Another WW II Veteran was laid to rest today.
Stephen Stanley Krawczyk passed away on June 6, 2020, the anniversary of D-Day. He was 101 years old.
Steve joined the U.S. Army Air Corps after finishing high school, and served 6 years at Hickam Field in Oahu, Hawaii as a Technical Sergeant in the 7th Air Force, 22nd Materiel Squadron. He survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
In a talk he gave to the Freedom Museum in Manassas, VA, he said his day started early that Sunday Morning because he wanted to go to church. He headed to the Chow hall first, then morning mass. When he arrived at the Chapel, it was then the Japanese air raid began. The first bombs fell on the chow hall where he had just been.
He and another soldier headed to the armory to draw weapons, to fight back. There, he quarreled with the armory chief because he said, “he was not authorized to issue weapons”, even though bombs were falling all around them. Finally, with the proper authorization, guns and ammunition were issued and Steve was able to return fire.
In the ensuing mayhem, Steve was strafed by enemy aircraft though not injured. He said the plane was so low that he could see the pilot looking back at him. Steve talked about the fear and confusion of the moment and how he and his friends tried to fight back and survive.
Following his military service, Steve got married in 1946 (he met his soon-to-be-wife Ruth at a USO dance), raised a family of 5 children, earned a Business Degree at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, and spent 35 years with the Sherwin-Williams Company, in various credit and finance positions.
Lifelong learning was a passion and his eternal optimism — an inspiration to others. His interests included mentoring reading for kindergartners, photography, tennis, basketball and participating in the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.
A resident of Manassas for more than 40 years, he was laid to rest today at Quantico National Cemetery and will truly be missed by all of us at the Freedom Museum.