Belmont High School, 1942

I recently discovered an online app. that allows me to scan my photographs. As I like to be able to refer to a record of my collection (still somewhat maddening if I forget the subject’s name), this has been a revelation. One of the vernacular photos I bought some time ago shows a cheerful group of four young men standing in front of a large building, perhaps a school. On the reverse, the four have signed their names. So who are they?

The clearest signature belongs to Henry Angiola, and a check of’s databases yields Henry Angiola, a student at Belmont High School in Los Angeles. The cryptic S ’42 next to Sinn Lew’s signature is seen on Henry’s yearbook page, and all four may be found in the Campanile, Belmont High’s class of 1942 yearbook.

According to his draft registration card, Henry Primo Romano Angiola was born in New York City 28 November 1924. On 29 December 1942, he was living with his mother Jennie DiBenedetto at 922 New Depot Street in Los Angeles.[1] According to the Social Security Death Index, Henry P. Angiola[2] died 25 November 1999.[3]

Nathan Kapitowsky was also born in New York City 15 November 1924. On 26 December 1942 he was living with Beckie Kapitowsky at 925 North California in Burbank, California, and attending school.[4] Nathan Kapitowsky  of Los Angeles enlisted in the Navy on 21 May 1943, and appears in a series of Navy muster rolls between 1944 and 1946.[5] It looks like he is the man who married Joan Kramer in Los Angeles 4 April 1954.[6]

Sinn Ti Lew was born in Deming, New Mexico 11 January 1922. On 30 June 1942 he was a student at the Frank Wiggins Trade School living with his mother Mrs. See Lew at 980 Vale Street in Los Angeles.[7] Second Lieutenant Sinn T. Lew enlisted twice during the war, serving in the Air Force; he died 1 August 2010[8] and is buried at Houston National Cemetery in Texas.[9]

William Nickolas Tahan was born in El Paso, Texas 9 November 1924, the son of Nicholas, 33, a dentist born in Egypt, and Geovrette, 22, born in New York.[10] On 31 December 1942 he was a student living with Mrs. Agnes J. Tahan at 530 Echo Park in Los Angeles.[11] William N. Tahan married Handumy Jean Nabhan in Los Angeles 1 December 1971[12] and died 30 May 2003; he is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[13]

So why are William and Nathan manhandling Henry, and why is Sinn laughing? And who gave Sinn that nasty cut on the cheek?


[1] U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Henry appears with his parents, Nicholas and Jennie Angiola, in the 1930 census, living at 724 E. 187th Street in the Bronx (1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]). While he was evidently in high school in 1942, the 1940 census lists Henry P. Angiola, 15, living in the household of his stepfather and mother Luigi and Jennie Di Benedetto in Los Angeles; Henry had only completed fourth grade (1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]). Jennie Angiola’s maiden name is given as Colamonico in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007.

[2] Enrico P. R. Angiola was born in Manhattan 28 November 1924. He is thus probably the Enrico P. Angiola who married Mary Farcillia in Los Angeles 12 July 1952 (California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959 [database on-line]). Enrico and Mary Angiola had children whose births were registered in California.

[3] Social Security Death Index.

[4] U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. The New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965 database indicates he was actually born in Brooklyn.

[5] U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949 [database on-line].

[6] California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959 [database on-line].

[7] U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. In 1940, Sinn and his mother were living in the household of Mrs. Lew’s son-in-law, M. F. Lime, in Silver City, Grant Co., New Mexico, along with Mrs. Lew’s three younger sons (1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]).

[8] U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line].

[9] Findagrave memorial 115202464.

[10] Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1932 [database on-line].

[11] U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line].

[12] California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985 [database on-line].

[13] Findagrave memorial 138003810. His widow died in June 2020.

Scott C. Steward

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward has been NEHGS’ Editor-in-Chief since 2013. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.View all posts by Scott C. Steward