Dominic Edward Lauritano was born in Phoenixville on September 10, 1920. His father, Vito, emigrated from Italy to begin his family. Dominic had four sibilings. His mother passed away when he was eight. Dominic attended Phoenixville Memorial Junior high school where he played football. Dominic was a member of the Trojan Youth Club and a member of St. Mary's church.
When the depression began, his family like so many others, faced severe financial crisis. In order to survive the children were sent to live with relatives. Dominic had to quit school and find employment. He joined the newly formed government Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937. Dominic was sent to New Mexico where he worked on forest conservation and construction. He worked there for a year then returned home to Phoenixville.
In the spring of 1940, Dominic joined the Army and was sent to Panama for basic training and served two years at Fort Davis in the 14th Infantry. He returned to the US and served as an instructor with the rank of Technical Sergeant.
Dominic volunteered for overseas duty and joined P Company of the 75th Infantry Rangers, better known as Merrill's Marauders. The unit became famous for their successful operations in the CBI Theater (China, Burma, India) behind the Japanese lines, and for their extremely heavy casualties.