Stanley Kozlowski received his draft notice the day after graduating from high school in June 1944. He was destined for the infantry. “Everybody was going into the infantry. The good jobs were all taken.” In the months after the Normandy campaign, it was clear the army didn’t need more specialists or technicians. They needed bodies on the frontlines. After cutting short his basic training at Camp Hood, Texas, the army put Stanley on the HMS Queen Mary and rushed him to Europe, along with 12,000-15,000 other men.
“From there, we went ‘up on line,’ as they say . . . in holes already dug.” He was told he was in Alsace-Lorraine as a member of Co. I, 255th Regiment, 63rd Division. “You didn’t show yourself in daylight” because the Germans were across the line in a village. From there, they were constantly on the move as they made their way into Germany, battling a cold European winter and the enemy both.
After the war ended and Japan surrendered, Stanley was transferred to the Signal Corps. There, he learned to climb telephone poles and string wire. He ended up doing that job back home for the phone company for 38 years.
Stanley Kozlowski visited with us on August 14, 2012 while we were recording veterans’ stories at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Brentwood, PA. It was one of our most prolific months for interviewing WW II veterans.
As veterans sometimes do, Mr. Kozlowski brought along several members of his family; often, familiar faces in the room help the veterans to feel more at ease–and to remember certain stories . . . family favorites perhaps or the ones that through time keep slipping away.
Stanley A. Kozlowski was called by his heavenly Father on February 5, 2014, with his loving wife of 64 years by his side. Along with his wife Eleanor Maturkanic Kozlowski, he will be forever loved and missed by his four children. Stanley M. (Laraine) of North Huntingdon; Karen Petrus (John) of North Versailles; Edward J. (Paula) of North Huntingdon; and Kevin R. (Sherry) of McKeesport.
Born May 15, 1926, he was the son of the late Ignatius and Pearl Kozlowski. One of nine children – Stan’s surviving siblings include brothers Harry and Raymond of McKeesport. Also brother Joseph residing in France. He also leaves behind his five grandchildren: Amy (Henry) Callithen, Jeramie (Mandy), Jacqueline, Michael, and Steven. Additionally, he leaves three great grandsons Logan, Lance and Ethan, and loving nieces and nephews.
He was a life long McKeesport resident and graduated from McKeesport High School class of ’44. Stan served our country on active duty during World War II as a member of the 63rd Division – 7th Army in Europe. He was a member of American Legion Post 701 in White Oak.
After marrying Eleanor in 1949 he secured a cable splicer’s position with Bell Telephone that was to be his career for 38 years. A proud American of Polish decent he was a life long member of the then Saint Mary Czestochowa Parish now Corpus Christi Church in McKeesport.
As part of his parish life participation he was very active in the Holy Name Society receiving awards in both 2001 and 2003 for “Life Service.” He enjoyed the annual fruit basket delivery program and decorating the church for major holidays. An avid Civil War enthusiast his favorite place to explore were the battlefields at Gettysburg.
Friends will be received on Friday, 2 to 4 & 6 to 8 PM at the Jaycox-Jaworski Funeral Home, Inc., 2703 O’Neil Blvd, McKeesport, PA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, at 12:00 Noon in Corpus Christi Church with Rev. Stephen A. Kresak as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Polish Cemetery, White Oak, PA.