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World War II veteran who survived being shot down turns 100 in Murrieta

By in Press Enterprise on February 3, 2018

By Staff report Sun City Gardens held a 100th birthday party for resident Frank Ferraiolo on Jan. 2, 2018. He was born on Jan. 18, 1918 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Courtesy photo)

Frank Ferraiolo, a resident at Sun City Gardens in Menifee, celebrated his 100th birthday last month with friends, family, and an appearance by Menifee Mayor Neil Winter, who presented him with a certificate of recognition.

Ferraiolo was born Jan. 18, 1918 in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Sophia Gallo, and Alfonso Ferraiolo, an antiques dealer. Gallo, a homemaker, raised Frank, his brother Phillip, and his four sisters Marie, Rose, Lucy and Annie.

After graduating from high school, he got a job at Anchor Optical, a subsidiary of the U.S. Navy, and then went into the U.S. Army Air Force where he was an Army Crew Chief. He specialized in hydraulics, electricity and landing gear equipment. While serving in World War II in the 39th Air Depo Crew, his B-17 was shot down and it landed in the Mediterranean, according to an email from Sun City Gardens. Frank survived with just a broken elbow.

After the Air Force, his first job was with a medical/surgical supply company. He then worked for New York City, working his way up to bridge operator, which he did for 31 years. When he retired in 1987 he moved to California with his wife, Madeline, whom he met in Brooklyn when they were both 26 years old.

She lived on the third floor apartment building next to his house and used to look out her window and watch him work on his car. They married at Our Lady Hope of Christians Church in Brooklyn and were married for 60 years until Madeline’s Death at age 86.

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