Vito Louis Vitucci was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 18 August 1920, son of Mrs. Mary Gaeta Vitucci and Joseph Vitucci. He was graduated from Holy Cross Parochial School and Boys High School in Brooklyn and entered the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, directly from High School on 3 June 1939. Graduated with the Class of 1943 on 19 June 1942 (course accelerated due to war emergency), he was commissioned Ensign in the US Navy from that date, and by subsequent advancement attained the rank of Captain, to date from 1 July 1962.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1942 he had three months’ instruction at the Submarine School, New London, Connecticut, and then was ordered to the Submarine Force in the Southwest Pacific. He served in USS Tambor (SS-198) from January 1943 to September 1944, twelve months as Communication Officer and nine months as Gunnery Officer, and participated out duty in USS Catfish (SS-339), and served as her Gunnery Officer from her commissioning in March 1945 until October 1946, participating in one war patrol during the latter period of the war.
He was Assistant Training Officer on the Staff of Commander Submarine Force, Pacific until May 1948, and then assisted in fitting out USS Tiru (SS-416). He served as Executive Officer of that submarine from her commissioning in August of that year until July 1949, and in September 1949 returned to the Naval Academy for duty as First Lieutenant in the Department of Physical Training. (He had played varsity football for two years at the Naval Academy).
In August 1951 he joined USS Sarda (SS-448) at New London and served for thirteen months as her Executive Officer. After commanding USS Icefish (SS-367) during her recommissioning period and training the Netherlands crew, he turned Icefish over to Holland. He next commanded USS Hardhead (SS-365), based at New London, for twenty-two months. From February to July 1955 he was a student at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, after which he had a two year tour of duty in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, DC, as Assistant Head of the Standards and Curriculum Branch.
For a year he was Plans Officer on the Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron SIX, which operated from Norfolk, Virginia, and in July 1958 returned to the Navy Department for duty as Head of the Future Plans Section, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He assumed command of USS Keppler (DDE-765) in September 1960 and in June 1962 became Commanding Officer of the Naval Communication Station San Juan, Puerto Rico. He commanded USS Pocono (AGC-16) from May 1965 to August 1966, and then reported for instruction at the Industrial College of Armed Forces, Washington, DC.
Captain Vitucci had a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon and Combat “V”, for “meritorious conduct in the performance of his duties while serving on board a US Submarine during World War II…” In addition, he had the American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; and the Submarine Combat Insignia.
Captain Vitucci was married to a former WAVE, Virginia L. Keegan of Brooklyn, New York.