Photo of Jap Plane Wing
In Hopedale Booklet
over Hawaii appears in a supplement to the May number of Cotton Chats, the house organ which Draper
Corp. publishes for the benefit of the textile mills of this country and Canada.
The scrap of the plane from which the picture was made was sent to the company by Ferdinand Spadoni, a
former Draper employee, who is now in the Navy and located at an air base in Hawaii. The colors on the
somewhat mutilated piece of metal are those of the Rising Sun of Japan.
Seaman Spadoni is one of the 80-odd former Draper employees in the service who, at Christmas time,
received the bonus that would have been theirs were they still on the Draper payroll. His letter of
appreciation for that check accompanied the souvenir of the Jap plane and is reproduced in the
supplement, together with his picture and a picture of a Japanese plane taken in the air over Hawaii.
The supplement is an excellent war souvenir that will be especially treasured by those who know Seaman
Young Spadoni, who is known to his family and friends by his middle name, Peter, rather than his first
name, Ferdinand, is 26 years old and a native of Hopedale. He completed one year in Hopedale High
School and attended St. Mary?s High in Milford for a time. He also spent some time at a CCC camp.
Before entering the Navy he worked on the shuttle job at the Draper Corp. plant. He enlisted in November
1939, and received his training at Newport, R.I. His first ship was the heavy cruiser, New Orleans. He went
to Pearl Harbor in 1940 and was in Hawaii at the time of the Japanese raid. His present rating is aviation
machinist, second class.
Following is the letter sent by Seaman Spadoni to the Draper Corp. from a naval air station in Hawaii:
Thanks a million for your kindness for sending me that most welcome check. It sure hit the spot and gave
me enough pepper and ginger to knock down so many Japs for each one of those dollars. And when I say
"so many," I mean plenty. It will be like taking candy away from a baby, and will be dedicated for the Draper
Enclosed is a piece of the first Japanese fighter plane we shot down at this Air Base. It's a piece of the
Rising Sun. Be patient and I'll send enough pieces from each different plane show down to build one. And
again thank you for your kindness. Milford Daily News, May 20, 1942
Hopedale Man Presumed Dead
HOPEDALE, Jan 8  - Fernando Peter Spadoni, aviation machinist mate 1c, son of Simoni Spadoni, 7
Home Park Avenue, who was declared missing in action March 5, 1943, is presumed dead. His family was
notified of this fact yesterday afternoon in a letter from the secretary of the navy, James Forrestal. He is the
seventh Hopedale man to be reported dead.
The letter follows:
My dear Mr. Spadoni:
Your son, Fernando Peter Spadoni, Aviation Machinist's Mate first class, United States Navy, has been
carried on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing in action as of 5 March 1943.
In the early morning of 5 March 1943, the plane in which your son was flying, took off from Henderson Field,
Guadalcanal, in a flight of nine bombing planes, to participate in a strike against enemy shipping in the
Buin-Kahili area. The weather at the time was good and the visibility was clear. Some of the planes dropped
flares over the target area, and when enemy searchlights came on, light anti-aircraft fire was encountered.
After making runs over the illuminated area, the planes proceeded to Ballale. In the midst of intense anti-
aircraft fire, many bombs were dropped on the target. It is believed that the plane in which your son was
flying was hit and crashed, as it failed to return to Henderson Field. To date, no further information has been
received by the Navy Department concerning the fate of your son.
In view of the additional length of time that has now elapsed since your son was reported missing in action,
because of the strong probability that the plane in which he was flying was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and
crashed, and that he lost his life as a result thereof, and in view of the fact that his name has not appeared
on any list of personnel liberated from Japanese prisoner of war camps, I am reluctantly forced to the
conclusion that he is deceased.
I know what little solace the formal and written word can be to help meet the burden of your loss, but in
spite of that knowledge, I cannot refrain from saying very simply, that I am sorry. It is hoped that you may find
comfort in the thought that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy.
Fernando P. Spadoni enlisted in the Navy in 1938 at the age of 24 years. Before enlistment he was
employed by the Draper Corp. His 30th birthday anniversary was Dec. 17, 1945.
His family has hoped that the sad news concerning him might never arrive, and have exhausted every
means known to them for a trace of his whereabouts. They have corresponded with every member of the
crew of the bomber on which "Spud" was a tail gunner and in January 1944 felt that there was a chance that
he might be a Jap prisoner, when a report that his voice was heard over the short wave radio was circulated.
In addition to his father, his relatives are a brother, Henry F. Spadoni, and a sister, Mrs. James Sheedy,
nieces and nephews. Milford Daily News