was originally written in 1986 by Algot Mattsson. More information and a review of the book is on the web site in a new section called Media. Thanks Rafael!

Hillary Kouril wrote to tell us about her grand-mother Mary Chaprun who was a passenger on the Stockholm. Mary's picture was captured on a photograph that is on the website. Take a look.
The lady next to the embracing family and the child on
the other side is her grandma.

The pictures of the Memorial Wreath and ceremony have been added to the web site. Take a look in the Reunion Area. My thanks to Captain Dan Crowell for providing the photos and taking the wreath out to the site. Dan is working on a video clip of the memorial for the web site. I look forward to receiving it.

Dear Mr. Grillo:
Your website was referred to me by the Italian Consulate in New York City after I had E-mailed them my request.  After viewing your wonderful web site, and realizing your strong ties to the Andrea Doria as a survivor, I thought I would pass my request on to you.  My husband, Andrew, also has strong ties to the Andrea Doria, but for a different reason.  I would like to give you a little background first.
On October 26, 1953, my husband, Andrea Pasquale Primo Piacente, was born on the Italian Liner, "Andrea Doria".The ship was en route to New York from Italy. His mother, Alfa Piacente, was on her way to America to meet with her husband, Pietro, who had come to Yonkers, New York, several months before his wife so he could make some money and find a home for his wife and soon-to-be-born child.  Shortly after the ship left Italy, Alfa went into labor.  Her baby would not wait to be born after the voyage.  Instead, it was soon apparent her baby would be an additional passenger on the ship.  And he was. (Incidentally, this was the first birth on this famed Italian Liner.)
Also a passenger on the ship was Bishop John P. Treacy, of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Bishop Treacy baptized the baby on the ship, and Pasquale Pezzuto, skipper of the ship, acted as Godfather.  My mother-in-law, Alfa, named the baby after the ship and its captain.  Hence his name, Andrea Pasquale Primo (for first born) Piacente.  
Here is where my request comes in.  The ship's skipper (or captain) gave Baby Andrea a 14K gold medal as a gift.  My husband wore it every day as a child and a young adult, until it was unfortunately lost when he was in his twenties.  On one side of the medal was a carving of the front side of the Andrea Doria with the words "Society of Genoa Naval Academy" scripted in Italian.  On the back of the medal was the Madonna, with the words "Madonna del Mare."  More than once, throughout the years, my husband has mentioned his regrets over losing this medal.
On October 26, 2003, my husband will be 50 years old.  If I could get him a replica of this medal, he would be sooooooo happy!    It would be the BEST birthday present he ever received.  Well, maybe 2nd best.  The best was on the day of his birth when he received the original 14K gold medal from Captain Pasquale Pezzuto.  Would you be able to direct me to a source who could start me on the right track.  There is one important note to be made.  I do not speak Italian.  That is why I contacted you, instead of an Italian Naval organization.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this unusual request.  I look forward to your response. Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Marie L. Piacente P.S.  Your mother, Angela, certainly was a courageous woman!  God Bless.

Editors Note: If any of friends in Italy knows anything about this medal please let me know especially if it can be replaced. I'll get back to Marie with anything I hear.

September 16: Robert Hudson Westover, Chairman of the SS United States Foundation in Washington DC, reports that Cantor Company (formally Cantor Affiliated Interests) is seeking to sell the SS United States for scrap. the liner remains in Philadelphia, laid up. A Call To Action has been circulated with an emergency meeting of the Foundations' board of directors. Concerned that a masterpiece of US engineering will be lost, the Foundation urges you immediately contact your Congressman, Senator and the White House from the following link and let them know that you will not stand to see one of the great American treasures lost forever!

The Foundation's board of directors is considering starting an escrow fund for the purchase of the ship. The SS UNITED STATES scrap value is reported to be only $2.5 million. You are urged to contact your local newspapers and tv/radio stations. The energy it will take from all of us to save this ship will be worth it when decades from now, school children look up at the magnificent structure of the SS UNITED STATES and marvel such a technological wonder.

The SS United States was a contemporary of the Andrea Doria and dock right beside the Doria many times. Please consider mentioning this great American ship on you website. The "Big U" must be saved!!

Thank you
Dan Scott
Pensacola, Fl.

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