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WWII veteran gifts museum

CSM Paul A. Tolovi (USA-Ret.), a World War II veteran and longtime friend of The Army Historical Foundation, recently donated $50,000 to the National Museum of the United States Army.

This contribution is the latest and largest in a series of many from Tolovi, who has been linked strongly to the Army since being drafted in 1941. Tolovi was able to make his gift by cashing in war bonds he accumulated during his service in the Army.

As a staff sergeant in the 99th Signal Company, Tolovi saw action in England, France, and Belgium during World War II. He supplied the soldiers in his division with everything they needed, including food, clothing, and ammunition. Tolovi's role was especially vital during the cold winter of 1944-45 when the German army launched a surprise offensive against Allied troops in the Ardennes Forest, in what would become the Battle of the Bulge. The 99th Infantry Division stood in the path of the German assault and fought fiercely to halt German advance.

In March 1945, after defeating the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge, the 99th Division became the first complete division to cross the Rhine River at Remagen via the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, Germany. Tolovi seized the German flag there and saw the bridge collapse three days later.

After World War II, Tolovi re-enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Italy, Japan, and Korea. For his service Tolovi was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Italian Cross of War.

Tolovi retired from the Army in 1967 as a command sergeant major. In 1971, he began work at the Defense Information Systems Agency (then called the Defense Communications Agency) in Arlington, Va., a job he still holds today.

"We are extremely grateful for Mr. Tolovi's continuing support of the Capital Campaign for the National Army Museum," said Carol Lindamood Harlow, campaign deputy executive director. "The Museum will be a long overdue tribute to soldiers — just like Paul Tolovi — who have sacrificed so much for the good of our nation."