Sacco grew up on a farm near the present Birmingham International Airport and had just graduated from Woodlawn High School when he recieved his draft notice. Within a year he was on the front lines at Omaha Beach in Normandy fighting in World War II.
Sacco was a member of 92nd Signal Battalion responsible for establishing communication lines, sometimes in enemy territory. His unit was part of Patton's Third Army engaged in the Battle of the Bulge in 1945. He was also part of the force that liberated the Dachau concentration camp.
After his return to Alabama, Sacco took a job in a steel mill and met his wife, Rosalie. He left the mill to begin working at a typewriter company, which he later bought. He sold the company after suffering a heart attack in 1970 and worked for the Alchoholic Beverage Control Board until his retirement.
Sacco's war experiences were the subject of his son, Jack's 2003 book Where the Birds Never Sing, which was nominated for a 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Joe traveled to numerous speaking engagements after the book came out.
Sacco died in 2007 of heart failure. He was survived by his wife, five children and six grandchildren.
- Ray, Tiffany (November 24, 2007) "Battle of the Bulge veteran of WWII Joe C. Sacco of Birmingham dies." Birmingham News
- Sacco, Jack (2003) Where the Birds Never Sing: The True Story of the 92nd Signal Battalion and the Liberation of Dachau . New York, New York: Harper Books ISBN 0060096659