Library hangs tribute to Pearl Harbor survivor

Ed Riccio Jr., left, and Joanne Riccio Larson; children of Ed Riccio Sr.; standing in front of the photo collage of their father that they donated to the Bristol Public Library last Wednesday.

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Bristol Public Library unveiled a commemorative photo collage of Major Edward Riccio, a World War II veteran, donated by the Riccio family, and was presented to Riccio’s family by the American Legion Post 2.

Neal Supranovich of the American Legion explained that the photograph was the copy of an award presented to Major Riccio in 2014 by the State of Connecticut. The award is a collage of photos that commemorate his survival of Pearl Harbor, “when he was attacked” while flying the B-17 plane known as Calamity Jane, it also features photographs of Riccio while in flight school and “when he became a fighter pilot.”

Bristol Public Library public relations librarian, Scott Stanton, said that while he had only met Major Riccio a couple of times, “I just never cease to be amazed by what this gentleman did in his life.”

Two of Riccio’s children, his daughter Jo-Ann Riccio Larson, and his son Eddie Riccio III, attended the unveiling.

Riccio Larson said her father joined the service at 18, and after surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, become a successful pilot.

Riccio passed in 2016 at the age of 97, but continued to fly airplanes into his late 80s.

Riccio Larson recalled flying with her father, and said that he and her mother would frequently visit Robertson Airport in Plainville, to watch the planes take off and land.

A photo collage of Ed Riccio Sr., which was donated to the Bristol Public Library. Riccio was a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into World War II.

Bristol Public Library history librarian, Jay Manewitz, recalled Riccio visiting the Bristol History Room and said, “I remember he was very modest about his accomplishments during the war. He was a very friendly person and very modest, but he had a heroic career during the second World War, so, that’s why we’re honoring him.”

“There’s many other things he [Riccio] did here in town, I can’t even name all of them,” said Supranovich. “The American Legion is doing this to honor our WWII veterans, and this is our way of showing that we remember them.”

Tim Gamache, representing the Bristol Veterans Council, honored the Riccio family by performing a coining ceremony, a military practice that “recognizes exemplary service by an individual.”

Gamache also said that this year’s Memorial Day procession will be led by the City of Bristol’s WWII veterans, as a way to honor them and their service.

Riccio’s photograph is hung outside of the Bristol History Room, located on the top floor of the Bristol Public Library, 5 High St.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.