Essential Pittsburgh: How A World War II Radio Operator Earned A Bronze Star

Feb 24, 2015

Seventy years ago this month, Pittsburgh native George Pietropola battled frostbite in the Ardennes Forest during World War II. Just after the war ended, then-Staff Sgt. Pietropola was presented with a Bronze Star for his heroism under fire from February 9th to February 24th. 

"It looked more like a slaughter to me. It was terrible. That was one of the worst things I’d ever seen – that ever happened, all the time I was in the war." - George Pietropola

View the entire newsreels that were used in this segment World War II Hero George Pietropola (25:50):

“9th over the Roer”“United States Army Bomb and Advance in Germany Across Roer River and Rhine River”“D-Day Invasion”

That and other Tuesday topics: How will an education task force change Pittsburgh public schools? Find out all you ever wanted to know about the history of Mr. Yuk, and our business contributor talks the business behind smoking alternatives.

Education Task Force Resolves to Improve Public Education in Pittsburgh

Last year a 21-member task force, assembled by Mayor Peduto, was charged with examining public education in Pittsburgh. The group was responsible for issuing recommendations that would strengthen the city’s public schools and surrounding communities. Task force members Carey Harris, Executive Director of A+ Schools, and Patrick Dowd, Executive Director of Allies for Children, talk about the findings in the task force's recent report.

WESA Celebrates Inventing Pittsburgh: the History of Mr. Yuk (36:45)

Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Yuk and the Pittsburgh Poison Center came into being to concurrently address poison exposures. Poisoning remains the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Margaret J. Krauss reports that, despite being just a face, Mr. Yuk has drawn attention to a leading threat to children.

The Business of Smoking Alternatives (40:04)

There’s no disputing smoking is bad for you but the tobacco industry still makes millions and millions of dollars a year. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at smoking and related businesses -- from e-cigarettes to patches -- for the cessation of the habit that are making a profit themselves.

To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here