Name: Genaro Pellegrini Jr
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: 2005-08-08 (Age:31)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Boxing Record: click
Killed in Iraq while serving with the Pennsylvania National Guard.
In his only pro bout, Pellegrini recorded a 4th round knockout of John Andre Harris at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press Writer, The Associated Press August 10, 2005
Five members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were killed in action in Iraq, Gov. Ed Rendell said, and among those killed were a city police officer and a suburban firefighter.
The deaths of Gennaro Pellegrini Jr., a 31-year-old Philadelphia police officer and aspiring boxer, and John Kulick, a firefighter in Whitpain Township in Montgomery County, were announced by local officials Wednesday.
The National Guard declined to say Wednesday how or when the men died, or to confirm the deaths of the three other soldiers Rendell referred to.
"To have this come _ seven guardsman (killed) in less than four days _ it brings home the crushing reality of this war ... and the incredibly high price we pay for what we're trying to accomplish," Rendell said at a Capitol news conference on an unrelated topic.
A Guard spokesman, Capt. Cory P. Angell, would say only that a Pennsylvania Guard unit suffered casualties that included both dead and wounded. The unit had been performing stability and support operations in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, Angell said.
Angell declined to say whether the unit was one that came under attack late Tuesday in Beiji.
The military said that patrol was investigating explosions in the area when a roadside bomb detonated and insurgents shot at U.S. soldiers. Insurgents attacked the convoy with rocket-propelled grenades, damaging two Humvees and a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, said Beiji police Lt. Ali Abdul-Hameed.
Four U.S. soldiers were killed, and five soldiers and a U.S. contractor were wounded in the attack, according to military officials in Iraq.
Pellegrini won his first professional boxing match with a fourth-round knockout at the Blue Horizon just weeks before he left to train for service in Iraq.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson attended the bout and said he was impressed with Pellegrini's tenacity.
"He was a fighter," Johnson said Wednesday.
The department is treating Pellegrini's death as if it had taken place in the line of his police duties, and his funeral will reflect that, Johnson said. Officers will wear mourning crepes for the next 30 days as well.
"He had a lot of heart, a lot of determination," said Capt. Lou Campione, Pellegrini's superior officer. "He was there for you. He covered your back."
Pellegrini was assigned to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's Company A, 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry. The unit is part of Task Force Dragoon, a force of 750 Pennsylvania Army National Guard Soldiers that was deployed to Iraq in December for a one-year assignment.