Major Charles Scalion
- Unit: 8th U.S. Army, Psychological Warfare Division, 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company
- Date of Birth: May 24, 1905
- Entered the Military: September 27, 1923
- Date of Death: May 5, 1982
- Hometown: Castelfrantano, Chiati, Italy and Windber, Pennsylvania
- Cemetery: Section POST, Site 744. Loudon National Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland
Calvert High School
Before the War
Charles Scalion was born Carmine Scaglione in Italy and arrived in the United States on April 12, 1920. He came through Ellis Island, New York on board the SS RE D’Italia from Napoli, Italy. He resided with his father in Windber, Pennsylvania, who immigrated in 1911, while his mother remained in San Vito, Italy. While attending Windber High School, he worked as a coal miner for B&W Coal Company and as a laborer and millwright for J&L Steel.
On September 27, 1923 Scalion enlisted in the U.S. Army in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When he signed his enlistment papers he indicated he was born in Woodlawn, Pennsylvania, representing himself to be a U.S. citizen. He did this again when he signed his re-enlistment papers on September 26, 1926. Finally, on December 15, 1927, he made a Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen. He re-enlisted in Baltimore, Maryland on September 29, 1929 and again on September 29, 1932.
He finally moved up the ranks when he re-enlisted on October 17, 1941 as a staff sergeant. In 1942, he served as a Recruiting and Enlistment Officer in Baltimore, where he administered the oath to all enlistees. On July 3, 1947, he was promoted to major re-enlisted again that September.
After World War II ended, he was assigned to overseas duty in Japan, but resigned his commission when his wife was involved in a serious automobile accident. He earned the rank of master sergeant and continued to serve as a recruiter in the Waverly area of Baltimore.
During the Korean War, Scalion was assigned to the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company, where he worked as a printer for propaganda to be dropped behind enemy lines as a part of psychological warfare. His oldest son, Charles A. Scalion, also served in the Korean War with him, but in the U.S. Air Force. In 1951, they were able to make contact with each other. On March 8, 1951, the elder Scalion was hospitalized for chest pain and diagnosed with heart disease. On September 30, 1953, he retired as a captain.
After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1953, Scalion took a job with the Baltimore City Health Department as a lithographer and printer.
On July 10, 1969, his wife, Virginia Scalion, died and was buried at the Loudon Park National Cemetery with their infant daughter, Mary Margaret (who died on January 23, 1932). He visited their grave every Sunday. He vacationed with his family at Tolchester Beach on the Chesapeake Bay, where he enjoyed fishing and crabbing. He also liked attending Baltimore Colts and Orioles games, eating crabs with Old Bay, a Maryland favorite, and attending the Towson, Maryland Moose Lodge. He was an excellent dancer and Italian cook. He visited with his neighbors, and befriended local squirrels, who came on the porch and ate peanuts out of his hand. Scalion retired from the Health Department in the early 1970s and died on May 5, 1982.
Charles Scalion was buried with his wife and daughter at Loudon Park National Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 7, 1982. He served the United States in World War II and the Korean War, with dignity, honor, and energy that won him respect and admiration from the men and officers with whom he worked. His youngest son, James Scalion, called him his personal hero.
Charles Scalion, Official Military Personnel File, Department of the Army, National Archives and Records Administration—St. Louis.
Charles Scalion. SS RE D’Italia Passenger Manifest, February 28, 1920, Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Charles Scalion. U.S. District Court at Baltimore, Maryland Naturalization Card, July 1, 1935. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Maryland. Baltimore City. 1930 U.S. Census. Digital Images. http://ancestry.com.
Memorandum and Illustration, Eighth United States Army, G3, Psychological Warfare Division, APO 301, Serial Number 8426, April 26, 1953. Courtesy of the Scalion Family.
Memorandum and Illustration, Headquarters, Eighth United States Army, G3, Psychological Warfare Division, APO 301, Serial Number 8428, May 10, 1953. Courtesy of the Scalion Family.
Memorandum and Illustration, Psychological Warfare Division, G3 Headquarters, EUSAK, APO 301, Serial Number 8395, January 23, 1953. Courtesy of the Scalion Family.
Memorandum and Illustration, Headquarters, Eighth United States Army, G3, Psychological Warfare Division, APO 301, Serial Number 8736, April 30, 1953. Courtesy of the Scalion Family.
Memorandum and Illustration, Eighth United States Army, G3, Psychological Warfare Division, APO 301, Serial Number 8747, June 17. Courtesy of the Scalion Family.
Scalion Family Photographs. 1942–1953. Courtesy of Scalion Family.
Scalion, James. E-mail message to author. July 25, 2018.
Scalion, James. Telephone interview. May 2, 2018.