Born to on 19 December 1916 on Waterville Road in Avon, Gildo Trento Consolini was the older of two sons. His parents — Mike and Onesta Consolini - were immigrants from Northern Italy and he and his brother (Gino) were first generation Italian-Americans. The family moved later to Nod Road and then to Old Farms Road where he grew up and lived until he entered the service. His father worked at the Alsop Farm and later for the State Department of Transportation. Gildo played baseball and managed the Tigers Softball team at the Old Towpath School's open field. On 19 March 1941, along with John Merchuck and Ray Zacchera, he reported to the Unionville Town Hall as the first draftees from Avon. They went by rail first to Fort Devens and then to Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia. There he and Ray Zacchera were assigned to the 11th Training Battalion for 13 weeks to be trained as Infantrymen. After basic, they were assigned to Company "F", 169th Infantry, 43rd Division at Camp Blanding, Florida. In July the Division convoyed to Louisiana and participated in the largest peacetime maneuver. In October they participated in the Carolinas maneuvers and, after a few days back, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Their one-year commitment was now history and they were in for the duration. Gildo and Ray shipped out on 1 October 1942 from San Francisco bound for Auckland, New Zealand. Arriving on 22 October to an enthusiastic crowd worried about a Japanese Invasion, they marched through the streets of Auckland and were transported by train to a permanent campsite. They thoroughly enjoyed the New Zealanders and found their money went far in that country. On 2 November 1942, the Division left New Zealand bound for Noumea, New Caledonia and spent Christmas there. Over the next few months it was tense as Japanese amphibious attacks were expected with beach defenses set up and lonely outposts manned. One afternoon without warning Japanese planes attacked and hit the Division. A second group of Jap planes approached but were driven off by our planes. In May of 1943 the plan was to drive the enemy from the Solomon Islands with the objective being the Munda Airfield on New Georgia. Destroyer Escorts took them to Rendova in very rough seas and, upon arrival, pulled into a cove as Japanese planes hit hem causing huge concussions. They left Rendova in small LCIs (Landing Craft Infantry) In preparation for the invasion while field artillery as well as bombers from Henderson Field pounded Munda. As soon as they landed on the beach, they were told to discard all excessive items and take cover as the Japanese had them surrounded. The 169th was ordered then to proceed up the Munda Trail (a native footpath) to Bibolo Hill, which overlooked the airfield, while the 103rd was to drive the enemy towards them. As the 169th pushed their way up the trail, they encountered deep mud, swamps, dense jungle, snipers and infiltrators. The advance was slow and they were harassed day and night. They dug foxholes night after night while raiding parties hit the bivouac area causing casualties and chaos. The high ground was well-defended with fortifications and supporting pill boxes. On 13 July 1943, they encountered a menacing pill box and decided to knock it out. Artillery was called in but the rounds fell short and Infantry attacks were repulsed two times. On the third attempt, Gildo and six men approached it from the right and Ray and Stan Zionce from Collinsville attacked it from the front. Stan spotted the well-hidden pill-box and was running back to Ray when he was shot in the stomach and died. Gildo and his men were all killed as they attacked the pill-box. It was finally decided to bypass that pill box and the unit reached Bibolo Hill. The operation to take Munda Airfield took months and heavy casualties instead of 13 days as planned. Avon, however, lost that day on that obscure island in the South Pacific its first native son in WWII. Gildo was buried alongside many other boys from the 43rd Division in a military cemetery on New Georgia Island. The Post is indeed proud of his service and sacrifice — and proud to be called the Gildo T. Consolini Post 3272 — in his honor.