30 years later, WWII veterans reunite - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

30 years later, WWII veterans reunite

By: Lauren Fabrizi
lfabrizi@klkntv.com

It's been about 30 years since two World War II veterans and long-time friends last saw each other. But when they reunited Friday in Lincoln, it was as if they didn't skip a beat.

"It's real nice," WWII veteran Harry Blum said. "Real, real good."

Blum and Tony DiNardo have a friendship that spans more than 70 years. Blum was a pilot with the U.S. Air Force while in the South Pacific. DiNardo was a bombardier on Blum's plane. Together, they flew 39 missions over enemy territory.  

"He was a hell of a pilot, unbelievable," DiNardo said of Blum. "I like to tease him that I trained him very well, but it wasn't me."

"We look back on it with pride," Blum said. "And we got along real good, all of us."

After the war, Blum and DiNardo went back home-- Blum to Lincoln and DiNardo to Pittsburgh. Throughout the years, they've always kept in touch. They also went to reunions with the rest of their squad to keep their war bond alive.

"We became a family, you know," DiNardo said. "We did everything together, everything."

And it was those close–knit relationships that inspired DiNardo to put it all down on paper.

It took five years to craft his newly published book, "Across the Tracks." Five years that compile many more than that of not only memoirs from the war, but also his life as an Italian immigrant living the American Dream. 

DiNardo said Blum is a big part of that story, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"He's like a brother, you know," he said.

DiNardo is working to get his book in stores. He'll be in Lincoln visiting with Blum until Saturday afternoon.

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