Montco Veteran, 93, Is the Last Surviving Member of This World War II Air Squad - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Montco Veteran, 93, Is the Last Surviving Member of This World War II Air Squad

As Veterans Day approaches, NBC10 talked with a Montgomery County man who is the last surviving member of his World World II unit.

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    Montco Vet Is Last Survivor of WWII Unit

    With Veteran's Day just around the corner, the nation will take time to honor those who have sacrificed and served. While honoring veterans, we want to introduce you to one Montgomery County veteran who beat the odds when he was drafted at 18-years-old.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 9, 2018)

    "Uncle Frank" still lives on his childhood street in Conshohocken 93 years — and one World War  — after he was born on West Seventh Street in 1925.

    He wasn't always known as Uncle Frank.

    Many years ago, Frank Ferraoili was a teenager flying bombing missions over Italy during World War II. Back then, he was a kid who became a man very quickly.

    "We bombed bridges, factories, and an oil refinery," Ferraioli said. "That’s what killed Germany."

    He is now the last surviving member of his air squad. He was drafted at 18 and went on to fly 40 missions in a B-24 bomber, delivering striking runs over the Alps in Italy.

    The Montgomery County native originally enlisted as a pilot, but eventually enrolled in gunnery school. With that training, he and his squad executed missions choking off German supplies in 1943.

    One mission saw over 300 anti-aircraft guns aimed at Ferraioli and his crew. Their plane went down and the crew didn’t make it back to base.

    He did eventually make it, but many of his cohorts didn't. Only 30 percent of the airmen survived the war. 

    "I never thought I’d make it out alive," Ferraioli said.