Welcome to a collection of images and personal histories of the military service of members of our extended family.
The children of Emil and Mary Poiesz, Emil Jr., Vincent (Vince), Theodore (Ted) and Aloysius (Bud) Poiesz grew up in a small house at 1641 South Bailey Street in South Philadelphia with their other siblings; Joseph, Bernard, Mary and Robert. The four brothers eligible for service answered the call during World War II. Emil and Bud served in the Pacific, Ted and Vince in Europe. That all came home was miraculous, especially when you consider that all saw action. In the Pacific, Emil was an artillery observer for the 32nd Division, 126th Field Artillery Battalion; Bud was a seaman on a salvage ship, USS Current that helped repair battle damage on such ships as the Aircraft Carrier Benjamin Franklin on the front lines of the naval war. Based in Africa, then in Italy, Vince flew a frightening 52 missions with the 15th Air Force as a radio operator & waist gunner on a B-24, including the costly raids on the oil refineries in Ploesti, Romania. Ted joined the war in Europe in the thick of the Battle of the Bulge, and as an infantryman trained in heavy weapons, he fought with the 87th Infantry division through the Seigfried Line, across the Rhine and all the way to Czechoslovakia.
On the home front, the oldest of Emil and Mary’s children, Joe, was exempt from service. Father of two, he worked at a Westinghouse defense plant. Bernard suffered from nephritis and was exempt from service for health reasons (ironically, he died January 2, 1946 while his four brothers survived the war). Mary worked at the Insurance Company of North America throughout the war, and until her retirement. Bob, who turned 17 just before the war’s end, went on to serve in the Army of Occupation in Germany in 1952.
I hope I have all the facts right. Anyone who has information, photos, memorabilia or corrections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The images and information you will see here are testament to their courage, and the courage of a generation of Americans to whom we owe our freedom.
The Poiesz mantle during the war – Ted was deferred due to his defense job, and while there’s no photo, it’s certain that his picture was added.
As a reminder of times past, it’s also worthy of note that Emil Sr. – Grandpop – was registered for the draft for both World War I and World War II.
Acknowledgments: I’d like to thank my Aunt, Mary Poiesz, the only sister in this large and lucky family. She allowed me to keep her photos and Uncle Vince’s legacy of photos, insignia and other materials for future generations. I am also grateful to my cousin, Terry Poiesz, for allowing me time to peruse her Dad, Ted’s, memorabilia. These items are irreplaceable and I appreciate her trust. It was a fascinating journey through her father’s youth. Of course, I treasure the pleasure of having been able to interview Uncle Bud about his experience in our service, and that he allowed me a great deal of time to peruse his photo album.