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Local Officials Honor World War II Veteran from Deer Park

Ryan Bonner
Deer Park Patch

Pictured: Assemblyman Andrew Raia, Babylon Councilman Tom Donnelly, County Executive Steve Bellone, Frank Agolia (seated), Tom Ronayne-Director of Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency, Chris Schiavo, SCPD and Suffolk Police Veterans Association, Ken Bombace SCPD and Suffolk Police Veterans Assoc., Chief Lawrence Bradbury Deer Park FD, Asst. Chief Phil Scarfi Deer Park FD

County Executive Steve Bellone recently joined Babylon Town Councilman Tom Donnelly, the Deer Park Fire Department, Legislator D’Amaro, Assemblyman Raia, the Suffolk County Police Veterans Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion to honor Deer Park's Frank Agolia for his heroic military record in World War II, 33 years of service as a decorated NYC police detective and for his continued commitment to the Deer Park community.

"It is my privilege to honor Frank Agolia for his years of service in the military, for his public service in the NYPD and his 50 years of service to the Deer Park Community,” Bellone said. “He is truly a role model for all to emulate.”

Agolia, a 50 year resident of Deer Park, was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 2, 1923 to Italian born parents who raised seven boys and four girls. Frank, and five of his brothers served in the U.S. Army during World War II, all overseas.

Frank served with the Glider Infantry Regiment attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and took part in the D-Day, June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy, France. He flew into France in a glider.

The Army used gliders during the Normandy invasion in an attempt to land troops behind the German defenses on the beach. The gliders used were made of wood and obviously had no engines. It was an incredibly dangerous mission. You were at risk of getting shot down by the barrage of anti-aircraft gunfire defending the beaches or enemy aircraft, you also had no runway or landing strip to land on.

The mission was to land in the fields or any place you could find. Agolia is very fortunate because half of the men on his glider were killed when his glider crashed in German held territory. One month later, Frank's regiment was relieved of their mission and readied for a second one. In September 1944, their gliders landed in Nijmegen, Holland where their assignment was to secure a bridge that would eventually allow quick entry into Germany.

After returning home from the service in August of 1945, Frank was appointed to the NYPD on Dec. 19, 1947 and retired as a detective on Aug. 5, 1980. Frank and his wife moved to Deer Park in 1964 and raised their four kids.