Mario Balistreri was a member of the Spring Class of 1943 at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.
He and his twin brother, Salvatore Arthur, Jr., were born March 15, 1925, to Salvatore Arthur and Ila (Corona) Balistreri in San Francisco, California. His father was born in California in 1899 and died on June 13, 1966, in San Francisco. His mother was born on August 2, 1904, and died in San Francisco on September 24, 1987. Ila married, second, Peter Ciarlo and is buried in the Italian Cemetery in Colma, California.
Salvatore Arthur, Jr., married Barbara (Pitts), and two children were born to this marriage: Katherine Lorraine, November 11, 1952, and Steven A., July 23, 1957. Salvatore died on November 8, 1988, and is buried with his twin brother, Mario.
Mario had one other brother, Albert Joseph, who was born on April 25, 1926, in San Francisco and died on September 20, 1993, in San Francisco. He graduated from Lincoln in the Spring Class of 1945. Albert married Rosemary D'Amico, and three children were born to this marriage: Mario, Cheryl, and Albert Michael. Mario married Theresa Stenson, and they had three children: Christine, Angela, and Sophie. Cheryl married Patrick Goudy, and they had two sons, Paul and Peter. Albert Michael has not married.
Mario entered Abraham Lincoln High School in 1940. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on February 27, 1943, and withdrew from school prior to the graduation ceremony for his class. His name was included on the graduation announcement with the notation that he was in the service.
Mario's name is first noted in the 1942-1943 Abraham Lincoln Roundup in a section denoting alumni who were in the armed services. He was listed as in the Navy. His name is mentioned again in the Roundup of 1943-1944 as being deceased.
Mario was a seaman second class and was killed in action on October 17, 1943, while serving aboard the destroyer USS Cony (DD 508). His battle station was in a powder magazine on the second deck. A bomb hit the ship, penetrated the deck, and exploded during an aerial attack. Mario was unable to get out and died.
He was first interred in the Navy/Marine Cemetery #1 on Tulagi Island, Philippine islands, on October 31, 1943. He was later disinterred and reinterred in the military cemetery on Guadalcanal.
His remains were returned to the United States and interred on February 12, 1948, at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, in Section D, Grave #260.