John Cardinalli was born in Pittsburg, Ca., on August 4, 1921. He was the ninth child of twelve. Six boys and six girls. His family moved to Monterey when he was around six years old and lived first on Decatur Street then later moved to Monroe Street.
John fished in Monterey for twenty-five years and in Alaska for twenty-two years. He married Josephine Correa in 1941 and had two children. He moved his family to Hollister in 1960 where he became a painting contractor.
John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and shortly thereafter, was recruited by the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, now known as the CIA) where he became an expert Morse Code operator and instructor to allied agents. He served behind enemy lines in Germany and completed many dangerous missions safely. After returning to the U.S. he worked in the General Consul's office in Washington, D.C. where he oversaw documents relating to the Nuremberg War Criminals Court Trials where German officers were tried for crimes against the Jewish, Polish, Norwegians and others. He is currently listed in the U.S. National Archives as an important contributor for his expertise and role in WWII.
John's family had to move inland away from the waterfront after the Japanese attacked America. They moved to Robles Del Rio in Carmel Valley, but due to his position as a secret service agent he got permission from Washington to have his family return home.
John wrote a book that is currently being edited on his experiences when he was an agent. When finished, he's going to try and get it published. He's still thinking about a catchy title ("65 Years of Secrecy" available on Amazon.). He was also invited by a movie company named YAP Films in Toronto, Canada about doing a documentary. This is in the works currently.
John will be 93 years old this year in August. He comes to Monterey at least twice a week to visit his beloved wife Josephine at the cemetery, and to meet in the mornings with some of his old buddies for coffee at Paris Bakery.