American Airpower Museum to host honor flight reunion of WWII veterans

The Island Now

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, the American Airpower Museum and Honor Flight Long Island will host a reunion of nine WWII era veterans.  On October 3, 2021, Honor Flight escorted this group of veterans on an early-morning free flight to Washington, D.C.

On their trip, these veterans visited the WWII Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery for “Changing of the Guard” and a special Wreath Laying Ceremony.  Honor Flight returned the veterans to Islip MacArthur Airport that evening to a welcome by the Long Island Bagpipe Band and families.

These WWII veterans, their guardians and families, will attend a patriotic reunion on Saturday, December 4, 2021, hosted by American Airpower Museum and sponsored by Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI).  Reunion is from 11 AM to 1 PM at AAM, Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale. This is a public event, so come and applaud the veterans during a “Ceremony of Honors,” as each is presented with a personalized Tribute Journal full of photos taken during their historic day in the capital.  Admission for the nine veterans, their guardians and families is free.  Public admission is $15 adults, $10 seniors and veterans, $8 kids (5-12).  Preregistration is not required for public admission.  More info at  (631) 293-6398.

Meet and greet this gallant Band of Brothers and one Sister!  They are:  Dominick Critelli, 100, Army, Floral Park; Vincent DePalo, 98, Army Air Corps, Bethpage; Constantine Efthimiades, 96, Army, Whitestone; Robert Harms, 95, Navy, Carle Place; Louis Peretz, 100, Army Air Corps, Commack; Eleanor Rizutto, 100, Army, Franklin Square; Stephen Samsel, 94, Navy, Fairfield, CT; Vincent Tolve, 98, Army Air Corps, Mastic Beach; Eugene Zanger, 93, Army, Massapequa.

This great event includes speeches by HFLI President Bill Jones and AAM President and Founder Jeff Clyman.  Elected officials are expected to attend and present citations to the veterans.  The Fort Salonga Community Band will play the patriotic medley known as the “Armed Forces Salute,” featuring five official melodies of the United States Armed Forces:  Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.  Free refreshments will be provided by HFLI.  Come honor our Greatest Generation heroes!

Honor Flight is accepting applications for 2022 trips from veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Veterans fly for free, thanks to donations from across Long Island.  They are accompanied by guardians, next generation, able-bodied volunteers who donate $400 (tax deductible) to offset travel costs.

If there is no family member to act as a guardian, Honor Flight has volunteers ready to step up for the privilege of escorting our heroes to their memorials.  Interested in a 2022 Honor Flight?  Please contact Jamie Bowden, (631) 702-2423 or or

Contact:  Robert F. Salant, Public Affairs for American Airpower Museum and Honor Flight Long Island, Post Office Box 422, Franklin Square, NY 11010, (516) 328-3959,

Share this Article