Henry D’Amico (1921-2009) was born and raised in East Providence to Italian immigrant parents. A graduate of East Providence High School, he was a WWII fighter pilot who flew 75 combat missions over Europe in his P-47 Thunderbolt, affectionately named Li’l-Rhody.
As part of the 9th Air Force, 1st Lieutenant D’Amico flew escort flights, dive bombing and strafing missions, and close support for ground troops. His squadron was the first unit to provide air support for the D-Day operations in the Invasion of Normandy, during which he flew cover over Cherbourg. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, EAME Theater Medal with 4 Bronze Stars for Air Offensive (Europe, Normandy, Northern France, and Germany campaigns), and the Air Medal with twelve Oak Leaf Clusters.
He married his sweetheart and attended the University of Florida on the G.I. Bill, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. He went on to have a very successful career, raised four children with his wife Jean, and spent summers in Rhode Island visiting family.