Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dash Between: Dan Brattoli, 89, Army Air Forces pilot, Distinguished Flying Cross recipient

1st Lt. Dan Brattoli, a tactical reconnaissance pilot, sits on the wing of a P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft, which bears the nickname of his wife, Vernie. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters for his service during World War II. (Photo courtesy of the family.)
As a kid, Dan Brattoli built wooden model airplanes with flaps that worked through a lever inside and a tail that could be moved by a tiny joystick in the cab of the plane.

His love of flight and of country led to his serving in the Army Air Forces as a tactical reconnaissance pilot, who served in the Philippines during World War II. He left the service with a Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

After the war, Brattoli frequented Ohio airfields, where he rented planes and took members of his family for rides until he was around 50 years old.

Click here to read the story in the June 5, 2011, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram about Brattoli's wartime service and the rest of The Dash Between Sept. 6, 1921, when the retired Elyria carpenter was born in New Lexington, Ohio, and May 4, 2011, when he died at age 89.

View photos showing Brattoli at various stages of life at this link.

Veronica and Dan Brattoli often could be seen holding hands, even in their later years. (Photo courtesy of the family.)

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