Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Pernaselli

27, of Monroe, New York.
Pernaselli died in the Northern Persian Gulf as a result of a waterborne attack. He was assigned to the USS Firebolt, forward deployed to Manama, Bahrain. Died on April 24, 2004.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Pernaselli.


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"Miss ya bro"
Z of Phx,AZ

"My family and I sat talking about the times we shared and your name came up regarding a club scene. I miss you so much. I told my sisters that for all the years I have known you, I never saw you
sad or even a tear from your eyes. You were a strong warrior in uniform and out of uniform. I am so glad I can call you an amazing brother. I will always love you and you will never be forgotten."
Teesha Shepherd of Virginia beach, Virginia


It had been years since i had talked to you but you were the kid who was ALWAYS very kind and surprisingly introduced me to Run DMC. Imagine that, white kid from the suburbs introducing Run DMC to a black kid from the city. LOL. You were a friend and I will ALWAYS have very fond memories of you and now I can remember you as a hero as well! God bless you and your family."
Elliott Kerr of Brooklyn, NY via Rochester, NY

""Thinking of you shipmate"
I remembered, you and me studying for the test (ESWS), you teaching me about the systems on the Arctic, going up for the board and we both made it...This memories will stays...Rest in Peace, shipmate...You will never be forgotten.
Thank You for the ultimate sacrifice..."
SKC (SW) AL DINEROS (Retired) of Hoboken, NJ

"R.I.P. brother"
of phx

"I promise you BM1 I will not let you down, "...And those who have gone before me" Thank you Boats for serving our country."
BMSN Snow of Norfolk,VA

"Miss ya brother."
zielinski of Phoenix

"Will always have you in our hearts. We miss your sense of humor & terrific smile. RIP. Thank you for protecting our Country."
Marangeli Escobar of Va Beach, VA

"Thinking of you today shipmate"
Maxwell-Whetstone of VA

"Your sacrifice will never be forgotten or taken for granted."
Eileen Slade of Midlothian, VA

"We have not forgotten you and the great sacrifice you made."
Eileen Di Fiore Slade of Midlothian, VA

"I miss you buddy. It was incredible to serve with you on Arctic."
Kyle Carlson of Dongducheon, S. Korea

"I am so sorry for your loss. Your son Pern and I served together on board the Arctic together. I knew him so well. He was a true hero and there is no time goes by I don't miss him. I would like to hear how his children are, and how he has been remembered. I have so many stories about him here while in Norfolk"
matt yonka

"I served with pern as a young seaman, he was so young. I miss him so, we served on the arctic together. I have so much to share about him while he was here. I have never forgotten him or his children, he was a true hero. I will never forget pern. God bless him and his family."
matt yonka

"To the family of:Michael J. Pernaselli
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga" 1-1-11"

"These Heroes will not be forgotten. Today we held a Memorial Service for PO1 Michael Pernaselli, DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal and PO2 Christopher Watts. Everybody working out here by KAAOT and the USS Firebolt paid their respects to these Brave Men, and remembered that they gave their lives for something that thier friends and family back home will cherish for a lifetime: Freedom. I myself am from Monroe, New York. My condolences go out to Michael's friends and family back home, I'm sure they took the day to remember him and his Shipmates, the Legacies they left behind won't be forgotten."
Seaman Apprentice Johnson, USN of KAAOT/ hometown: Monroe, New York

"Pernaselli Family,
Michael was an eceptional leader and motivator. His memory will always be keept alive."
Ulyesse Leon Preston of Atlanta, GA

"To all those who have lost someone dear that they love in the line of duty
to America,

They are now in heaven....don't be sad, they have left us and are in a better place. They were chosen....by God to set an example for all of us. The ones who die the soonest are the best, the brightest and the bravest....they are at peace now...God is shining his light and love on them. They are happy and are all smiling to all of us from heaven. They will always love you, they will always be with you. They will always think of you. You are always on their minds and in their prayers. Please don't ever forget this when you think of all of them....they are with God and pray for us now. May they all rest in Peace.

