Middletown Hero: Max Corvo and the OSS
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People today search for heroes all over the globe, only to find one in their own backyard. Biagio “Max” Corvo of Middletown was a true hero of World War II and will be the subject of an illustrated talk to be given by his son, Bill Corvo, on Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 pm in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.
Coming to Middletown at the age of 9 to join his father, Cesare Corvo, who had immigrated from Mellili, Sicily, Max Corvo was highly influenced by Ida Keigwin in his early schooling and assimilation into American life. When World War II broke out, he enlisted as a private at the age of 22 to fight for his adopted country. But the old country, Italy, was not far from his mind. He devised a plan to invade Sicily and develop an espionage and partisan warfare project. Although only a private, his superior officers saw the merit in his proposal and arranged a meeting with the head of the OSS, General William “Wild Bill” Donovan.
Corvo was transferred to the OSS and put his plan in place, recruiting other Middletown soldiers of Italian descent, such as Vincent Scamporino and Emilio Daddario, to infiltrate Italy and establish the partisan network. He also established contacts with Italian anti-Fascists, many of whom had been associates of his father. By May of 1943, the newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenant left for North Africa to implement his plan.
An amateur historian, Bill Corvo has written several articles for magazines about OSS Italy operations and has presented at historical symposia including the National Archives Symposium on the OSS in Washington, D.C. He is also the author of The Italian Military and Foreign Affairs Situation, 1933-1943 about Mussolini’s military operations prior to and during World War II. Long active in political and community affairs, Corvo served on the Common Council of the City of Middletown and succeeded his father as editor of the Middletown Bulletin, an Italian American newspaper. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
The program is free and open to the public. Russell Library is handicap accessible. For further information, please contact the Historical Society at 860-346-0746
For more information, contact:
Deborah D. Shapiro, Executive Director
Middlesex County Historical Society
Phone and fax: 860-346-0746
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