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Michael S. Dimino, worked on fighter jets for Bell during WWII
March 18, 1914 -- Sept. 11, 2009

Michael S. Dimino, who helped build developmental jet fighters while working at Bell Aircraft in Wheatfield during World War II, died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 95.

Mr. Dimino, a Getzville resident, was born in Indiana, Pa., where he attended a one-room schoolhouse and went to town for supplies with his father by horse and wagon. The family moved to Buffalo in 1925, and he attended School 12 and Technical High School before serving in the Army.

He was on the salvage crew at Curtiss-Wright before he helped build initial models of fighter jets at Bell, working secretly at night because of the classified nature of the projects.

Among other jobs, Mr. Dimino assembled steering mechanisms for the P-59A "Airacomet," a precursor of the first operational jet fighters, and helped develop a new oxygen system for fighter planes.

After the war, he opened a meat business, selling hamburgers and Italian sausage for 35 years before retiring. Later, he worked part time at Amherst public golf courses.

Surviving are two sons, Joseph and Michael; and a brother, Angelo.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Tuesday in St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Amherst.


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