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3 East Jackson Ave., New Castle, Delaware

Joseph B Stahl Memorial Post 30

            

Longevity Awards

The following longevity awards were presented at the 62nd anniversary dinner.

Stanley Lawruk                                                         60 years

Roland W Lawhead                                                   60 years

Joseph Cannon                                                         50 Years

Edward J Pucylowski                                                 50 years

Richard A Kemske                                                     50 years

 

Congratulation Stan, on the award from the French President and the nomination and presentation to the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame. Stan has been a true and loyal member for 55 years.  He has diligently worked to promote Stahl Post 30. Thank you for your service.

 

 

Ambassade de France

aux Etats-Vnis

 

L'Ambassadeur

Washington, December 30, 2011

 

Dear Mr. Lawruk:

I am pleased to inform you that by decree of President Sarkozy on

December 7, 2011, you have been appointed a "Chevalier" of the

Legion of Honor.

 

This award testifies to President Sarkozy’s high esteem for your merits

and accomplishments- In particular. it is a sign of France’s infinite

gratitude and appreciation for your personal and precious contribution

to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country

during World War II.

 

The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon in 1802 to

acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of exceptional

merit. The French people will never forget your :courage and your

devotion to the great cause of freedom.

 

It is a true pleasure for me to convey to you our sincere and warm

congratulations.

 

In order to determine the means of bestowing the insignia upon you,

please contact our General Consulate in Washington (4101 Reservoir

Road, NW Washington, DC 20007- Tel. 202 944 62 11). Naturally, I

remain at your disposal in this regard.

 

Once again, my heartfelt congratulations

 

        Sincerely,

 

      François Delattre


 

Howard Gunton 
1140 Registry Blvd. 
St Augustine, FL 32092 
 
Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame December 28, 2007 
PO Box 4303 
Greenville, DE 19807-0303 
 
 
RE: Nomination of Stanley P. Lawruk 
 
 
Gentlemen, 
The purpose of this letter is to nominate Stanley P. Lawruk for induction into the 
Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame (DAHF). 
 
 
Stanley, born in 1924, is a lifelong resident of Delaware and currently resides at 29 Gail 
Road New Castle, DE 19720. He and his wife Pearl raised three children, have six 
grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Stanley has been involved in several local 
community organizations throughout his life. 
 
 
Stanley meets the criteria for induction because he meets one of the qualifications set 
forth in the DAHF charter – “Gallantry in aviation by a Delawarean in service to 
country”. 
 
 
AVIATION SERVICE TO COUNTRY 
 
Stanley began his military aviation service to the country in January 1943 and was 
honorably discharged in October 1945 at the New Castle Army Air Base, Wilmington, 
Delaware. 
 
While in the military he served as an airplane engineer, mechanic and gunner. His 
primary duties were to inspect, maintain, and make adjustments to B-17 aircraft. He also 
operated and maintained 50 caliber machine guns. 
 
He served overseas in the European Theater with the 8th Air Force and flew 24 combat 
bombardment missions between May and August 1944. On August 25th 1944 Stanley’s 
plane was shot down and he was captured and held as a prisoner of war until his release 
in January 1945. Stanley was awarded the following awards and decorations: 
 
1. Distinguished Flying Cross 
2. Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters 
3. Good Conduct Medal 
4. American Theater Operations Medal 
5. European Theater Operations Medal with four Battle Stars 
6. WWII Victory Medal 
7. Prisoner of War Medal 
 
In addition to his achievements in combat, Stanley also received extensive airplane 
technical training. He received a Diploma as an aircraft mechanic from the Army Air 
Forces Technical Training Command; a Certificate of aircraft training from the Boeing 
Flying Fortress School for B-17F Bombardment Airplanes; and a Diploma as an airplane 
propeller mechanic from the Army Air Force Training Command. 
 
Upon returning from overseas, Stanley served the remaining time in the Military in the 
hydraulic and electric propeller operations at the New Castle Army Air Base, 
Wilmington, DE. 
 
