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Alfred Colarusso World War II Collection, 1943-1945

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-WWII-Colarusso

Scope and Contents

Series I contains over two hundred letters written by Al Colarusso to various family members and friends during his time in the USAAF. The bulk of letters are from Colarusso to his family at 408 N. 7th Street, Allentown, PA.

Series II includes newspaper clippings, flight logs, diplomas, and more.

Series III includes a diary, sketches, photographs, and a scrapbook.

Series IV Realia includes pins, coins, religious medals, navigational implements, and Colarusso's flight jacket.


  • Majority of material found within 1943 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; access by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for this material remains with the creator. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy any claims of copyright before making use of reproductions beyond the conditions of fair use, as described by the United States Copyright Law. Contact Trexler Library archives staff for additional information.

Biographical Note

Alfred “Al” J. Colarusso (1919-2008) was the son of Italian immigrants Vincenzo and Grace (Sorrentino) Colarusso. He was one of six children; his parents owned one of the first Italian restaurants in Allentown,‘The Family Restaurant,’ located at 408 North Seventh St., which operated from the early 1930s to the 1950s.

Colarusso enlisted in the army in June of 1942. He was selected for Army Air Force duty, serving on B-17s as a navigator. Stationed in England and assigned to the 384th Bomb Group, he flew over thirty missions. His service record may be viewed here.

After being honorably discharged, Colarusso continued his graduate studies in the United States and Italy. Having previously received a teaching certificate in 1941 in English and Art at the State Teacher’s College in Kutztown Pa, he would go on to be granted an MA from Columbia University (1946) and an MFA from the State University of Iowa (1950). Colarusso joined the Muhlenberg College faculty in 1960.

Colarusso served as head of the Art Department from 1961 to 1971. He was integral in the founding of the school’s East Asian Studies Program in 1970. He retired from Muhlenberg in 1979.


3.0 Linear Feet

Alfred Colarusso World War II Papers
Compiled by Emily Hofstetter '19 and Susan Falciani Maldonado
2016, 2020
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the College Archives (Muhlenberg College Collection) Repository

Trexler Library
Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street
Allentown PA 18104 United States