25 March 2013

Military Monday: Pfc. Paul Kurenda

I have many family members who fought in WW2. Baba's brother Paul - whom she affectionatly always called Paulie - was one of those family members. He saw action in the European Theater. Uncle Paul was KIA (killed in action).

He enlisted as a Private on 1 January 1943 in Philadelphia. At the time of enlistment he was a welder at Lukens. He lived at home, up Rock Run, with his mom, Frances. His father, John, had predeceased him.



He died on 11 August 1944 in service to our country. His obituary was published in the now-defunct Coatesville Record.
Coatesville Record
August 12, 1944

PFC. Paul Kurenda, aged twenty-two years, of 1047 Rock Run, died last night in Valley Forge General hospital after a long illness. He was taken ill while in England where he served with the army for one year after training in this country. Brought back, he was treated at hospitals in Charleston, S.C. and Martinsburg, W. Va., before being transferred to the Valley Forge institution.

Funeral services will be held on Monday morning at two 0'clock with High Mass at Holy Ghost Greek Orthodox Catholic church. Interment will be made in Ukrainian cemetery.

PFC Kurenda, who worked as a welder at Lukenweld before entering the service, is survived by his mother, Mrs. Frances Kurenda, of Rock Run; and three sisters, Mary, wife of Andrew Sokso, RD 1; Catherine, wife of John Yuzwick, Rock Run; and Anna, Wife of Joseph Ruczhak, Rock Run.

He is included on the "World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel for Chester County PA". It is transcribed by Tammy Clark. It is part of the Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails. New info: his serial number! His number was 33478954.

While his obituary does not include it, Baba & Gigi had told me that Uncle Paulie had developed gangrene in Europe and that his death was due to that. Gangrene - according to dictionary.com - is "necrosis or death of soft tissue due to obstructed circulation, usually followed by decomposition and putrefaction."

Paul was the baby of the family. He had two brothers: John and Peter; and three sisters: Mary, Catherine and Anna (my Baba). He was born in Coatesville in 1922. He is buried at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Cemetery in Valley Township with his parents.

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