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Michael J. Colamonico, Former POW, Dies

World War II veteran from Huntington Station was 92.

Michael Colamonico with Town Supervisor Frank Petrone last summer at a POW picnic at Centerport beach.
Michael Colamonico with Town Supervisor Frank Petrone last summer at a POW picnic at Centerport beach.
Michael J. Colamonico, a veteran who spent 17 months in a German prison camp during World War II, died Friday.

The Huntington Station resident was 92.

He was the top turret gunner on a B-17 bomber  when it was shot down by a German fighter plane as it flew over France on Dec. 31, 1943. He was one of four crewmen captured, interrogated and Colamonico was sent to Stalag 17, outside Krems, Austria. As Russian troops moved closer to the camp, the German soldiers moved the airmen farther west, where they were finally liberated by American troops on May 3, 1945. 

""I close my eyes and saw my entire young life went before me. What did I do to deserve this?" he told WABC-TV in 2010.

When the war ended, Colamonico returned home to Brooklyn, and worked in the textile industry. Later he joined with the Nassau/Suffolk Long Island American Ex-Prisoners of War Association and later served with the Veterans of Huntington Committee. 

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said, "I send my deepest condolences to the family of Mike Colamonico. Mike was a charter member of the Town's Veterans Advisory Board and a true American hero: a World War II POW who spent 18 months in the infamous Stalag 17. He was active in veterans’ issues, supported veterans of all ages and all wars, and he attended virtually all Town veterans-related events. But more important, Mike was a warm, wonderful friend. He will be missed."

Visitation is scheduled for Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at M. A. Connell Funeral Home.

His funeral is set for Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of the day he was shot down, at 9:45 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church, Huntington.

He will be buried at Long Island National Cemetery, Pinelawn.

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