Members of NY National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division take part in Netflix TV show Medal of Honor
Netflix show highlighting medal of Honor Winners, including 42nd Divison's Vito Bertoldo, begins streaming Nov. 9
LATHAM, NY (11/01/2018) (readMedia)-- Current and former members of the New York Army National Guard's Troy-based 42nd Infantry Division will be seen on an episode of the new Netflix "docuseries" "Medal of Honor."
The TV series, which tells the stories of eight Medal of Honor recipients, begins streaming Nov. 9.
The 42nd Infantry Division members will be featured on the episode about Master Sgt. Vito Bertoldo, a member of the division during World War II.
Bertoldo received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Hattan, France on Jan. 9 and 10, 1945.
One of Medal of Honor's executive producers is Robert Zemickis, the director of the Back to the Future movies as well as Forest Gump.
The TV show uses actors recreating the incidents as well as interviews to tell the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients.
The producers interviewed retired Major General Joseph Taluto, the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2005 and a former Adjutant General of New York; Col. Lt. Col. Sean Flynn, who currently serves as the 42nd Infantry Division Operations Officer; and Sgt. Major Corine Lombardo, a former 42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Chief who is currently on duty with the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.
The three were interviewed about Bertoldo's heroism and what that story tells Soldiers today.
Vito Bertoldo was a cook in the mess section of Alpha Company of the 2nd Battalion, 242nd Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Infantry Division. He was originally classified as 4-F and exempt from the draft for his eyesight, but Bertoldo insisted on enlisting in the Army.
In January 1945 the division's three infantry regiments were deployed to France and assigned to defend part of the Allied line in the Alsace region of France.
A German offensive called Operation Nordwind hit the area being defended by the 242nd Infantry Regiment.
In Hattan, the battalion headquarters was forced to evacuate. Bertoldo volunteered to hold off the advancing German Panzer Grenadiers.
Bertoldo manned a machine gun and drove back repeated German attacks for almost two days.
"On the close approach of enemy soldiers he left the protection of the building he defended and set up his gun in the street, there to remain for almost 12 hours driving back attacks while in full view of his adversaries and exposed to 88-millimeter, machine gun and small arms fire," his Medal of Honor citation says.
Bertoldo kill at least 40 of the enemy and wounded many more.
"It was Bertoldo's devotion to duty and his fellow Soldiers that leaves a lasting impression," Taluto said. "Vito obviously took his responsibilities seriously and without compromise. He stood his ground time after time and made a difference."
Bertoldo's story is inspiring for any Soldier, Lombardo said.
"The lesson passed on to Soldiers today is that every Soldier, regardless of your military skill, is a Soldier first," Lombardo said. "Bertoldo was an unassuming man who volunteered as a cook and ended up becoming a hero."
"He relied on his basic training and survival instincts to overcome and defeat insurmountable odds," she said.
"As a senior Army NCO it was an honor to be part of a program that told this Soldier's story," Lombardo said.
Lt. Col. Flynn, of Delmar, N.Y., and Sgt. Maj. Lombardo of Scotia, can be reached for interviews through the New York National Guard Public Affairs Office at 518-786-4581.