Angelo Anthony Mandarano passes just shy of age 100, Survivor of 1918 flu pandemic that claimed life of his brother Tony, World War II service in Aleutian Islands France Belgium and Germany


From the Greensboro News Record obituaries June 3, 2018.

“Angelo Anthony “Kayo” Mandarano, 99, of Greensboro passed away peacefully at Heartland Living & Rehabilitation Center Thursday, May 31, 2018. “Kayo” was born July 10, 1918, in New Rochelle, NY, to the late Giovanni and Rosa Mandarano. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Michael Kaye Mandrano; brothers, Anthony Mandarano and Pat Mandrano; a sister, Mary Kaplan; and his first wife, Roberta Edl Cox Mandrano. After surviving the influenza pandemic of 1918 which claimed the life of his brother Tony, “Kayo” became an active young adult, lettering in both baseball and football at New Rochelle High School. He enlisted in the US Army on February 5, 1941, serving during World War II for 4 1/2 years. He was stationed in Fort Dix, NJ, and Fort Sill, OK and served overseas in the Aleutian Islands, France, Belgium and Germany as part of Battery C 209th Field Artillery Battalion. He received an Honorable Discharge from the military as a Corporal on August 29, 1945. While stationed at Fort Sill, he met his first wife, Roberta Edl Cox Mandrano. ”

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From the Smithsonian.

“How the Horrific 1918 Flu Spread Across America
The toll of history’s worst epidemic surpasses all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined. And it may have begun in the United States”

“Although some researchers argue that the 1918 pandemic began elsewhere, in France in 1916 or China and Vietnam in 1917, many other studies indicate a U.S. origin. The Australian immunologist and Nobel laureate Macfarlane Burnet, who spent most of his career studying influenza, concluded the evidence was “strongly suggestive” that the disease started in the United States and spread to France with “the arrival of American troops.” Camp Funston had long been considered as the site where the pandemic started until my historical research, published in 2004, pointed to an earlier outbreak in Haskell County.

Wherever it began, the pandemic lasted just 15 months but was the deadliest disease outbreak in human history, killing between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide, according to the most widely cited analysis. An exact global number is unlikely ever to be determined, given the lack of suitable records in much of the world at that time. But it’s clear the pandemic killed more people in a year than AIDS has killed in 40 years, more than the bubonic plague killed in a century.

The impact of the pandemic on the United States is sobering to contemplate: Some 670,000 Americans died.”

“In Goldsboro, North Carolina, Dan Tonkel recalled, “We were actually almost afraid to breathe…You were afraid even to go out…The fear was so great people were actually afraid to leave their homes…afraid to talk to one another.” In Washington, D.C., William Sardo said, “It kept people apart…You had no school life, you had no church life, you had nothing…It completely destroyed all family and community life…The terrifying aspect was when each day dawned you didn’t know whether you would be there when the sun set that day.”

An internal American Red Cross report concluded, “A fear and panic of the influenza, akin to the terror of the Middle Ages regarding the Black Plague, [has] been prevalent in many parts of the country.””

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