About George Ciampa
 
   

    Born on June 16, 1925, George Ciampa is a U.S. Army World War II veteran of five campaigns in Europe including the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge.

 

    After his late wife died in 1981, Ciampa raised his two children, who were 11 and 10, until their entry into universities.  In 1991 he met Dottie, a lovely and wonderful widow and has been married since 1996.

    As a seventy-two year resident of the South Bay in Southern California, he has attended Inglewood High School, El Camino College and the University of Southern California.  Raised by proud, Italian immigrants, he was born in Boston, Massachussets.

    His work background is varied, but he spent 37 years in the advertising business at various newspapers, over 26 years with the Los Angeles Times where he was a display advertising salesman, the last 18 years as Special Features Manager.


    He recently formed a non-profit organization for the purpose of stressing the importance of freedom and emphasizing the real cost of FREEDOM through education, especially with the younger generations. Mr Ciampa knows first-hand the sacrifices of young men to keep our Nation free.  His duty in World War II was to gather the dead on the battlefields for eleven continuous months.  He saw death in the eyes of young men and has never forgotten that experience.


    In August 2006, he took four high school history teachers and two WW II First Infantry Division veterans of the Battle of the Bulge to Belgium.  The teachers heard stories from Belgian civilians who lived during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945 and heard experiences of the three veterans. Two other combat veterans of the Battle of the Bulge were interviewed before the tour.  All of this was filmed for a documentary called, "Let Freedom Ring...The Lesson is Priceless."

    In July 2007, he took two high school history teachers and three WW II First Infantry Division veterans of the D-Day Normandy Invasion to France. The teachers heard stories from French civilians who
lived during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1945 and heard experiences of the veterans.  This was filmed for a documentary called "Let Freedom Ring...Memories of France". Outpost Worldwide, Lenexa, KS, did the filming, editing, co-directing and much of the creativity for both of these documentaries.
 
    Additionally, Mr. Ciampa has been campaigning for the installation of entry gates at the Henri-Chapelle American Military Cemetery in Belgium.  It is the only WW II military cemetery in Europe without gates at its entrance and it has a secondary busy road running through it. More than sixty years ago it wasn't much of a problem, but the time has come that it needs to be secured, in his opinion.

 





Acknowledgements

    Without the inspiration from my daughter, Sandi Rusconi, these documentaries would not have been a reality.  From the day she accompanied her brother and my wife and me when we went to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1994, she has been interested in filming a documentary about FREEDOM.

    During a trip to Belgium in 2001, she met me and my wife there armed with a camcorder to interview Belgian citizens who lived during the Nazi occupation and filmed the Remember Museum, interviewed the owners and operators, Mathilde and Marcel Schmetz as well as others.  She had me on camera to talk about my experience in five campaigns in Europe during WW II, while in the 607th Graves Registration Company.  Filming was done in Belgium in a wooded bivouac area from where we operated, while gathering the dead from the battlefields of the Battle of the Bulge.  Burials were made at the temporary Henri Chapelle Cemetery adjacent to the woods next to our bivouac area. The permanent site of the cemetery was filmed and she gleaned from me information about our operations---- how, when and where the transition was made from the temporary to the permanent site. This was the beginning of what was to later become a professionally filmed documentary by the capable Outpost Worldwide, Lenexa, KS, with Sandi Rusconi as the producer/director. 

    I have been receiving many accolades regarding the documentary, ostensibly because I AM THE WW II VETERAN, but my daughter was/is the driving force, so to speak.  Thank you Sandi for your conception and long hours in the planning and pre production.  Not forgetting my son, Michael and my wife, Dottie who together with Sandi, motivated me to go to Normandy 50 years later--- to start talking and answering questions about my small part in World War II.

    I would like to give praise to two other people who helped to make this happen.  Paul Herbert, of the Cantigny First Division Foundation who suggested taking history teachers and veterans to Belgium and Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Superintendent of the Torrance Unified School District who gave his total support, encouragement and selected the teachers who participated. 

    Please see the credits in the documentary for all the others who were so important in making the film a success.  My thanks and gratitude to all of them.

    George Ciampa