United States Army Medical Division
1991 to 1997
Sheida Golchin of Fairfield, Connecticut

"You are not forgotten, Michael Pernaselli."
Eileen Di Fiore Slade of Midlothian, Virginia, USA

"April 16, 2009
To the family of Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Pernaselli:
Michael gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"You will never be forgotten, Michael Pernaselli."
Eileen (DiFiore) Slade of Midlothian, VA

"Mike, it has been a long 4 years. I am sorry for losing touch with you. I can't forget the good times we had on the Arctic. You were an awesome shipmate and friend. I know that you are aware that your mother passed your bike down to me. And I also know that you are aware that I totalled it after my first deployment. So I know what you are doing up there in Heaven, cruising around taking in the scenery. I keep in touch with Kyle and Teesha as much as possible and they also miss you dearly. Your girls are well taken care of. Mr. and Mrs. Pernaselli, I can't say enough how sorry I am for your loss. I prayed to St Michael the whole time I was in Iraq, keeping Mike in my thoughts, and I know he was looking out for me. Mike, I pray to see you again one day. I love you bro."
Dean C Dooley of Quantico, Va.

"Dear Pernaselli Family,

Michael will forever be a hero to us all. He did what few could do. My most sincere thoughts and prayers are with you.

former LT, USNR
Patrol Craft 5 - TYPHOON"
Doug Feliciano of San Jose

"To the family members or Micheal Pernaselli, As a current member of CTF 158 we continue to pay tribute to Michael and his shipmates for the sacrifices they made. We held a small ceremony on 24 April in their honor on the oil terminal nearby. If appropriate my Commodore would like to write to your family to express his wishes. Please pass contact info to craig.preston@kaaot.navy.mil if appropriate. God Bless"
LCDR Drew Preston of KAAOT, Northern Arabian Gulf

"Father in Heaven, from the ancient days of the Psalmist, to the days and nights of this war;
Your warriors have always asked You for Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.
Be with the Bruckenthal, Watts, and Pernaselli Families today, Lord, and any who mourn a loss from this war.
They need Your strength for another year.
Deploy with us, Father. Grant us Your courage, that we may honor our brother on every mission.
Grant us each the wisdom to accept Your will, even when we do not understand it, even when it hurts.
And as always, Father, watch over our families. Bless our spouses, our children, our parents and our loved ones.
Bless anyone who offers up a prayer for our safety as we take up weapons and shields to serve You.
For we still walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. If it be Your will, Lord, allow us to continue taking the fight to the enemy. Grant us victory, with honor, before our time comes to lie down in green pastures and to dwell in Your House forever. Amen"
Martin Castellanos, PO2 of USCG TACLET South, Florida

"Mike you will always be in our prayers."
Zielinski of phx. az

"To the entire Pernaselli family, I am so sorry for your loss. I went to school with Michael at Our Lady of Lourdes. I remember he was a goofy, typical mischeivious boy who made people laugh. But he was a good boy and I know he grew up to be a fine man. I met his grandpa at the doctors office I work for, and he was so very proud of his grandson. You are all in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope you have found comfort in knowing he is in heaven watching over his loved ones and fellow soldiers. God Bless."
Tracie of Rochester, NY

"to the pernaselli family,there are no words to express how i felt when i read of what happened to one of my fellow shipmates while browsing through the internet. pernaselli's name sticks out to me, but it's been soo long. either way, very sorry for your loss. take care and i know his memory will live forever in all who knew him. the harrington family. dc2"
jason harrington of trona,ca

"Mr. and Mrs. P,

I was one of the crews that Mike's unit relieved in Bahrain of that year. We all got together at the "Desert Dome" for drinks one night, and Mike and Chris were both there, havin a great time. Mike always had a way of making people smile, either with his wit or doin something crazy.

Since he was on another crew, we didn't see each other much except when stuck on duty on a satudray at Little Creek. That's when we'd all pitch in and order a pizza or something. And you had to be quick or Mike would wolf the whole thing down!

My highest respects go out to you and Mike's little girls. It's been 3 years, and I pray that they are growing up knowing their dad is a hero.

I know he's mine.

