I grew up in a small Pennsylvania Town and went through my elementary, Jr. High and High School there. I enjoyed playing baseball and football. I was a catcher while in school and later went on to play short stop. Playing football in school, I was a defensive tackle. A defensive lineman's thrill was mine back then. I broke through the line and recovered a fumble and ran 17 yards for a Touchdown. School papers read: "Galloping Al Fanelli Gallops 17 yards for a Touchdown". So ended my school sports thrills. I later continued playing baseball and softball as a 1st baseman and short stop.
I enlisted into the Navy, following tradition of my dad's service to our country (USN WWII Gunner's Mate). After completing Boot camp, I qualified for Aviation or submarines. I decided on aviation and went through all the aircraft training schools the Navy provide to me. Upon completion and graduation, I served with the following units:
Plane Captain on F-4 Phantom Aircraft with VX-4 Point Mugu, CA.
Volunteered for Vietnam service: Weapons, SERE schools, and other training
ops for next assignment with River Patrol Force (TF-116) in country Vietnam.
Plane Captain on OV-10 Bronco Aircraft (Call sign- Black Pony) supporting
Ground and Riverine forces for 13 months. 1969-1970
Returned home 1970 and married my sweetheart.
We were assigned to HC-4 Lakehurst, NJ. 1970-1971
Active duty Enlistment ended in 1971 and served next two years in-active reserves.
Worked at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for five years in 02 shop
maintenance for roughly 5 years.
Moved on for promotion to Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA-
Boeing) as a Quality Assurance Representative for Army, Marine Corps, and
Navy procurements of CH-47, CH-46 & V-22 Aircraft from 1972 until
I've had to slow down considerably over the years because of my disabilities but, I still enjoy sharing life with my wife, our family, playing my guitar, karaoke, and just relaxing.