Joseph Francis Napoli – Tech 4, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

Joseph F. Napoli, 89, who was the chief of denazification for the U.S. Army in Bremen, Germany, after World War II and who finished his federal career as a Justice Department investigator working on illegal immigration of former Nazis, died February 13, 2004, at Suburban Hospital. He had pneumonia and congestive heart disease.

Mr. Napoli, a Bethesda resident, was born in New York. As an orphan, he was adopted by Italian immigrants and raised in Marion, Ohio. He received his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University in 1941 and went to work as an investigator for the Labor and Commerce departments in Washington.

During World War II, he served in the Army in North Africa and Europe. After the war, he spent three years as an intelligence officer, investigator and chief of denazification in Bremen.

Denazification refers to the efforts of the Allied powers to eliminate the influence of Nazism and remove Nazis from public life.

From 1949 to 1955, he worked for the Army Department as assistant chief of budget and later as chief of budget and field services for the Southern Command of NATO in Naples, Italy.

Mr. Napoli returned to the United States to work for the Federal Civil Defense Administration and the Defense and Transportation departments until 1973. He spent 1974 and 1975 as a Justice Department investigator of illegal Nazi immigration. He retired in 1975.

He co-founded the American Indian National Bank in the mid-1970s. He wrote two books: “A Dying Cadence: Memories of a Sicilian Childhood” (1986) and “Threnody and Other Memories” (1995).

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Marion Napoli of Bethesda; four children, Mario Francis Napoli, Mark Napoli of Alexandria, Francesca Philbin of Potomac and Joseph P. Napoli of Tyler, Texas; and five grandchildren.


On Friday, February 13, 2004 of Bethesda, MD. Beloved husband of Marion A. Napoli; devoted father of Mark, Francesca and Joseph; grandfather of five. A memorial mass will be held at St. Bartholomew's Catholic Church, 6900 River Road, Bethesda, MD on Saturday, February 21, 2004 at 12 Noon. Inurnment private Arlington National Cemetery. Donations may be made in his name to the Saint Jude's Research Hospital, 501 Saint Jude Pl., Memphis, TN 38105.


  • TEC4   US ARMY
  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 03/10/1943 – 10/23/1945
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 09/24/1914
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/13/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 02/26/2004

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