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Historian reunites Kenosha war hero's family with piece of history

Posted: 7:08 AM, Sep 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-11 08:08:30-04

KENOSHA — September 11th reminds us of the patriotism we all have inside us.

The incredible story of a Kenosha war hero is so fitting to share with you on this day.

22-year-old Bruno Oribiletti was far from Wisconsin when his Marine brigade was about to be surrounded by three Japanese tanks in Guam.

"They had nothing to defend ourselves with, and Bruno volunteered to take the bazooka and shoot them," said Orbiletti's younger sister Amy Rompesky. "He got the first two tanks, but the third one shot back at him and killed him, when he was aiming at the third one."

The 94-year-old shared all the thank you letters from soldiers he saved July 23, 1944, writing to her family, "If it wasn't for him, they wouldn't be living."

Amy thought TODAY'S TMJ4 came to interview her to only talk about how her hero brother was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Navy Cross. That is not the only reason we were there. With family standing behind her, a historian was about to reveal to all of us his amazing discovery.

Bruce Burlingham with non-profit United States Marine Raider Association explained to her, "I was going through some files a couple months ago and lo and behold I looked in an envelope and I found your brother's dog tag."

Rompesky gasped.

"Thank you so much!"

Burlingham found the 75-year-old piece of history in a pile of boxes shipped to his house.

"I take it out and look at it, and it says 'Bruno Oribiletti,'" he said. "I almost had a chill because I was familiar with his story."

Another family member said she felt like part of him was back with them.

"He said he wanted to do it [enlist] for his mother," said Rompesky.

A story that helps remind all of us Kenosha's native son, Private First Class Bruno Oribiletti will never be forgotten.

To learn more about the organization that helped spark this amazing discovery, click here .