Henry E. “Bucky” Bucci

Henry E. “Bucky” Bucci

Birth
Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA
Death 10 Aug 1943 (aged 46)
Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Memorial Site* Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56751214 · View Source
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Henry Elpidio (or Enrico) "Bucky" Bucci was the son of Italian immigrants Ismaele Bucci and and Anna De Cristoforo. His father supported the family as a shoemaker.

The Rhode Island, Births and Christenings, 1600-1914 index shows that Henry's birth name was Enrico Bucci. It is unknown when the first name of Henry was given to him but it was after he was christened. This same index records the birth of his younger brother, Elpidio Alfonso Bucci in 1906. This is significant as there is confusion as to Henry's legal name as some sources show Henry's name to be Henry Elpidio Bucci. This is apparently incorrect since his brother's name was Elpidio. Therefore, it is a logical deduction that Henry's legal name was Enrico Bucci. However, since records reflect Henry's middle name as Elpidio, especially military records, this memorial will show that as his name.

The 1905 Rhode Island State Census verifies Henry as being born and living in Providence. The 1920 U.S. Census shows the family as living in Providence Ward 9, Providence County, Rhode Island. The following family members are recorded as living in the home:
Head Ismaele Bucci M 52 Italy
Wife Annie Bucci F 42 Italy
Son Henry Bucci M 22 16 Rhode Island
Dau Juliette Bucci F 16 Rhode Island
Son Elpidio Bucci M 13 Rhode Island
Son Alfred Bucci M 11 Rhode Island

On August 17, 1920, Henry Bucci enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Providence. Instead of being sent to Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp, he received orders to report to the Guard Company at Mare Island, California. This was probably due to the fact that he was a veteran of prior military service but as of this writing, what that service was is unknown. His service time at Mare Island was short and by December of that year he was stationed in Guam. In April of 1921, he was a Corporal, which also indicates he had prior military service in his background.

In 1922, Henry was posted to Cavite, Philippine Islands, and then joined the 39th Company at the American Legation in Peiping, China. Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned close to home at the Boston Navy Yard until his enlistment ended in 1926. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve bu tin April 1928 he reenlisted and was once again posted to the Boston Navy Yard. In March of 1929 Henry attended Sea School at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia, and was soon aboard the USS SACRAMENTO in the Canal Zone of Central America. He remained aboard her for nearly three years, attaining the rank of Sergeant in February, 1931. He reenlisted on land in 1932, but the sea was now in his blood and he soon joined the Marine Detachment aboard the USS FULTON, a submarine tender, patrolling the seas from Hong Kong to Canton, China. In March, 1934, a fire broke out aboard the FULTON. The ship was a total loss but there was no loss of life. Henry was put ashore at Hong Kong, but was soon snapped up by the USS TULSA, becoming their detachment's Police & Property Sergeant.

Henry sailed with the Asiatic Fleet until mid-1935, when he again returned to the East Coast. He served as an instructor at his former Sea School and at the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition before joining the USS ERIE as acting First Sergeant. After his service on the ERIE, Henry served on several warships, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and as a drill instructor at Parris Island. He was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant at the end of 1940.

Henry was the senior Marine aboard the USS VINCENNES when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. He had reported aboard the VINCENNES in April, 1941, and was off the coast of Africa when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Henry and the VINCENNES would soon get their first taste of combat in the Battle of the Coral Sea and at Midway. He had been in the Marine Corps at that time for approximately 25 years. Their next action, would be off the coast of Guadalcanal near Savo Island.

Henry was killed when the VINCENNES was sunk in the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942. His remains were never recovered, and he was listed as missing in action (MIA) for a year and one day before being declared dead on August 10, 1943. He rests with his ship and fellow crewmen at the bottom of an area of water now known as "Iron Bottom Sound" due to all the ships sunk there in World War II.

Henry and Florence Eleanor McKevitt were married on January 11, 1942. At the time of Henry's death, she was living at 8 Magnolia Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Henry Elpidio Bucci, Sn# 160244, earned the following verified badges/decorations for his service in the United States Marine Corps:
- Purple Heart Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Presidential Unit Citation
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal two (2) Oak Leaf Clusters)
- American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
- Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations Medal with two bronze battle/campaign star
- World War I Victory Medal with campaign bar(s)
- World War II Victory Medal
- Marine Corps Rifle Qualification Badge

*NOTE* - There is a memorial to Henry's memory located near the intersection of Elmwood Ave and Broad St in Providence, Rhode Island (see attached photo by Steve Ahlquist).

**NOTE** - A portion of this bio is based on information from the website missingmarines.com. They have done a fantastic job of researching approximately 3000 US Marines whose bodies were lost in the war. This writer wholeheartedly recommends their site for researchers or families of the missing. - Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR {RET})

Gravesite Details Entered the service from New York.

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  • Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 8 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56751214
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry E. “Bucky” Bucci (28 Feb 1897–10 Aug 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56751214, citing Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by Rick Lawrence (contributor 47207615) .