Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veteran Dr. D'Angio Recalls Red Cross Acts of Kindness

by Heather Wedel, Communications Specialist, American Red Cross North Texas Region

World War II veteran Dr. Giulio D'Angio (now 92), former Captain and head of the 284th Medical Dispensary in the Army Air Corps was stationed on the air base of Kanoya on the southern island of Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan when he received what he calls "a pleasant surprise that the troops were still remembered in such acts of kindness."

A tradition since World War I, Red Cross volunteers would hand-knit heavy-duty wool Red Cross socks for the troops to give them warmth, a sense of home and to help prevent trench foot while at war. Dr. D'Angio states, "Trench foot was a real hazard for ground troops in active theaters."

Although Dr. D'Angio was comfortably housed, and not in high risk of getting trench foot, he still says that the Red Cross knitted socks brought a sense of comfort to him. While Dr. D'Angio was in Japan for his two years overseas, he received the socks by mail, he guesses around 1947. 

In February 2014, nearly 70 years later, Dr. D'Angio still had the Red Cross knitted socks and decided it would be best to return them to the Red Cross chapter that blessed him with them. The socks, along with Dr. D'Angio's letter written to the Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter are now framed and displayed on our Red Cross memorabilia display case.

When asked why he chose to return the socks to the Red Cross, Dr. D'Angio said, "Gratitude for your kindness. One good turn deserves another. I feared that they will be discarded when I'm gone, I'll be 93 in a few days, and I thought that they deserved a better fate."

To the volunteers that graciously knit the socks, Dr. D'Angio says, "Thanks again, and to all of those who followed, you do wonderful things for people who are in need of help."

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Dr. D'Angio now resides in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA with his second wife, Dr. Audrey Evans. After wearing the uniform for six years, Dr. D'Angio practiced as a radiation therapist for 50 years, specializing in childhood malignant diseases. Dr. D'Angio is a prolific author and has been honored by many national and international pediatric and radiology societies for his work.

Today, American Red Cross volunteers continue knitting and sewing for those who need comfort and protection. In our Dallas Area Chapter, our production room volunteers sew and knit blankets for children's hospitals, as well as cooling neck wraps for active soldiers made from military uniform fabric.

This week, between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day, the Red Cross invites you to help us continue to provide vital services to thousands of military service members, veterans and their families each year, keeping military families connected during emergencies, connecting families with local resources and supporting wounded warriors and military hospitals. Join us in #HonoringHeroes. Visit for more information.


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