On Sept. 25 of this year, a Saturday, a monument dedicated to the late Edward F. Wozenski will be unveiled at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and the soon-to-be-named Wozenski Way, currently the short version of paved road, East Street, leading from South Street to the boulevard. This will be the first, and most likely last, permanent monument honoring an individual military person from Bristol located on the boulevard and it takes place at 11:00 a.m.
With this, here is a refresher of who this man was, and it’s a part of what his sister, Eleanor O’Rourke of Bristol, wrote prior to her passing on Dec. 4, 2016. This was written in 2000 as part of the on-going “Builders of Bristol” series filed at the Bristol Historical Society.
“Edward F. Wozenski was born on July 26, 1915 in Bristol, to Joseph and Katherine (Spring) Wozenski. He was one of six children and attended South Side Grammar School and Bristol High, where he participated in many sports programs. He later went to the University of Connecticut and graduated in 1937 with a bachelor’s of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
“Assigned to active duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps from July 1937 to July 1940, he entered federal service on July 16, 1941 as a 1st. Lt. in the Infantry and served throughout World War II with the 1st Division.
“His military career spanned 35 years, rising through the ranks with the ‘Fighting First’ from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East. He was remembered for heroics in North Africa, Normandy and in Sicily. A hill in Sicily, where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism, bears his name today. He was commander of the 26th Yankee Division at the time of his retirement in 1972.
“Wozenski was written up in two famous books of World War II - ‘Invasion Diary’ and ‘The Longest Day’
“He rejoined Wallace Barnes Division in 1941 and retired in 1977 as superintendent of finished products.
“Active in the Bristol community, he was a commissioner of the Bristol Housing Authority, president of the Edgewood and Northeast PTOs, and was featured speaker during the Bicentennial Celebration of Bristol on the Federal Hill Green in 1976.
“He was a member of St. Stanislaus Church, the Church Council, B.P.O.E. 1010, Management Club of Wallace Barnes, American Legion Post 2, Bristol Senior Citizens, Pequabuck Golf Club, Officers Club of Connecticut, Bristol Military Museum, Officers of the lst Division, and a former member of the Bristol Visiting Nurses Association.
“Married to the former Rena Murawski, the couple had four daughters. He passed away on July 26, at the age of 71, after serving God, country, family and community with faithfulness, distinction and honor.”
(Note from Bob M: I am currently reading, “The Dead And Those About To Die,” by John McManus, the story of D-Day and the Big Red One at Omaha Beach during WWII. Much is outlined on the heroics of Wozenski, then a captain and commander of Company E, First Division.)
Contact Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 860-583-5132.