Bio: Sczeck / Szczech, Andrew (1920 - 1944)
Contact: Leon Konieczny
Surnames: Sczeck, Konieczny
[The following is from an email message from Joanne (Szczech) Konieczny to her sister, Mary Ann (Szczech) Boh, November 13, 2008. I've annotated a bit to better explain the relationships and who is who. --Leon]
Andrew J. Sczeck is buried in the Czestochowskiej Cemetery
Thorp Township, Clark Co., WI
Mary: this is what I have in reference to where U. Andy [Szczech or also spelled Sczeck on his military placque] served in the Army.
You can learn a lot from the history channel, huh?? For me war stuff is hard to watch with all the memories associated with the wars. You know, U. Johnny had been in the army too and when Andy went in then U. Johnny [John Szczech] was sent home to help Grandpa on the farm. Farms were very much needed to feed the nation and troops.
Andrew Szczech was a member of the Motorized Division of the 8th Infantry. He received his Basic Training @ Fort Custer,Michigan and then more camps ( Ithink Ga & N. Carolina) and sent to England in January,1944.
He took part in the WW 2 Invasion at Normandy Beach, France June,1944 and remained in combat. He was listed as Killed in Action in France July 25,1944.
He was a Sgt. 8th Infantry - 4th Division. He was Awarded the "Purple Heart " for Bravery In Action. I think that was posthumously as it came to his father, Grandpa Frank Szczech.
I remember when one night Grandpa [Francis Szczech] and Uncle Johnny came to our house on Junction and crying. and with the notice .and told my Parents [Joseph and Bernice (Symbal) Szczech] that U. Andy was wounded in action. it seemed like it was the next evening they came over again with the official notification that he died of his wounds. Those were very sad days.
then the next year Grandma Victoria [Sopiarz] Szczech died on Mothers Day, May 13, 1945.
I was staying with Grandpa & U. Johnny one year when Grandpa had pneumonia and Grandpa told me he had to live to bring back U. Andys body to be buried at Junction. I lived with them helping milk cows, etc. and housekeeping, etc. at the time.
Then I was living there again helping, etc. when his body was brought back.
So I'm not sure the date of that. Maybe it was 2 years later ?? But those were very sad days. I went along with Grandpa & U. Johnny & his brothers & sisters ( don't know who all was there) when the train came in blowing that loud long mournful train whistle that echoed in the early morning pre dawn hours when the sky was just lightening up. I can still see Dad, our father [Joseph Szczech], in his Dress Hat and everyone crying.
When they took Andy's Flag Draped casket off the train , those mournful TAPS were played and echoing in the distance. I for many years could never hear taps played with out shedding tears.
Then his casket was brought to Grandpas house by Hearse, and that's where it stayed a few days until the funeral. Many family and people came to pay their respects and some men stayed over night as someone stayed up the whole time. Also the ones from Chicago, the Wardas & Grandpas brother John [Szczech] and one or two of his sons stayed their so prepared meals for them, too. Aunt Bernice [(Szczech) Gutowski] did help and probably others did too.
That was cooking on a wood stove and glad there was a walk in pantry to go in to make sandwiches, etc.
I remember how hard it was for the family. so final. After all the grieving. And I'll never forget one evening how A. Bernice got a screw driver and she wanted to pry open the coffin to see if he was really in it. But they kept her away as it was against the law to pry open a casket. She wrote faithfully to him when he was in service as I'm sure others did too. She said how the last letters she got that he said how terrible the war was and how hard to kill people and seeing all the guys killed.
So Grandpa got his wish fulfilled to live to bring Andy's body back home. Grandpa died in June, 1948.
Perhaps Carol [(Szczech) Szymanski] remembers some things as she would have been about 11 years old and Steph [(Szczech) Kotecki] about 8 years old. Share your thoughts please, girls. And save this for yourselves for future family recollections & history.
Other uncles who served in WW2 were Uncles Walter [Symbol], in Aleutian Islands off Alaska, & Stanley [Symbol] in England.
1930 Federal Census, Thorp, Clark, Wisconsin, United States, District: 0036, Line 19
Andrew Szczech, single white male
Father's Birthplace: Poland
Mother's Birthplace: Poland
Head Frank J Szczech M 58 Poland
Daughter Bernice E Szczech F 20 Pennsylvania
Son John F Szczech M 16 Wisconsin
Son George S Szczech M 15 Wisconsin
Son Andrew Szczech M 10 Wisconsin
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