SERVICE TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
 
 Stanley’s service to the local community was primarily with three organizations and a 
summary of his accomplishments and recognitions are as follows: 
 
American Legion – Joseph B. Stahl Post 30 for 55 years – Life member; 1st Vice 
Commander for 12 years; Membership Chairman for 12 years; American Flag Chairman; 
Blue Star Flag Presenter ; Veteran’s Hospital Volunteer. 
 
Lions Club – Wilmington Manor Lions Club Life member ; 40 years perfect attendance; 
Zone Chairman 1976-1977; Deputy District Governor 1977-1979; Lion of the year 1991; 
Melvin Jones Award winner for 2 years; Blue Gold Football Game volunteer ; Meals on 
Wheels volunteer. 
 
Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley – Life Member; Pio Gene Polgar Fellow Award. 
 
CONCLUSION 
 
I feel that Stanley is a living example of “the greatest generation” and is worthy and 
qualified for consideration as an inductee into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame. He 
would be a fine representative of that generation and for the many who gallantly served 
aviation and the State of Delaware in a non-pilot capacity during their lifetime. 
 
 
I am proud to be his son-in-law and respectfully submit his name as a nominee for 
induction to the DAHF. 
Supporting documentation is enclosed. 
 
 
Thank you for your consideration. 
 
 
Howard Gunton 
904-940-0322
 
                                         
 
                                                        STANLEY P. LAWRUK 
 
 
 
 
Biography 
 
 
• Born in 1924 
• Raised on the East side of Wilmington, DE 
• Three brothers and three sisters 
• Describes himself as just a regular kid growing up during the Depression 
• Early morning he sold newspapers at the Wilmington Marine Terminal to 
workers boarding the ferry to the DuPont plant in New Jersey (before the 
Delaware Memorial Bridge was built) 
• Sold newspapers after school at the corner of 4th & Market Streets in 
Wilmington 
• Was a pretty good baseball player as a teenager (still an avid Phillies fan) 
• Attended P.S. DuPont High School in Wilmington 
• Had to leave high school to help his mother after two of his brothers 
joined the service 
• Worked as a clerk at the American Store (now Acme) until age 18 
• He and a friend tried to join the Seabees. After some bargaining they 
were accepted but the Army overruled and said “You're in the Army now” 
• Served with the Army Air Force from January 1943 to October 1945 
• Married in November 1946 to Pearl DeLucia 
• Together they raised three children, Kathy, Stan and Tim 
• They have six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren 
 
 
 
MILITARY PHOTOGRAPH OF STANLEY LAWRUK
 
 
 
                                                                          Military History 
 
 
• Inducted January 19, 1943 age 18 
• Received basic training in Miami, Florida 
• Attended Airplane Mechanic School in Gulfport, Mississippi 
• Attended Boeing Flying Fortress School in Seattle, Washington 
• Attended Gunnery School in Las Vegas, Nevada 
• Flew with a new B-17 from Salt Lake City Utah to Maine, onto Ireland and 
finally to his home base in Podington England 
• Flew 24 combat bombardment missions between May and August 1944 out of 
Podington Air Base over France, Belgium & Germany with the 8th Air Force 
(The Mighty 8th) and as a member of the 92nd Bomb Group(H) known as 
“Fame's Favored Few”; 327th Squadron 
• First mission was on May 27 to Yport, France with target being a coastal gun 
site listed as experimental 
• Fourth mission was on D-DAY June 6, 1944 to France with target being railway 
yards 
• Last mission was on August 25 to Peenemunde, Germany with target being an 
experimental rocket plant. Shot down on this mission. Was POW until his 
release in January 1945 
• Upon return to the United States, served remaining time in the military in the 
hydraulic and electric propeller operations at the New Castle Army Air Base 
• Honorably discharged in October 1945 
 
 
 
 
Military awards & stories with pictures 
 
 
 
