Longest serving US Air Force civilian to retire after 70 years

Duno was honoured on Friday at the Pentagon with a ceremony attended by Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James. (Representative image: American troops board a US Air Force jet during a test withdrawal) Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Washington, United States Jul 26, 2016, 10.18 PM (IST)
The longest serving civilian in US Air Force history, a World War II veteran who fought under General George Patton, will retire in September after 70 years, the military said yesterday.

Anthony Duno, who was drafted into the US Army in 1944 at age 18, participated in the Normandy campaign, the Battle of the Bulge and was assigned to the Nuremberg Trials, the US Air Force said in a profile posted on its website.

"I really believe the Battle of the Bulge was the most important, severe point of the war. It was so extraordinary because so many things happened that had never happened before," Duno said.

Duno's 70 years include both military and civil service.

After the war, Duno, a native of the Bronx in New York, became a civilian Air Force employee specialised in reselling US military facilities that were phased out in Europe.

He was honoured on Friday at the Pentagon with a ceremony attended by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James.

"The Air Force was my life. I will deeply miss all the comrades, all the friends I've known," he said in the profile.

Duno, who keeps a chest filled with mementos from his life, including a Christmas card from Patton, will retire in the northeastern state of New Hampshire.