By Michele Stevens Bernard, TSB Features Writer
On October 26, 1942, Armand Volpini, like many young American men, enlisted in the United States Army Air Force. As a lead bombardier with the 526th Bomb Squadron in the 379th Bomb Group during World War II, 1st Lt. Volpini would go on to complete 30 missions in that role. Before his official discharge on June 9, 1945, Volpini would find himself honored for his service with the reception of 5 air medals.
Today, the TownSquareBuzz Foundation would like to honor this long-time McKinney resident, and say thank you for your selfless service.
Volpini, born to Italian immigrants and a native of Massachusetts, has lived in McKinney with his wife Ethel for the past 15 years. Together, they have 5 children, 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. They are active members of the community, and members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
During his military career, Volpini attended Basic Training in Atlantic City, New Jersey. From there he went to Buffalo University for 4 ½ months to await further orders. Later, he was sent to Santa Ana, California for preflight training as an Aviator Cadet, before moving on to Kingman, AZ, to train in Arial Gunnery . May 1944 found Volpini in Deming, NM, for Bombardier training. Later, he transferred to Ardmore, OK to learn more about the brand new B-17 that would eventually fly him across the pond to be of service in and around the skies of England.
Recently, the now 92-year-old Volpini was honored with a group of fellow World War II veterans by Honor Flight DFW, a non-profit network of volunteers established for the express purpose of getting as many WWII veterans as possible to Washington, DC to view the World War II Memorial. Originally started in 2004 by physician’s assistant Earl Morse, Honor Flight DFW was established in September 2008. To date Honor Flight DFW has flown 263 WWII veterans to Washington, DC.
While in Washington, DC, Volpini was escorted by a volunteer Guardian as he visited several meaningful sites, including the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Marine (Iwo Jima), Navy and Air Force Memorials, as well as Arlington Cemetery, and the Walter Reed Hospital. He was also honored with a Heroes’ Banquet that featured an honor guard presenting the colors, active military service personnel and guest speakers.
Upon return to DFW, Volpini enjoyed a hero’s welcome at the airport where he was greeted by cheering supporters, and waving flags.
“The Honor Flight volunteers are incredible people,” said Ethel Volpini, “The spirit in which they give service is unbelievable and truly inspiring. They are incredibly dedicated and they deserve all the gratitude and support from our community that they can get.”
In addition to assigned guardians, Honor Flight DFW’s team of volunteer medical professionals traveled at their own expense with Volpini and his fellow veterans. To learn more about this incredible group, click here to visit their website. Also be sure to watch the Honor Flight video attached to the bottom of this story.
On behalf of McKinney, and the TownSquareBuzz Foundation, we join with Honor Flight DFW to say, thank you Armand Volpini, for your dedicated service to our country.
The TownSquareBuzz Foundation is a non-profit supporting veterans, service members and their families in North Texas. As the philanthropic arm of TownSquareBuzz.com, the mission of the Foundation is to engage residents and raise community awareness about the unique needs of military families and service members by directing resources to support and improve their overall well-being.
To learn more about the foundation, click here to visit our website.