Louis Bicknese was raised in Middle Village, Queens, NY and attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood. During World War II, he enlisted U.S. Army Air Corps. After training, he served as a pilot flying B-29s with the 45th Bomb Squadron (40th Bombardment Group, 58th Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force) on the South Pacific island of Tinian. He was awarded an Air Medal and reached the rank of Major. After the war, he graduated from Pace University and continued service in the Air Force Reserves. He was called to active duty during the Korean War, again flying B-29s.
Louis flew for Seaboard for a few years starting in 1956. He subsequently worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in the Flight Inspection Operations Group, and was later responsible for Airman Certification for both domestic and international carriers.
In retirement, he was a member of the Flying Club at Dover Air Force Base in Dover DE, the Military Pilots Group in Prescott AZ, and the Prescott Hanger of the Quiet Birdmen. He was a member of the Mount Holyoke Lodge, AF & AM, South Hadley MA for 67 years and the Officer’s Club at the Naval Academy in Annapolis MD.
Louis married Helen Jane Brunner in 1949, who predeceased him in 2004. He was also predeceased by his two brothers, Frederick and Carl Bicknese. He is survived by two daughters, Dr Joanne Bicknese of Cream Ridge NJ, as well as Janet Bicknese and husband Dr Wayne Regina of Prescott AZ; two grandchildren, Carly and Sage Regina of Philadelphia PA; and a niece, Janice Weidemann of Las Vegas NV and nephew Scott Bicknese of Bath PA. Major Louis Bicknese will receive military honors at a future date in 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery, next to his wife, Helen.
Major Louis Bicknese is seen above in the cockpit of "Fifi," a B-29, at an air show in Prescott AZ where he spent his final years.