First Lt. Alexander Santilli, born and brought up in Everett and who played in the Sugar Bowl for Fordham University in 1942 (playing right tackle and blocking a punt in the game), died on Saipan this week 68 years ago. He was the victim of a sniper.
Santilli was a star athlete and a fearless Marine infantry officer, cut down in the prime of his life.
The leader of a machine gun platoon, Santilli’s platoon was literally blown up and he was suffering from shellshock but got his guys out of the battlezone – winning the Silver Star for heroism. He refused to be evacuated, was placed in a hospital, fled the hospital against orders and rejoined his men at the front.
A week later, he was killed by a sniper.
We recall his memory. His sacrifice should never be forgotten.