Friday, November 4, 2016

Isidore Giambruno (1889-1918): Bugler killed in WWI

Grave of Isidore Giambruno and a WWI recruitment poster with bugler


Isidore Giambruno was born in New Orleans and shows up in Oakland records as early as 1905, the year that his father Reverend Giovanni Battista Giambruno died. In the 1910 Oakland Directory he was listed as a meat cutter and in the 1916 Directory as chauffeur.

He was drafted into the Army, served as a bugler, and was killed in action in September 27, 1918 at the Battle of Argonne. The American Expeditionary Forces lost 26,277 men and saw another 95,786 wounded at the infamous battle.

He was serving with Company D, 363rd Infantry 91st Division under Brigadier General Frederick S. Foltz and Major General William H. Johnston.  His unit fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and successfully helped to destroy the German First Guard Division and continued to smash through three successive enemy lines.

A month after Giambruno died and twelve days before the end of World War I, his division, as part of the VII Corps of the French Sixth Army, helped drive the Germans east across the Escaut River. The division was awarded separate campaign streamers for its active role in the Lorraine, Meuse-Argonne and Ypres-Lys campaigns.

Isidore Giambruno
His body was not returned to the United States until October 1921, when he was buried with military honors by members of Oakland Post No. 5 of the American Legion at Mountain View Cemetery.

We don't know if Giambruno played taps on his bugle for any of his fellow soldiers, but it is likely. Taps is a bugle call played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, and at military funerals by the United States armed forces. The official military version is played by a single bugle or trumpet.

The tune is also sometimes known as Butterfield's Lullaby, or by the first line of the lyric, Day Is Done. The tune is a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the Scott Tattoo, which was used in the U.S. from 1835 until 1860. It was arranged in its present form by the Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield, an American Civil War general and Medal of Honor recipient. Taps replaced a previous French bugle call used to signal "lights out."

Sources: US Military records,, Oakland Tribune, Wikipedia,

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