Very Respectfully,

Gunner's Mate 1st Class Jacob M. Frasier
Formerly of Patrol Coastal Crew Foxtrot.
Jacob Frasier of Buffalo, NY/USA

From all of us who seaved with you it was a plesure and a privlege you were one who we could follow and imulate. You will continue to be in my mind and heart. You are not forgotten."
GM2 Timothy Kozlowski of Rochester NY (served onboard the USS Arctic w/Mike)

"4/17/07- It's been almost 3 years brother and every day I think of the sacrafice you made and the joys you have missed. I miss most of all your humor and your kindness that you so freely shared among your civilian co workers at JCP. I tell my kids today of the funny stories and how you are fighting for this country in the war. I havent had the heart to tell my daughter yet as I think its best to wait a few more years. She is as proud of you as I am Mike. Every time we go to a parade she will ask, "Is Mike marching Dad". I have everything to do not to cry. I miss you brother."
Just an old friend of Waterford CT

"To the Pernaselli family. I never met BM1, but I belong to the crew he served with in the Gulf when he was killed in action. I just finish serving my last tour onboard USS FIREBOLT before my retirement. The 3rd anniversary is just around the corner, PC CREW INDIA is currently onboard and it will remember Mike, Nathan, and Christopher with honor and respect. Your son's memory and that of the other two fallen shipmates lives on. I am going to dedicate my retirement ceremony in their honor, they too were my shipmates, never forgotten. God bless.
IT1(SW/PJ) Raul E. Rosas of Montgomery Village, MD

Can't believe it's almost going on 3 years that you left us. I know you are up in heaven with the angels looking over your presious girls as well as the rest of you family and friends. There will never be a day that goes by that i don't think about you. You were a special part of my life and a wonderful friend.I will always love you....Mr and Mrs pernaselli im so sorry for you lost Mike was very special to me. My prayers be with you and the girls.."
salena lezeska of rochester ny

"As a former crew member of the USS ARCTIC, I served with Pern for 3 1/2 years. He and I served in the same division onboard. He taught me how to drive the RHIB's and was a great guy. Always having a good time at work or at play. I remeber alot of the liberty times we spent together, like racing go-karts in Sicily. Sad to see you have gone Brother and Proud to have served with you. I extend my condolences to your family and hope all will remember your legacy. The Navy surely has lost a fine Sailor!"
Bill Williamson of Camby, Indiana

"Mr. and Mrs Pernaselli...

I am so sorry to hear about Michael. I just found out about his death 3 days ago. Unfortunately, both of our families were plastered all over the news that day, for I lost my adopted daughter in a tragic car accident the same day. This is why I had no idea of what happened to Michael. My heart is in a million pieces and I feel for you and your family. I know how hard it is to lose a child and the grief that comes. Michael's daughter's are very lucky to have you and they are beautiful girls. My prayers are with you and your family. I will also cherish all of my childhood memories with Michael."
Heaven (Mietz) Kent of Lyons, New York

"Mr. & Mrs Pernaselli, My name is Ty Caldwell I was part of the crew that your son and his crew relieved on the USS Firebolt. I can relate to what happend over there becuase I was doing the very same job your son was doing when he was killed. My thoughts and prayers have and always will be with your Family. May God Bless us all."
CTR1 (SW) Ty Caldwell of Augusta, Ga

"Mike, I miss you alot, we all do. I do hope you are watching over your daughters and parents. To Mr. and Mrs. Pernaselli, my name is Colin and I was stationed with Mike aboard USS FIREBOLT. I was there when it all happened. I just want to tell you that I know he died doing what he loved doing, which you already know, and he did not suffer at all. He was a great friend to us all and our whole crew missed him, along with Christopher Watts and Nathanel Bruckenthal. We miss you all."
Colin Mullins of Virginia Beach, VA

I love you with all my hart. I miss you very badly. I can't wait to see you one day, PROBLY."
Matthew Robinson of Ny, Rochester

I Miss You and I hope that you are fine and watching over Mom, Dad, the girls and my family. You are always in my Heart. I Love You and Rest in Peace--Your Brother"

"To the family of Michael J. Pernaselli, I served with him on board USS Arctic and he was one of the best shipmates that I've know. Always friendly and willing to help you. He'll be truly missed and may God be with you ."
MM2 (SW) Jerome Hickenbottom of Naval Station Ingleside, TX USA

"My husband Nathan Bruckenthal was killed in the same attack with Pernaselli and I want to extend my sincere condolenses to his family. I know this year that just passed must have been as hard as it has for me. Please just know that you are in my thoughts."
Pattie and baby girl Harper of Seattle, WA

