Corado "Babe" Ciarlo grew up in Waterbury, and lived with his family at 1032 North Main Street. His parents had immigrated to America from Italy, and his father, Tomaso, ran a successful grocery store and butcher’s shop. But in 1937, Tomaso passed away, leaving his widow, Martina, to care for their five children. Babe graduated from Leavenworth High School in l941, and wanted to join the Navy at 18, but his mother talked him out of it, asking him to wait until he was called up. He got a defense job at the Waterbury Steel Ball factory, which made aircraft parts. When he was called up, he acceded to his mother’s wishes again, and requested a six month deferment. But when the time came to request a second deferment, he wouldn’t hear of it, and was drafted into the Army in the spring of 1943. He became a corporal in the 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Regiment, Company G, and fought in Italy in 1943 and 1944.