Alfred Consigli, formerly of Milford, now a centenarian
Alfred (top left), was the youngest of the seven Consigli brothers from Milford who served during World War II. Photo courtesy of John Consigli
Army veteran shares countless memories
By Linda Chuss
In December 2023, Alfred Consigli of Upton turned 100 years old, an age achieved by only 3 out of 1,000 people in the country according to a Jan. 9, 2024 article published by the Pew Research Center. What also stands out about Consigli is a lifetime full of compelling stories he relates with frank charm.
He was one of nine boys born to Ceasar and Clara (Speroni) Consigli in Milford, where he lived for decades. During World War II, Consigli was a U.S. Army tank gunner and deployed to six European countries. “Seven of us brothers were in the war at the same time,” said Consigli. “We all lived through it, but never talked about it.”
Those seven brothers are Alfred, George, John, Joseph, Louis, Mario, and Richard. The other brothers, Albert and Robert, were too young to join the military. Alfred is now the only surviving sibling.Serving in the war had a momentous impact on his life. Even now, he wears a hat and jacket with World War II veteran emblems and the stars and medals he was awarded.
“When I turned 18, I had to go but I was scared,” Consigli said. “They sent me for tank training. I was good at it, but it wasn’t good for me – the best were sent to fight first, and that’s the most dangerous. One time in Germany, our tank was stuck in mud, so the others went ahead; that was okay because I didn’t want to always be first. I was an expert sharpshooter too because as a kid, I had a .22 rifle for target practice but not much money for bullets – I had to make every shot count.”
Consigli wielded his expertise at Utah Beach in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. “There were so many dead, in the road and in deep trenches. We saw one soldier laying there with his wedding picture and you could tell he’d just gotten married. Then a tracer came overhead and we quickly backed up our tank; the next shell would have hit us. They were going to promote me after that but soon the war was over.”
After returning home, Consigli restored older model cars and built his repair shop by himself. He said, “When I sold the building, I bought a Rolls Royce, but then I didn’t like that it was a right-side driving car.”
These days, Consigli fixes watches he buys at flea markets, then gives them away. He hauls in the wood he uses to heat his home, and sometimes even