 
• 
This is a picture of some of Stanley's Military Awards and his model B-17 
 
 • DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS 
•This is one of the nations highest awards for valor. It is given to those 
who demonstrate heroism or extraordinary achievment while 
participating in aerial flight. The achievment must have been so 
exceptional and outstanding so as to clearly set the individual apart 
from other persons in similar circumstances. 
•It is the nations oldest military aviation award created in 1926 
•Stanley was awarded this medal on September 6, 1944 for 
“extraordinary achievment while serving as Engineer of a B-17 airplane 
on a number of combat bombardment missions over Germany and 
German occupied countries”. One of those missions was on D-DAY in 
support of the invasion of Normandy. 
 
 
 
• AIR MEDAL 
• Awarded to a person serving in the armed forces who has distinguished 
himself by meritorious achievment while participating in aerial flight. 
•Created in May 1942 
•Stanley was awarded this medal on June 20, 1944 for “exceptionally 
meritorious achievment, while participating in sustained bomber combat 
operations over enemy occupied Continental Europe.” 
•He was subsequently awarded three Oak Leaf Clusters to wear with the Air 
Medal. 
• Recognition from France 
•Awarded for helping to “liberate France and in doing so changed the history of 
the 20th Century.” 
 
 
 
 
What were the conditions like on a B-17?
 
 
• As shown by Stan's daughter Kathy, it was very claustraphobic. Ten men flew in 
these cramped quarters. The planes were basically open, not pressurized and flew at 
heights of 25-30,000 feet. Inside temperature was around -50 degrees. Crewmen had 
to wear oxygen masks and very heavy coats, boots, gloves, hats and flak jackets 
making it even tighter. Windows were often covered with ice. 
• Kathy is stooping about where Stan was located when in combat. 
As engineer he had 
to sit with the pilots because that is where all the controls were located. When time 
came to become the gunner he just turned around, got onto the elevator step to reach 
the top turret guns. 
 
 
 
• Here is a picture of the top turret with gun. From this perch the whole sky 
was visable. Stan watched for and shot at enemy fighter jets but, 
unfortunately, he also could see fellow airman in other airplanes being 
shot down, with flak exploding everywhere. What that must have looked 
and sounded like! 
• Imagine doing that at 20 years old for 24 separate combat missions and 
then being shot down yourself! 
 
 
 
 
• This is where the bombs were launched. Note the very narrow plank and 
the small ropes to hold while walking along the plank across the open 
bombing doors flying at 25,000 feet while being shot at by fighter jets. 
• Stan often relays the story that the bombs frequently got stuck and the 
crewmen had to stand on the plank and pry them loose 
 
 
 
 
Some of Stan's Bombing Missions 
 
• D-DAY June 6,1944 - The 92nd flew three missions that day. Stan's squadron was the 
third mission and was one of 33 aircraft sent to bomb rail yards and factories at Thury-
Harcourt France. General Dolittle commended the 92nd Bomb Group as follows: “ 
Today the greatest effective strength in the history of the Eighth Air Force was 
reached; an overall effectiveness of approximately 75% of all crews and airplanes 
assigned. Please extend my congratulations to all members in your command for 
their untiring effort in achieving this impressive strength.” 
• June 20, 1944 - Hamburg Germany; 51 aircraft were sent to bomb an oil refinery and 
storage complex. General Doolittle dispatched the following message regarding the 
Hamburg efforts: “Operations 20 June 1944, against difficult targets in Germany 
considered among most satisfactory ever conducted. You are congratulated for your 
success.” 
• July 25, 1944 - The Eighth AF provided close air support to enable ground forces to 
break out of St. Lo France to complete the liberation of France. Proposed by Lt. 
General Omar N. Bradley, this daring plan, known as Operation Cobra , sent over 
1,500 Eighth AF heavy bombers to bombard the panzer divisions blocking the way 
south through France. Cobra was a decisive turning point in the European Campaign. 
 
