86th Mortar Battalion

          I spoke to 87-year-old Anthony Cenicola at the 50th Anniversary of the
South Hackensack V. F. W. Post 8005 which was held at the Fiesta on Route 17
Wood Ridge, N. J. on October 16, 2011. Anthony Cenicola was one of three original Charter members of the V. F. W. Post 8005 back in 1961, who attended the dinner. Only four are still living out of the 50 plus men who founded the
South Hackensack Post.

            Anthony Cenicola told me that he lived on Worth Street in South Hackensack. After attending State Street School in Hackensack in 1939, he had to go to work to help the family. He worked at Goldberg’s Slipper Factory until he was drafted in 1943 and sent to Camp Campbell. 

            The Allie Pushback in the Hurtgen Forest during the Battle of the Bulge was moving forward and the campaign in the Rhineland was beginning when Anthony Cenicola was sent with the 86th Mortar Battalion to combat in Europe. 
Anthony Cenicola came home from his service in 1945 and was discharged in February of 1946. After his discharge, Anthony Cenicola went back to Goldberg’s Slipper Factory where he worked as the head mechanic for 50 years until he retired in 1991. To be the head mechanic at such a factory is quite a statement.  Goldberg’s Slipper Factory, Anthony Cenicola said, was known as “Goldbergs College”. For so many people who lived in the First Ward in Hackensack during the first 70 years of the twentieth century, Goldberg’s Slipper Factory was a great place to work.

The Complex was four city blocks and employed hundreds of people. To say you were the head mechanic is a tremendous responsibility because you have to keep the line going day and night. Anthony Cenicola said his wife Mary Lou (HHS Class of 1946) worked at Goldberg’s for a short time and his mother-in-law Clamentina Pandalo worked there for quite a few years.

From combat in the Rhineland Campaign to 50 years at the largest factory in Hackensack, let us never forget the soldiers sacrifice.

Written by:
Bob Meli
October 16, 2011



Background image of 86th Mortar Battalion obtained from: