Codemasters today announced a major breakthrough in its search for the descendents of the man who inspired the events in alternate World War II action game Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. Mario Contasino was the taxi driver who accidentally knocked down Winston Churchill in 1931 when the future prime minister looked the wrong way whilst crossing a busy New York City street. In spite of the two becoming close friends following the accident, no-one knows what ultimately became of the man who almost killed Churchill… until now.
Codemasters announced its search for the descendents of Mario Contasino on 8th February and, taking up the challenge set down in Codemasters’ ‘The Quest To Find Mario Contasino’ website (www.codemasters.co.uk/quest), enterprising researchers from The Genealogue website blog accessed records held in New York’s Westchester Library.
Using Mario Contasino’s residential address as reported during the time of the accident, the librarians unearthed a listing for an Edward F. Castasano. Using this listing as a reference point, the genealogists were able to find an entry in a 1910 census for an Edward M. Contasano (a more common usage of the name Castasano) who – like the ‘Mario Contasino’ that Codemasters is looking for – had two sisters and was born to an Italian immigrant father.
Further investigation shows that an Edward Cantasano was born on 25th November 1905 and – possibly inspired by his friendship with Winston Churchill – enlisted for US Army service during World War II on 12th March 1942. Sadly, Edward Cantasano, passed away on 17th January 1989, but the search for his relatives continues so that Codemasters can honour the descendents of the man who provided the inspiration for Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.
The titular turning point of the forthcoming World War II action game from Codemasters centres around the motor accident involving Churchill and Contasino. In this fictional ‘what if?’ scenario, the accident resulted in Churchill’s death with global ramifications.
Without Churchill’s inspirational speeches to rouse the Allied troops, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty suggests that the course of World War II took a very different turn, with Britain succumbing to Nazi occupation, with the Axis Powers launching a full-scale invasion of America in 1953.
David McCarthy, Oxford historian and editor of The Quest to Find Mario Contasino online blog, says:The interest in the mystery surrounding Mario Contasino from newspapers in the UK and US has been fantastic. However, the real joy has been seeing the way in which genealogists on both sides of the Atlantic have taken up the challenge set out in the blog, unearthing never-before-seen information about the man who could have altered the course of modern history.
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is released in the UK for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Games for Windows.