"I went to McQuaid as well as BM1 (SW) Pernaselli. I graduated in 98 three years after he did. It saddens me to learn that a man who walked the halls of McQuaid the same time as I did, and who served in the same service in which I am currently serving has left the world. I offer my condolences and my prayers to his family and his shipmates for their loss."
MA2 VENTURA of Gaeta, Italy

""For those who SERVE in our nation of war against terrist we all look for those against us and some pay the price for our freedom, I'm deeply sadden by your lost of your son...for he was a great person and friend for life ,my deepest sorrow for you and you family at this time...my prayers..and thought be with you all""
The Metcalf Family "prayers always" of Newport News, Va

""For those who SERVE in our nation of war against terrist we all look for those against us and some pay the price for our freedom, I'm deeply sadden by your lost of your son...for he was a great person and friend for life ,my deepest sorrow for you and you family at this time...my pryers..and thought be with you all""
The Metcalf Family "prayers always" of Newport News, Va

""For those who SERVE in our nation of war against terrist we all look for those against us and some pay the price for our freedom, I'm deeply sadden by your lost of your son...for he was a great person and friend for life ,my deepest sorrow for you and you family at this time...my pryers..and thought be with you all""
The Metcalf Family "prayers always" of Newport News, Va

""For those who SERVE in our nation of war against terrist we all look for those against us and some pay the price for our freedom, I'm deeply sadden by your lost of your son...for he was a great person and friend for life ,my deepest sorrow for you and you family at this time...my pryers..and thought be with you all""
The Metcalf Family "pryers always" of Newport News, Va

"Hello I personally did not know Pernaselli but, my husband was stationed on the USS Arctic with him and told me that he was good person. He spoke highly of him. My husband is currently in the Persian Gulf doing the same job as Pernaselli. Your family is in our prayers. Please keep mine in yours."
of Hampton,VA

"BM1 Pernaselli was an awesome shipmate and a wonderful friend. My husband and I both served with him onboard USS Arctic AOE-8. He was the one who showed me the ropes of the Navy life and taught me the skills to survive. We have lots of great memories from Med Cruise 99 and they will for ever be etched in our hearts. I know that BM1 is resting in hevan with my brother-n-law SPC James E Powell, whom also served on the Arctic with us, and who also gave his life in Iraq. BM1 now your duty is over, no more side crew to be in charge of : ), may you rest in peace and know you are not forgotten. Thank you for your sacrafice, you are TRULY a hero!
Your proud shipmates,
George and Kristi Mann"
Kristi Mann of Mineral Wells, Texas USA

"Fair Winds and Following Seas, Bravo Zulu, Shipmate"
Randy of Dallas, TX

"To mike's family and friends I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and Mike, I won't Forget the talk's on the Fantail. So long shipmate, may you have "fair winds""
EN3 Ravi Hiller of Washington D.C.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Petty Officer Michael J. Peraselli. Your son and his sacrifices will not be forgotten!!!!"
Sue Louis: Proud Navy Mom of Matt & Jacob of Rochester, NY

"To the Pernaselli Family,

My deepest regrets on the loss of your son Michael. You are in our thoughts and prayers."
Tina, Law Enforcement Council of Norwich, CT

"It seemed as though there would be a tomorrow. We should have come back and had a beer together. Your children are beautiful. I will tell them about you. I miss what should have been. Proud to have known you. See you Bro."
Wayne ( USN ) of Honeoye Falls New York

"Petty Officer Pernaselli, goodbye sailor and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To the family and friends of Petty Officer 1st Class Michael J. Pernaselli,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts"
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

"michael you will never be forgotten by the staff of pcf new london..john garrow.......nolmit69ny@2aol.com"
john of norwich ct

"My deepest sympathy and empathy for the family and loved ones of PO1 Michael Pernaselli. God bless you.
(From the mother of sailor KIA 11/18/01)"
Gail Johnson of Rochester, NY

"To Michael's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.


The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne, KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.

Gloria Caldas (his mom) of San Antonio, TX"

"Petty Officer Michael J. Pernaselli's courage and devotion to duty will live forever.

Sincere condolences to his family, friends, and shipmates.

Sailor, rest your oar."
Eric Threet of Texas

"Rest in Peace Warrior
The Taylors USMC"


"To Michael's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Michael, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Michael Pernaselli, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Pernaselli:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Michael for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Pernaselli:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Michael, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on