By BOB MONTGOMERY
The following biography of Brig. Gen Edward F. Wozenski was written by his sister, Eleanor O’Rourke, in 2000 as part of the Builders of Bristol Millennium Edition. This entry is part of the Builders of Bristol series, biographies of those who made Bristol the town that it was during their stay and written by family members and local historians:
“Edward F. Wozenski was born on July 29, 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 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, the Normandy Division 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 June 1972.
“Wozenski was honored twice with the distinguished Service Cross, twice with the Silver Star and with the Bronze Star. He received the Commendation Medal, Belgium Fourragere, French Fourragere, Fourragere in Military Medallion, French Croix-de-Guerre with Bronze Star, American Overseas Medal, six overseas bars, European-African-Middle East campaign ribbons and Presidential Unit citations.
“He was the most decorated Bristol veteran in World War II and only city native to rise to the rank of brigadier general. He was especially proud to have been an infantryman and played a role in the creation of the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge, that’s presented to soldiers today. Of all his awards, this one meant the most to him.
“Wozenski was written up in two famous books of World War II - ‘Invasion Diary’ and ‘the Longest Day.’
“Shortly before the invasion of Normandy, the third major landing he was involved in, the then captain was one of a special group to attend a luncheon with the King and Queen of England. These men would exemplify the United States and the American soldier.
“He joined Wallace Barnes Steel 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 1st Division and a former member of the Bristol Visiting Nurses Association.
“The Bristol Military museum has featured a display of the general’s uniform, decorations and other military memorabilia that reflects his outstanding and distinguished military career. Married to the former Regina Murawski, the couple had four daughters.
“Wozenski passed away on July 26, 1987, at age 71, after serving God, country, family and community with faithfulness, distinction and honor.”
Write to Bob Montgomery, ℅ The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-973-1808 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.