At 18 years old, Anthony "Tony" DiNitto joined the U.S. Navy in 1943, leaving behind his sweetheart Eva Giarruso. Tony was assigned to the destroyer escort USS Underhill.
As Underhill worked its way in the Pacific, Tony wrote to Eva always signing "Love Tony 143."
Underhill was sunk in September 1945; 112 crew members perished, 122 survived, and every crew member was awarded the Purple Heart. Tony survived, but he spent months recuperating prior to his returning to his sweetheart Eva.
On his return he explained the meaning of the code "143". One of New England's historic lighthouse's is Minot's Ledge of the coast of Cohasset, Mass. Its flash, "0-0000-000" , became know as the I LOVE YOU code as each flash represented a letter.. The are many stories and folk tales about this lighthouse.
Anthony "Tony" DiNitto died April 12, 1987, on their 40th wedding anniversary. Eva died in 2015, leaving behind Tony's legacy, cards and letters saved by Eva and the "143."
In honor of their love, their son "Tony" had his son create a design depicting "143." The "143" Love Heart is available in a fine piece of jewelry available to lovers of all ages today.