Alden Man Recalls Life on the Front Lines in WWII

Whether we are talking about the gulf war or the world wars the stories of the veterans all share one main theme, they went far away from home, at a very young age, forced to grow up quickly, as they fought for their family, friends, and country.

ALDEN- Harry Wisniewski may be 93 years old, but his mind is sharp as a tack and his memories of war, clear as a bell.

Wisniewski was drafted into the Army in 1943, and sent to the South Pacific. His first battle experience came on the island of Leyte as part of the liberation of the Philippines. The Alden resident recounted tales of triumph and tragedy. He considers himself one of the lucky ones, who made it home.

But you could call Wisniewski extremely lucky. He was awarded 2 Purple Hearts for injuries suffered in combat. On one occasion he was thrown into a tree stump by the blast of a mortar shell. The second time he was injured occurred in the fight for Okinawa, shrapnel ripped across his leg. His foxhole partner, however was not as lucky. "I grabbed him and pulled him up, that's when I got sick because the top of his head was gone".

Harry Wisniewski's was also awarded several other medals, including the Bronze Star and the Pacific Campaign Medal. But he doesn't look at himself as extraordinary, just a man who took pride in standing up for his family, friends and country.    

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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