Major Mario Domenic Cadori (1919 - 1968)

10th Army Air Force, USAF, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, NATO; Pilot, KIA

Remembering - Major Mario Domenic Cadori - MZHS "Hero of Air Power"

Major Mario D. Cadori, son of Dante and Catherine Cadori of Brynedale, started his aviation career after enlisting in the Aviation Cadets on December 9, 1942, and receiving his wings in September 1944. He spent his first tour of duty in the China-Burma-India Theater (often referred to as The Forgotten Theater of World War II) with the AAF 10th Combat Cargo Squadron. Flight Officer Mario Cadori flew 42 missions in the C46 (aka Dumbo) and C47 (aka Gooney Bird) combat cargo flights over “The Hump” from India to China across the eastern Himalayas. He was in India on drop missions, and Myitkyina and Burma. He flew 107 trips from Burma to Shanghai, and helped haul the 992nd and 94th Chinese armies to Peiping. He remained in the service until February 1946, joined the reserves, and returned to work for the Speer Carbon Company in St Marys. In March 1953, he was recalled to service from the reserves and refreshed his flight training in a T6 Texan and soon was flying C-46s and then the C119 “Flying Boxcar” during the Korean Conflict. From that point on he remained a pilot in the US Air Force.

As an experienced pilot in Special Aerial Spray Flying (SASF) then Captain Mario Cadori went on a special Vietnam assignment (Operation Ranch Hand) in April 1961. Captain Mario Cadori was dispatched from Korea to set up the program to train the Vietnam Air Force pilots to fly in C-47s in aerial spray techniques in Southeast Asia. According to his superior officer, this special kind of flying was hazardous, and “Captain Cadori accomplished a very difficult task of instruction in an outstanding manner” receiving the US Air Force Commendation Medal.

Major Cadori served a total of 26 years in the US Air Force with overseas duty in WWII (China-Burma-India Theater), Korea, Germany, Vietnam, and finally in Italy.

In Vicenza, Italy he was assigned as the Officer in Charge of Detachment 9, 1141 USAF Special Activities Squadron, which was a unique organization that supported the special needs of American service members working as part of the joint international NATO Forces. In January 9, 1968 Major Mario D. Cadori and his c0-pilot had just left Ciampino Airport near Rome, Italy with five passengers when the airplane encountered engine problems. The pilots attempted to return to Ciampino Airport but due to icing on its wings, the plane crashed short of the runway. The co-pilot and five passengers survived, but Major Mario Cadori was killed in this flight accident (known as Killed in Flight Accident -KIFA vs. Killed in Action-KIA). Mario’s wife, Carmela Ann Guido and children Mario and Maria returned to Byrnedale from Italy where they had lived. Mario Cadori was buried at Morningside Cemetery in DuBois, Pa.

Major Mario Cadori received several medals and awards including the Air Medal with Oak Leaf clusters, Burma Star and Chinese Liberation, USAF Commendation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Purple Heart, campaign ribbons with 3 battle stars, and victory medals, and others.

The Mt. Zion Historical Society is proud to honor Major Mario Cadori as one of its “Heroes of Air Power”.

“Lest We Forget”