Joseph Jedrysik was born on 29 May 1917 in Manchester NH, son of Polish immigrants Antoni “Anthony” & Aniela “Nellie” (Wozniacka/Wozniak) Jedrysik. His father had immigrated to the United States from Kurczina Krosno, Poland seeking a better life. He worked in one of the Manchester mills as an operative.
Anthony and Nellie had five children, but Joseph was their only son. Joseph Jedrysik grew up at 11 Pearl Avenue, attended the local schools, and graduated from Central High School in the Class of 1939. He enlisted in the United States army on 6 March 1941. By December he was a member of HQ Squadron, 17th AAF Air Base Group, Air Corps in Hawaii.
According to the 15th Wing web site, “Jedrysik was a protestant chaplain’s assistant assigned to the 17th Air Base Group, Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii, and was killed in action on Dec. 7, 1941 while manning a machine gun at the base of the Hickam [Field] flagpole.” He received the purple heart posthumously. His body was returned home, and he was buried with honors at St. Hedwig’s Cemetery–a flat, granite marker indicating the spot.
A ceremony was held in 2009 to name the bridge that brings motorists across the Merrimack River and into Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge. It was reported that about 18 Pearl Harbor survivors, resident of New Hampshire, attended that ceremony.
In 2011, 113 students in the Central High School band raised money ($200,000) in less than a year to send the band to Pearl Harbor to play there on the 70th anniversary of the attack. They honored three Central alumni–Army Private Joseph Jedrysik, Seaman 1st Class David Crossett and 2nd Class Joseph Rozmus who were killed during those Japanese raids.
In 2012 the United States army honored Joseph Jedrysik and others. One chaplain and six chaplain assistants who died while serving their company were honored with a memorial–the Chaplain Corps Memorial at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.” All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]
=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF JOSEPH JEDRYSIK=====
Antoni “Anthony” Jedrysik, son of Jozef & Anna (Pelczar) Jedrysik was b. 17 May 1894 in Kurczina Krosno, Poland, and d. 4 January 1929 in Manchester NH, age 34 of lobar pneumonia. He married 12 May 1914 in Manchester NH to Aniela “Nellie” Wozniacka/Wozniak, daughter of Franciszek & Marya (Prejsnar) Wozniacka. She was b 24 July 1891 in Austria, and died January 1975 in Manchester NH. He was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery. Occupation: mill operative in the Stark Mill. In 1917 he registered for the WWI Draft. From 1920-1930 at 11 Pearl Ave. [Pearl avenue “from 45 Pearl.” 1936-1939 living at 1 White Ave. In 1953 widowed Nellie living at 41 Dewey Street
1920 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 11 Pearl Ave [1920 directory says 5 Pearl Ave]
Jedrysik, Nellie F W 38 widow Poland Poland Poland immigrated 1913 alien
Jedrysik, Madelyn dau F W 14 single NH Poland Poland
Jedrysik, Joseph son M W 12 single NH Poland Poland
Jedrysik, Jeannette dau F W 11 single NH Poland Poland
Jedrysik, Cecelia dau F W 7 single NH Poland Poland
Jedrysik, Stella dau F W 5 single NH Poland Poland
Name (Original): JEDRYSIK JOSEPH
Event Type: Military Service
Event Date: 06 Mar 1941
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for Hawaiian Department
Event Place: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
Citizenship Status: citizen
Birth Year: 1917
Birthplace: NEW HAMPSHIRE
Education Level: 4 years of high school
Civilian Occupation: Machinists
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Military Rank: Private
Army Branch: Air Corps
Army Component: Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men)
Source Reference: Civil Life
Serial Number: 11023613
Affiliate Publication Title: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946
Affiliate ARC Identifier: 1263923
Box Film Number: 00581.51
Children of Antoni & Aniela (Wozniacka/Wozniak) Jedrysik:
1. Madelyn Jedrysik, b abt 1916 Manchester NH; m. 11 November 1935 in Manchester NH to Joseph Tkacz, son of John & Agata (Orzechoski) Tkacz. He was a shoeworker and she was a mill operative. They had two children: a daughter who became Sr. Michaela of the Sisters of Mercy in Windham NH, and Stanley W. Tkacz who was b. 30 Dec 1936, d. 2 July 2011 Manchester NH. Stanley m. Helen Sysyn and had several children: John Tkacz, Michael Tkacz, and Debbie (Tkacz) Belz.
2. *Joseph Jedrysik, b. 29 May 1917 in Manchester NH
3. Jeannette “Janet” Jedrysik, b Sep 27, 1918 Manchester, Hillsborough, NH d May 3, 2001
4. Cecelia Theresa Jedrysik, b abt 1923 NH; m. 2 March 1946 in Manchester NH to Joseph Gabriel Machiaek, son of Ignace & Rose (Machaiek). He was b. 18 March 1920 in MA and d. 24 August 1990 in Greenfield MA; he had been stationed at Grenier Field AFB
5. Stella Jedrysik, b abt 1925 NH; she married — Russell. In 2011 she visited Pearl Harbor and attended a ceremony at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam flagpole at Atterbury Circle. She has attended several other events honoring her brother over the years.
My thanks to Daniel Peters, Research and Facilities Manager, Manchester Historic Association, who spent quite a bit of time trying to track down a photograph for me.
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Dear Ms. Brown,
My dad served at Hickam Air Field during World War II, with the Seventh Army Air Corps. My dad went Home to be with the Lord in May of 2006. Dad arrived at Hickam shortly after the horrific air attack of December seventh of 1941.
Do you know if the chapel at Hickam survived the Japanese attack?
Thank you for honoring Private Joseph Jedrysik.
Richard Mabey Jr.
Mr. Mabey, Thank you for reading my blog and for writing to me. What I do know from my research is that during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Hickam Field Chapel was “hit.” I have no idea if it was entirely destroyed, or was able to be repaired, or if it was totally rebuilt. There is a chapel there today whose staff you can contact at this link. Best wishes. You Dad was a real hero!
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