The Mysterious Soldier, Andrew Joseph Basso

Andrew J. Basso, N.V.A. Burial Grounds

Andrew J. Basso, N.V.A. Burial Grounds

Kensico Vaudeville Project #: 6
Name: Andrew Joseph Basso
Act: None
Born: 16 November 1892, New York City
Died: 22 March 1943, New York City

There is only one gravestone in the National Vaudeville Association plot that was given by the Veterans Administration, the federal agency that provides official monuments for U.S. servicemen and women. This is for Andrew Joseph Basso, and his tie to vaudeville and show business can’t be confirmed.

Basso was born 16 Nov 1892 in Manhattan to Italian immigrants. He was a bricklayer’s son and grew up on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. In 1917 he was a shipping clerk living in New Britain, Connecticut.

Cpl. Basso Gravestone Application Card

Cpl. Basso Gravestone Application Card

On 23 May 1918 he enlisted in the Army and was sent to recruit training in Camp Upton on Long Island. The war in France was on, but Basso never served overseas. He was in Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, when the Armistice was announced. In just six months in uniform he attained the rank of corporal. Basso was honorably discharged on 28 November 1918 and returned to Connecticut.

His whereabouts after the war are unclear, as are his ties to vaudeville. In 1940 he was a census worker living at the Hotel America at 145 W. 47th Street. The hotel was popular with those in the Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen area, and many actors were residents.

He lived with his wife, Barbara Basso, from about 1940 to 1943. They last resided at 157 W. 47th Street, the Hotel Manhattan, built in 1906 (today the Night Hotel). Rooms were $1.50 a night, and $2.00 for a double.

Andrew J. Basso died 22 March 1943, age 50. It can be assumed that since he does not have a grave maker provided by the N.V.A., perhaps a friend or family member gave him the space in the burial ground. The government provided the granite gravestone.

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  • United States. Census Bureau. Washington: GPO. 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 15, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1030; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0810; FHL microfilm: 1375043
  • U.S. Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, Connecticut; Registration County: Hartford; Roll: 1561906; Draft Board: 1, U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
  • Office of the Adjutant General, State Armory, Hartford, CT. Service Records, Connecticut: Men and Women in the Armed Forces of the United States During World War, 1917-1920, p. 1495.
  • The Jewish Post, Patterson, NJ, 1 Feb. 1940, p. 8.
  • The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: New York. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
  • United States. Census Bureau. Washington: GPO. 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: T627_2643; Page: 81B; Enumeration District: 31-840.
  • United States. Veterans Affairs. Washington: GPO. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963.
  • Old Fulton New York Post Cards