Philip Cicconi is an Italian-American and son of an Italian immigrant. He was born shortly before the war began and was around six years old when it ended. Philip’s family lived in Philadelphia during the great Depression and during World War II. He had a cousin who served during the war, and Philip himself went on to become a member of the taskforce assigned to Operation Argus—a nuclear weapons atmospheric testing operation. Due to improper testing conditions, Philip developed multiple cancers from presumed radiation exposure.
In this interview, Philip shares his recollections of his childhood during World War II, gives his insight into community life growing up in Philadelphia in the mid 1900’s, and shares a story about his cousin Nello, who was a soldier who had survived combat in the war, but was shot by a German woman before he had the opportunity to go home to his family. He also speaks about joining the Navy later in life and then coming home and finding himself in a position where he wanted to obtain an education.