Tom Ciarlo was born in Waterbury on November 20, 1926, and lived at 1032 North Main Street. After 11th grade, he left high school and went to work at the Waterbury Farrel Foundry and Machine Company. 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. Tom’s older brother, Corado, known as “Babe,” graduated from Leavenworth High School in l941 and had been working at the Waterbury Steel Ball factory when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. He became a corporal in the 3rd Infantry Division, 15th Regiment, Company G, and fought in Italy in 1943 and 1944. Tom Ciarlo was drafted into the Army in February of 1945 and was shipped out to the Pacific ; he arrived on Okinawa shortly after the war ended.