Bernard Zelazoski


December 8, 1923 - October 5, 2000
384th Bombardment Group
545th Squadron

I first met him on a cold November day in 1943. He was part of a nine-man bomber crew. I last saw him at our annual reunion in April of 2000. He was ailing and in pain, but no one thought him to be dying. He was the next to the youngest member of our crew, and I remember how handsome all of them looked, but so terribly young. We flew some brutal missions and survived "Bloody April" where the 384th Bomb Group lost twenty B-17s. This was the greatest loss for any First Division Group during the entire war. Zel did his job, stayed calm in combat, and never complained. He was a genuine war hero, and Lord how he will be missed.

He was born in Antigo, Wisconsin and, after graduating from Antigo High School, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corp. He distinguished himself by earning the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with two bronze battle stars; The Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, a Good Conduct Medal, The Distinguished Flying Cross and the Unit Citation Ribbon for taking part in the mission to Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

On September 1, 1947 he married Eva Mayo at St. Mary Catholic Church in Antigo. He was proceeded in death by his parents, and one son, Tom Zelazowski. He is survived by his wife, a son Joe, and a daughter Mary, six grandchildren, a brother, and a daughter-in-law.

He was part owner of Zelazoski Wood Products Co., and retired in 1986. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and blueberry picking.

Zel, your friends are going to miss you. The squiggle game will be short-handed. We'll miss your laugh, we'll miss the tall stories and the BS, but as long as we live -


Dewayne Bennett -- Bernard Zelazoski -- Verlin Gale -- Jim Holland -- Paul Spiers

This picture taken in Iowa, April, 2000

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