|What I found amazed me. In a file drawer was a card that read, "Sgt Joseph De Cusati killed in action over Germany March 30, 1945". I had no idea who this was, but having the same last name we had to be related. The card said that Joe was buried in St. Lawrence Cemetery in New Haven. Noel's uncle was in the same cemetery, so off we went. On the ride back to New Haven, I tried to remember if I had ever heard of Joe before, but could remember nothing. I also wondered what could have happened to him. How did he die? It was so late in the war. Did he die knowing the end of the war was so close? What did he look like? My thoughts were interrupted by our arrival at the cemetery. After a quick visit to the office to get a location, I was standing at Joe's resting place. Within 45 minutes of learning of his existence, I was looking down on his grave. The grave had not been visited for a long time. The headstone was okay, but the footstone was nearly covered. I cleared away the grass and dirt as best I could and read "Joseph De Cusati, Connecticut, Sgt. 732nd AAF Bomb Sq. World War II - March 16, 1923 - March 30, 1945". Now I was excited! I had what unit he was in! Joe was in the 732nd Squadron! That's great! Only problem was . . . what did AAF mean!!?? I had always studied the Civil War and knew almost nothing of World War 2.
This was the start of a search for information that continues to this day.