The city of Ocean Springs, the mayor and board of aldermen put on a spectacular event to honor Command Sgt. Maj. Adelchi Pilutti, U.S. Army combat veteran of World War II on March 6, 2015, at the Ocean Springs Community Center.
Aldelchi is a member of American Legion Post 42. Adelchi, born in Italy, emigrated to America as a child and after Pearl Harbor, as a young man, enlisted in the Army; after being detained for two months along with other aliens, he joined the 82nd Airborne. He jumped at 2:30 a.m., June 6, 1944, with the 508th PIR at Chef Dupont, Normandy, France, on D-Day. After securing a strategic important bridge he returned to England after 36 days, where he received his U.S. citizenship. He participated in an air drop in Operation Market Garden in Holland, a daylight drop where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. After the Holland operation ended he participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He later served in Mississippi as a reservist in the Special Forces. Recently he was honored with the French Legion of Honor for his service in World War II.
Many local and state dignitaries came to honor Adelchi, along with ]Post 42, the Patriot Guard and Jr. ROTC from Ocean Springs High School. Special guests included Gen. James Garner, State of Mississippi Adjutant General, retired State Rep. Hank Zuber and Sen. Brice Wiggins, and Keesler Air Force Base Cmdr. 81st Training Wing, Brig. Patrick Higby, Vice Cmdr. Col. Dennis Scarborough and Command Chief Master Sgt. Harry Hutchinson, as well as representatives from Camp Shelby and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell. Among others who spoke or were recognized were Mayor Connie Moran, welcome, invocation by Rev. Heath Hillman, Supervisor Troy Ross, and classmates of Aldelchi's son Blake from Ocean Springs High School Class of 1973, Eddie Norris, spokesperson. Post 42 members recognized included Robert Endt, Southern Area Vice Commander Anita McAllister, Vice President Department of Mississippi, Ivan McAllister, District Nine Commander. Post 42 Commander Marvin Anglin was unable to attend due to illness. Also recognized as a World War II veteran and member of Post 42 was Maurice Micaud. Many companies and individuals, including the American Legion Auxiliary, contributed to the success of the event. Mayor Moran proclaimed March 6, 2015, as Aldelchi Pilutti Day in Ocean Springs.