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Veteran's Spotlight: Air Force Repairman Mario Dell’aera

U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.

 

“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.

 

From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.

 

He said that the training that would normally take 14 weeks was curbed to an 8-week crash course in order to prepare for battle. 

 

To have completed the training would be required to take a final exam every night when they lowered the flag at sundown.

 

“In order to graduate, a pilot would have to break the sound barrier,” Dell’aera said without reservation. 

 

During his time in the Air Force, Dell’aera worked on several planes including the T-33 airplane, which the government had stolen from the Russians. Of all the aircraft he worked on, he said, his favorite was the F-86.

 

“If we didn’t have that we wouldn’t have won the war,” he said.

 

Dell’aera said he also remembers watching the U.S. Military testing of the atomic bomb out in the desert. 

 

“We’d sit on top of the barracks,” he said, adding that people sat and watched from the Las Vegas strip.

 

Dell’aera continued in aeronautics after the war, getting a job with Air Research, a firm which he worked for 53 years as a project coordinator. Six years ago, when he retired, Dell’aera recieved the Charles Taylor award-named after the Wright Brothers’ mechanic-his name was also put on record with the FAA in Washington D.C. 

 

On Dec. 3, 1963, Dell’Aera left his home in the Bronx, headed for Levittown, where he raised four kids with his wife, who recently passed.

 

Dell’Aera recalls seeing farms all along Hempstead Turnpike. 

 

Back when William Levitt first constructed the more than 17,000 houses for GI’s returning from World War II, he had no idea the population boom that would follow. 

 

“Now, [with the population larger] it’s hard to find an original Levitt home,” Dell’aera said.

 

Today, ‘Red’ said, he keeps busy doing pro bono work for senior citizens as well as interior maintenance for the American Legion Post #1711, where he has been a member for 18 years. Of all his work with the Legion, Dell’aera said he enjoys the flag etiquette program and assembling the 110 flags for Memorial Day.

News

The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Levittown.

With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.

The featured speaker at the Levittown Historical Society’s September meeting was John Owens, editor in chief of Anton Community Newspapers, the publisher of the Levittown Tribune.

Historical society Vice President Bob Koenig opened the meeting, which was held at the Levittown Public Library.

Owens discussed the opioid epidemic that has swept over Long Island. Not only have thousands of residents become addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin, Owens said, but also, over the past two years there have been more than 240 overdose deaths.


Sports

Saturday, Sept. 27

9 a.m. Boys Varsity Soccer Great Neck South at MacArthur

9:15 a.m. JV Football Lawrence at Division

10 a.m. Boys JV Soccer West Hemsptead at Division

10 a.m. Boys Varsity Soccer Division at West Hempstead

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

Hispanic Heritage Month

Friday, September 26

Donations Needed

Saturday, September 27

Homecoming

Saturday, September 27



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com