Rockville Centre resident Sergeant Frank S. Naro, left, was recently inducted by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Naro was honored with other veterans from across the state at a ceremony in the New York State Capitol.
“As a lifelong resident of the Village of Rockville Centre, it is my pleasure to name Aerial Technical Sergeant Frank S. Naro as the newest inductee of the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame,” said Skelos in a written statement. “Sergeant Naro has been awarded with numerous citations and awards throughout his military career due to his devotion to his county and the Air Force. Sergeant Naro is a true symbol of patriotism whose story not only demonstrates bravery, but honor during his time fighting in World War II. He truly portrays the qualities which the Veterans’ Hall of Fame was intended to tribute and I thank him for all that he’s done for our country.”
Naro is a decorated Air Force veteran whose story is an inspiring tale of bravery and devotion to our country. During World War II, Naro, a gunner in the ball turret of a B-17 Bomber, was shot down by German fighters. Upon being ejected from his plane, his escape was miraculous because he was struck by an ammunition box which caused injuries to his head, and his parachute opened late. Naro was the only non-captured survivor of that enemy attack on the 96th Bomb Squadron’s 2nd Bomb group.
Once on the ground, Naro could hear enemy combatants converging on his location and he fled to a nearby farm where he was taken in by the Greek Underground and hidden from the German soldiers. Naro’s family back home in the Bronx received word through a telegram that he was Missing In Action, and ultimately believed that he had been killed.
After two months, he was able to obtain a fake passport, and along with 15 others, boarded a Greek fishing vessel to flee to safety in Egypt. Naro and the others were hidden in the recess of the vessel, buried under layers of fish and successfully maintained cover, even fooling the German soldiers who had boarded to inspect the cargo.
Upon his arrival in Cairo, Naro was given a new lease on life. He was able to coordinate his travel back home to the United States and was later united with his family in an emotional homecoming as they had believed that he had been killed in the line of duty.
Naro has received numerous citations and awards, including the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Honorable Service Lapel for World War II and the Marksman Badge with Pistol Bar.
He currently resides in Rockville Centre with his wife of 63 years, Lena, and has one daughter, Joan, and a granddaughter, Genie, who live in South Hempstead.
The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
To view the Hall of Famers, visit www.nysenate.gov/report/2012-veterans-hall-fame-award-recipients.