Published in the August 24, 2015 edition
WAKEFIELD — Daniel Road resident and World War II veteran Ernest J. Yamartino Sr. will be a wreath presenter at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of VJ Day at the National World War II Memorial on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m.
Born Feb. 17, 1925 in Marlboro and raised in Waltham, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on June 14, 1944 and was assigned to the Third Amphibious Corps Artillery, serving as the Fire Direction Controller for 155 mm howitzers.
Yamartino was deployed to Okinawa for the Army/Navy joint invasion of the Japanese controlled island where his units along with the U.S. Army hit the center of the island.
Yamartino’s division went north into the mountains where the Japanese were heavily dug into rocky ridges, ravines and caves and he was quickly promoted to PFC after fighting for several weeks.
Yamartino worked directly with his lieutenant, becoming his right hand man in very accurately calculating his artillery direction control. Over the next six weeks, Yamartino was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant while fighting in Okinawa.
After the Japanese surrender, Yamartino was deployed to Tientsin, China where he participated in the occupation of Northern China until June 1946. He was honorably discharged from USMC in Great Lakes, Ill. on Aug. 13 1946, quickly returning to Waltham.
Yamartino was married to Dorothy Hartigan in 1949 and has six children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.