Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 0 years, 10 months, 16 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: Motorcycle Division

District of Incident (Present Day): 016 - Jefferson Park

Location of Occurrence: 

Cause of Death: Crash - Automobile (Pursuit)

Age at Time of Death: 33


Date of Birth: 19 Nov 1908

Date of Appointment: 17 Jun 1941

Date of Incident: 016 - Jefferson Park

End of Watch: 03 May 1942

Date of Interment: 07 May 1942


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
 Grave Location: Lot 16, Block E, Section Y
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel #25

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman Philip Thomas Romano, Sr., Star #221, aged 33 years, was a 0 year, 10 month, 16 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.

On May 3, 1942, Officer Romano, was on duty chasing a motorist for speeding. He was riding Northeast on Forest Preserve Drive when his motorcycle crashed head on with a car driven by Raymond Gustafson, age 25, of 5958 West Grace Street. Mr. Gustafson was coming from the opposite direction and began to turn left onto North Olcott Avenue coming directly into the path of Officer Thomas. Officer Romano struck the front end of the car and was ejected from his motorcycle. He was still conscious after the crash and while at the hospital reported to fellow officers the story of chasing the speeder who made good his escape. Officer Thomas was transported to Belmont Hospital where he was pronounced dead on May 3, 1942.

Officer Romano was laid to rest on May 7, 1942 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road #4, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave –, Lot 16, Block E, Section Y.

Patrolman Romano Philip Thomas, Sr., born November 19, 1908, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 17, 1941. Prior to joining the Department he served as a State Highway Policeman and a Cook County Deputy Sheriff – Bailiff.

Officer Romano was survived by his wife, Inez Pearl (nee Jett), age 33; children: Clara Pauline, age 11, Elizabeth Ann, age 6, Mary Phyllis, age 13, Philip Thomas, Jr., age 8 and Virginia Henrietta, age 14; father, Isidoro; step-mother, LaVinia (nee Rason); siblings: Carmella Ziglar, Ignatius Robert, Isadore Andrew, Jean Virginia, Lillian Santa Gott, Joseph, Mary Magnus, Samuel and step-sister, Cora Ellen Eicholz. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia J, age 0 months and mother Vincenza (nee Abborino).