Andrea Pistone (1917/04/22)
Andrea Pistone was Santa Cruz County's first listed World War I death.
Andrea, the second son of Nichol and Genrichetta Pistone, was born in Pianipaludo, Italy, near Genoa about 1898. He and his brother Giobrata accompanied their parents in the family immigration to the United States in February 1906 aboard the SS Deutschland that arrived in New York on February 24. The Pistone family then traveled to Monterey where Nichol worked as a laborer in the lime industry. Andrea likely received some education in Monterey before he and his brother Giobrata moved to Aptos in 1915 to work in the lumber industry. In 1917 the brothers relocated to a residence on Mission Street in Santa Cruz.
On March 14, 1917, Andrea enlisted in the US Army through a program sponsored by the county probation department and was sent to Fort McDowell in San Francisco for training.
“Fort McDowell was very active during World War I, serving as a Recruit Depot for men entering the Army. Men drafted in the western states were sent to Fort McDowell and held for about two weeks, during which time they would be given physical examinations, issued uniforms, and given some rudimentary military training. At the same time enlisted men returning from Hawaii and the Philippines for discharge, furlough, retirement or reassignments were being processed at the post. About 4,000 men a month passed through Fort McDowell during this period. Overcrowding became the rule—temporary tent encampments were erected at Point Blunt and on the old Camp Reynolds parade ground in an effort to ease the crush. The war-driven over-crowding was such that the newly completed Post hospital at East Garrison did not serve as a hospital when completed, but became a temporary barracks instead.”
Pistone was listed as an unassigned recruit at the time of his death on April 22, 1917. The cause of his death is not available; however, an unusually high number of soldiers (five) died in the Fort McDowell hospital during April 1917. Andrea Pistone's remains were buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio of San Francisco.
CAG; 1910 US Census, CA, Monterey; SCSf, 1917/03/15 2:1; SC Cnty Naturalization, SCCGS Vol. 4 Pg 127; SF Nat'l Cem website http://www.interment.net/data/us/ca/sanfran/sfnat/ san_fran_pikpr.htm; Soennichsen, John, Calif. State Military Museum, Historic California Posts: Fort McDowell, http://www. militarymuseum.org/CpReynolds.html [11 October 2009]