Memorial service to be held for WWII vet

Emil F. Ragucci, who was killed in 1943, will receive a proper burial next Tuesday.

The public is invited to a memorial service for Emil F. Ragucci, who was killed in World War II and whose remains were recently identified thanks to his brother, Dominic, of Somerton.

The memorial service is set for Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. at John F. Murray Funeral Home, 1220 Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.

A burial will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 3301 W. Cheltenham Ave. in Philadelphia.

Emil Ragucci grew up as one of 11 children in Germantown. He was killed on Nov. 20, 1943 in the four-day Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific Theater. The U.S. lost 1,696 men, but won the battle with Japan.

Nick Ragucci, brother of Dominic and Emil, was killed in the Battle of Monte Cassino in early 1944.

Dominic Ragucci still has the Western Union telegram that was delivered to the family home to announce Emil’s passing.

About six years ago, Dominic mailed a sample of his DNA to the Marine Corps. A match was discovered in November 2017.

The remains will fly from Hawaii and arrive midday Monday at Philadelphia International Airport. The remains will receive an escort from Marines and Philadelphia and airport police to the Murray Funeral Home for the following day’s service and burial. ••