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Major Edward J. Linfante, USAFR (Ret.) ,90, passed away February 15, 2013 in Pantego, TX. He was born in Jersey City, NJ, and graduated from Dickinson High School.
In his youthful days, he built model planes and won many contests, including establishing an internationally recognized world endurance record for towline model gliders in 1940.
Ed served his country honorably in WWII, as a P-51D Mustang fighter-pilot, with the 506th Fighter Group, flying very long range missions from Iwo Jima to Japan. Afterwards, he flew with the NJANG and using the GI Bill, graduated from New York University as an Aeronautical Engineer.
He worked for Curtiss Wright, Boeing and American Airlines. He was an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. After retiring in 1986, Ed was a dedicated member of the Pantego Lions Club, involved in many projects and a past president. He was a life member of the P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Associations.
His creativity, talent and skill in building, sketching, improvising, was much appreciated by all those he kindly helped; neighbors, friends and family.
He attended many fighter group reunions bringing items he crafted to give as gifts. Several military museums and books have benefited from his documents and mementos.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Lillie Mae Erbig; sister, Gloria Makowski of Indian Harbour Beach, FL; six nieces, and eight nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Madeline Kealy.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2013