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Obituary: Aniello Vincenzo Panetta — Photographer, WW II Veteran

The Southbury resident served as an aerial photographer in the Jolly Rogers 90th Bomb Group documenting the war from land and air.

Aniello Vincenzo Panetta
Aniello Vincenzo Panetta

Aniello Vincenzo Panetta

Dec. 14, 1917 – March 14, 2014

Aniello “Ed” Panetta died peacefully on March 14, 2014.  Born in Brooklyn, Aniello was the son of Italian immigrants, the late Erminia and Pasquale Panetta. 

One of six children, he took up a love of photography from an early age. From this grew a love of painting, drawing and other art.

As a young man, he served in the South Pacific as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. Putting his talent to work for his country, he served as an aerial photographer in the Jolly Rogers 90th Bomb Group documenting the war from land and air. A feature photograph of him in action can be found in the U.S. National Archive.  

After his tour, he was awarded the Distinguished Unit Badge (Presidential Citation), the Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal with three bronze stars, the Philippines Liberation Medal, the Overseas Service Medal in five Campaign battles and the Aerial Combat Medal. 

After his discharge from the service, Ed focused his energy on his business, Panetta Photography. As a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography, he offered industrial and advertising photography services for Dell Labs, Progressive Marketing, Reeves Instrument Corporation, Daddario Strings and Olympus Corporation. 

After retiring, Ed continued with painting, working mostly in oils. He moved to Southbury, Conn., and continued work as a media photographer for local publications. His paintings were often displayed in local galleries and exhibits. 

He also enjoyed sharing his photographs and stories with students studying the war. In his free time he enjoyed playing golf, gardening and singing in the church choir. 

He is a lifetime member of the American Society of Media Photographers and a member of the Watertown Art League. 

He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty-nine years, Olga (DiDonato) Panetta; five children, Robert Panetta, Maria Panetta, Richard Panetta and his wife Antoinette, Barbara (Panetta) Petra and her husband LJ and Diane (Panetta) Deluca and her husband, Victor.   

He will be missed by his eleven grandchildren, Deanna (Makin) Dwyer and her husband Bob, Edward Panetta, Stephen Panetta and his wife Julia, Jennifer (Petra) Ryan, Alyssa Panetta, Suzanne (Petra) Aiello and her husband Vinny, Diane Panetta, James Petra and his wife Carly, Beth Petra, Sarah Makin and Andrew Panetta. He also leaves behind six great-grandchildren Samuel, William, Luke, Annabel, Chase and Ellison.

Calling hours will take place Monday, March 17, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Farmingdale, NY. A Mass will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Martin of Tours Church in Bethpage, NY; internment will follow at Long Island National Cemetery.  

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