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Lou Paganello

 

Date and Place of Birth: 1922 Buffalo, NY
Date and Place of Death:    March 5, 1945 Germany
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Second Baseman
Rank: Technician Fifth Grade
Military Unit: 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Louis A. “Lou” Paganello, the son of Angelo and Mary Paganello, was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1920. Paganello attended Emerson High School in Buffalo, where he was the varsity team shortstop from 1937 to 1940, often playing against a young Warren Spahn of South Park High.

Paganello, who went to work as an apprentice machinist with the Rice & Adams Corporation after high school, attended a baseball school, sponsored by the Buffalo Courier-Express newspaper, in March 1942. Among the coaches on duty at the school was Jimmy Collins, turn-of-the-century major league third baseman and future Hall of Famer. In 1942, Paganello was signed as a second baseman by the Bradford Bees of the Class D PONY League, making his debut in a July 31 doubleheader against the Olean Oilers. Paganello went hitless in the opening game, a 4-0 win for the Bees, and was 1-for-4 in the nightcap, a 5-1 loss. On August 2, he played against the Lockport White Sox and was 0-for-3 in the 2-1 loss. However, his second inning fly to center scored the Bees only run. Paganello injured his knee during that game and was subsequently released by the club.

In 1943, he went on to play for the Visitations team in the Jefferson-Collins Division of the Municipal Baseball Association of Buffalo, better known as the Muny League, and entered military service with the Army at the end of the season in September.

T/5 Paganello served in Europe with the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division. For one of the last great offenses of the war, the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion led the 3rd Armored Division to the Rhine river in Germany on March 4, 1945. The following day, aged just 24, Technician Fifth Grade Paganello was killed in action near Sinnersdorf, Germany, on March 5, 1945. He is buried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium.

Sources:
Buffalo Courier-Express – June 5, 1937
Buffalo Courier-Express – April 28, 1940
Buffalo Courier-Express – May 11, 1940
Buffalo Courier-Express – May 21, 1940
Buffalo Courier-Express – May 28, 1940
Buffalo Courier-Express – March 24, 1942
Bradford Era – August 1, 1942
Buffalo Courier-Express – August 3, 1942
Olean Times-Herald - August 10, 1942
Buffalo Courier-Express – September 20, 1943
Buffalo Courier-Express – April 1, 1945
Buffalo Courier-Express – April 10, 1945

Louis A Paganello Grave

Lou Paganello's grave marker at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium.

Thanks to Jack Morris for “discovering” Lou Paganello so he could be added to the Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice site.

Date Added January 24, 2016 Updated December 20, 2016

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