"VIBO V. VALENZIO, was the first director I was assigned to as a young 2LT
at the Army Pictorial Center in 1968.
"We were TDY at Fort Bragg, NC, working on a 'Big Picture' episode about the Army's elite parachute team, the 'Golden Knights,' and I was bunking on post at the BOQ while Vibo was staying in town at one of the local motels.
"The afternoon before our first day of shooting, Vibo invited me over to his motel to have a drink and to take advantage of the pool. As always he was chomping on a cigar as he opened a suitcase containing several bottles of William Lawson's scotch.
"Lawson's was hard to get in this neck of the woods, he explained, and he was taking no chances since we'd be 'on location' at least 3 weeks. As Vibo suited up, he introduced me to the 'smoothest scotch this side of heaven.'
"'You ever see a one-legged guy go swimming before?' he asked as he strapped on his artificial leg and pulled a pair of trousers on over it. 'Not really,' I said.
"Vibo explained he had lost his leg while shooting air-to-air combat footage during WWII.
"Out by the pool I settled in to watch the show. No one noticed as his trousers came off but when he unstraped his leg and hopped over the diving board all eyes were on Vibo.
"He bounced around on the end of the board, turning until his back was towards the pool and then did a perfect back flip into the water to a round of applause.
"Our first shot the next day was of Captain Bob Goode free-falling from a helicopter, opening his 'chute at low altitude and landing in front of the airborne soldier's statue as we zoomed in to a medium close up.
"Exciting, you bet, almost as exciting as watching Vibos' one-legged dive."
- Donald Fedynak, 2LT Signal Corps, Directors Branch, Producers Branch, 1968-69
Photos of Vibo Valenzio still sought! Vibo Valenzio's niece and nephew found each other here. Niece Carolynne Valenzio DeLisle wrote, "I saw a note from Donna Mueller who is looking for info for her husband whose Uncle was Vibo Valenzio. He was my Uncle also. I grew up with him. He has 2 brothers who are still alive, Marco and Victor. Victor is my Dad." Donna Mueller previously wrote, "My husband is looking for information on his uncle: Vibo Valenzio. Not sure if there are any photos of him working on pictures...but, we would wondered if anyone had any."
I do have some other info that might help you. Vibo Valenzio was in the Navy. My Dad Victo Valenzio was in the Marines. Now Victor also filmed "things" for the military. he has some interesting stories if you are interested. Victor also went onto a filming career which he was nominated for awards. He worked with Frank, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Peter Lorford, and the list goes on. I know he has photoes from WWII.
There was 2 photo's Loe Lipkowitz was looking for names to. One is my Uncle Vibo. He is in the 2nd photo in the center wearing a vest and neck tie. So hopefully that helps somewhat.
Oh one thing about Vibo. He loved his magic. He was a magician at heart and was real good about it. He had live animals and a room full of tricks that kept me thinking all the time of how did he do that.
(Updated November 06, 2009)