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Onesi was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Niagara Falls, New York at a young age. He was drafted into the Air Force in 1942. He attended radio training school in Chicago, Illinois. He transferred several times for various schools. He went to gunnery school in Las Vegas, Nevada. They trained on the west coast, looking for submarines on training flights. He was assigned as the waist gunner immediately. They flew overseas and landed in England. It was a long flight from the US to England. When they got to England, they wanted to split up Onesi's crew, but the pilot, Dick Smith, refused to let them do it.They arrived in England on 3 May of 1942. For the most part, they had the same aircraft. They named their second airplane Destiny Taught. They had the name painted on the airplane. Onesi remembers the Air Force treated very well, the food was good. He recalls flying his first mission into Germany. They did not have an escort into Germany, just to the English Channel. He remembers they were on their own until they made it back to the channel.

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