Canadian Army Pte. Don Brancaccio near Hamburg, Germany with a convoy of military trucks during WWII. Brancaccio, 93, was a infantry solider with Essex Scottish and HLI Regiments during WWII and served in Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-46. Born and raised in Windsor Brancaccio died April 22, 2019.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
The funeral for Donald Brancaccio, a Second World War veteran who served with the Essex Scottish, will be held Friday.Brancaccio died Monday at age 93.“He never really spoke about being in the war … because a lot of his friends never made it back,” his son and Windsor Star photographer Nick Brancaccio said Tuesday. “He always felt kind of fortunate he made it back. A lot of guys didn’t.”Donald Brancaccio was a true Windsor boy. He was born and raised in Windsor. He served in the local Essex Scottish Regiment from 1944 to 1946. He worked on the Chrysler line before and after the war and was one of the original members of CAW Local 444, his son said.“He was always proud to be, number one, a Windsor resident and number two, a Canadian.”
Don Brancaccio, 93, left, and his cousin Ralph Mayville, 97. Both veterans served in Europe in WWII. Don passed away April 21, 2019.
Nick Brancaccio /
He was called up in 1944 – Canada had overseas conscription near the end of the war – and became an infantry private in the Essex Scottish Regiment.The local Essex Scottish participated two years earlier in the 1942 Dieppe Raid with heavy casualties. In 1954, The Essex Scottish and The Kent Regiment, which did not serve overseas during the Second World War, were amalgamated to form The Essex and Kent Scottish.He and hundreds of other soldiers left Halifax to head overseas and as the transport ship approached Britain, the ship got word the German U-boats were after them, his son said. The ship was rerouted to Glasgow, Scotland in an alarming welcome to the war.Mr. Brancaccio had more training in Britain before heading to Antwerp, Belgium. He never got to the front lines but served in the field of battle in Belgium and Holland, his son said. At the end of the war he was repositioned to Hamburg, Germany to help transport military equipment back to Allied bases.He died Monday about a week away from his 94th birthday on May 1.As his family went through hundreds of photographs Tuesday, it was evident in the pictures of baptisms and graduations how much he loved his large family. He had a big heart, a strong work effort and was super polite, his son said. “Thank you kindly. That was one of his favourite sayings.”He is survived by his sister, his seven children, 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.The visitation will be held at Janisse Funeral Home at 1139 Ouellette Avenue Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. His funeral will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Alphonsus ChurchRelated
Canadian Army Pte. Don Brancaccio tours Hamburg, Germany during the occupation period of WWII. Brancaccio, 93, was a infantry solider with Essex Scottish and HLI Regiments during WWII and served in Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-46. Born and raised in Windsor Brancaccio died April 22, 2019.
Nick Brancaccio /
Canadian Army veterans Don Brancaccio, 93, right, and Ralph Mayville, 97, visit Royal Canadian Legion Metropolitan Branch in 2018. Brancaccio, 93, was a infantry solider with Essex Scottish and HLI Regiments during WWII and served in Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-46. Born and raised in Windsor Brancaccio died April 22, 2019. Mayville, a member of the elite 1st Speical Service Force, and Brancaccio have been family since the end of WWII, when Mayville married Brancaccio’s first cousin. Mayville still resides in West Windsor.
Nick Brancaccio /