 
 
 
Stan's Last Bombing Mission 
 
• In the morning of August 25, 1944 a force of 22 B-17.s left their air base in 
Podington, England. Their mission was to bombard Peenemunde 
Germany, a base on an island in the Baltic Sea. The primary target was 
the bearings and magnetic workshops at an experimental rocket plant. 
• This plant was where the Germans had developed and tested the V1 and 
V2 rockets which were later used to bomb London, England. 
• Here, they came under a terrific anti-aircraft flak attack. Stan's plane took 
two direct hits. The first blew off the propeller on the #4 engine and tore a 
large hole in the right wing. The other one put the #3 engine on fire and 
set another one windmilling. They lost altitude rapidly. “We were told to 
bail out but we decided to stay with the plane a little longer”, said Stan. 
Over the Baltic Sea they jettisoned as much as possible and as Stan was 
trying to dump the ball turret (located on the bottom of the plane) they 
crashed near a small fishing village in Sweden. 
• He and the rest of the crew were interred there until released in January 
1945. 
• Stan still has a copy of his order allowing him to report for duty after his 
release without “conforming with existing uniform regulations.” 
 
 
 
• 8th Army Air Force, 92nd Bombardment Group(H), “Fame's Favored Few” 
• Memorial: 
In Remembrance 
For the love of peace, 
They turned darkness to light. 
For the love of freedom, 
They turned tyranny to justice. 
For the love of their fellow man, 
Many in valour gave their lives. 
Fame's Favored Few 
 
 
 
 
 
Conclusion 
 
 
• After returning to civilian life, Stan continued his committment to his fellow 
man and his country by becoming actively involved in various civic 
organizations most notably are the American Legion and the Lions Club. 
• He has held many leadership positions in both organizations, is a 58 year 
life member of the American Legion Stahl Post 30 and a life member with 
44 years of perfect attendance of the Wilmington Manor Lions Club. 
• Many of you in the audience today, as well as countless others in the 
State, also know Stan as “The TastyKake Man”. When you are driving 
around the New Castle area and you see a car with the Delaware license 
plate “TKake” you will know that it is Stanley P. Lawruk - a 2010 Inductee 
in the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
• I am proud to now introduce Stan. 
 
 
 
 
TECH SERGEANT STANLEY P. LAWRUK, SR., knew his B-17 Flying Fortress 
inside and out. An Eighth Army Air Force flight engineer in “The Big One”, the Delaware native's 
non-mission duty was to keep his flying machine battle-ready, including its 50-caliber machine 
guns. However, his primary mission assignment was both as an Engineer and Top Turret 
Gunner. 
 
Lawruk spent many months in Army Air Force classrooms, machine shops and test facilities 
perfecting his skills. He earned the Army Air Force's Technical Training Command diploma. He 
was awarded a certificate of training from the Boeing Flying Fortress Factory School for B-17F's 
and a diploma as propeller mechanic from the Army Air Force Training Command. 
 
Why such an investment in perfection? “Stan is a living example of the greatest generation, 
explains his son-in-law Howard Gunton. “He always does his very best. He was proud of his 
cause, his airplane, and his fellow airmen. He felt they deserved the best he had.” 
 
Tech Sergeant Lawruk didn't win them all. His B-17 was shot down by enemy fire on August 25, 
1944 over Germany on his 24th mission. He was held prisoner until January 1945. Lawruk was 
awarded the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS “for extraordinary achievement while serving as 
Engineer of a B-!7 airplane on a number of combat bombardment missions over Germany and 
German occupied countries” (including D-DAY). 
 
He was also awarded the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Prisoner of War Medal, 
the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the American Theater Operations Medal, 
and the European Theater Operations Medal with four Battle Stars. Additionally, he received a 
diploma of recognition from the Republic of France for his services in liberating France. 
 
Stan lives in New Castle. He and his wife Pearl raised three married children. They have six 
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 
 
NOMINATED BY SON-IN-LAW HOWARD GUNTON, St Augustine, FL 
 
 
 

 

 

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