John R. Matuszak

NAME
John Robert Matuszak
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
380541
UNIT
VMJ-253
Radioman
HOME OF RECORD
4906 North Marmora Avenue, Chicago, IL
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs Salomea Matuszak
DATE OF BIRTH
February 3, 1920
ENTERED SERVICE
March 2, 1942
DATE OF LOSS
November 13, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing
Declared Dead December 11, 1943
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
PFC John Matuszak was an aviation mechanic assigned to VMJ-253, a Marine transport squadron operating in the Solomon Islands.

On the afternoon of 13 November 1942, a fierce tropical storm blew in over Guadalcanal, complete with heavy winds and “blinding rain.” An R4D-1 transport plane, at the end of a long flight from Espiritu Santo, had no choice but to attempt a landing at Henderson Field. The pilots were unable to orient themselves to the airstrip on their first pass and pulled the aircraft around to try again.

Observers on the ground saw the big plane make “a very sharp bank over the bay, and evidently an air current or down-draft caught the plane and turned it over on its back.” The R4D-1 (BuNo. S-4696) hit the water and exploded on contact. No rescue efforts could be made, and the entire crew – 2Lt. Joseph N. AbelSSgt. Arthur F. Dowers, Jr., Cpl. Roman J. Freise, and Matuszak – were declared dead on 11 December 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Air Medal, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS
Lost in airplane crash at sea.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.


Articles & Records:

The Chicago Tribune, 25 June 1943. These may have been the actions that won PFC Matuszak the Air Medal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.