While sorting through photos that my mother had brought home when her mother died, I found a frame holding photos of one of my mom’s cousins, Norbert F Walczak and the ship he commanded, the USS Zellars. (1)
Besides my grandfather and David’s great uncle Carl, Norb is another relative whose service I waished to recognize this Veterans Day weekend.
The 1967 Cruise Book for the USS Zellars includes a biography that listed some details of his career before this last ship. The headshot in the cruise book is the same version that he gave to my grandmother.
Norb honorably served in the Navy for 20 years between 1952 and 1972. (4)
When I traveled to Hawaii last December for the Pearl Harbor remembrance, I was able to pay my respects at his gravestite in the Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
(1) “Cmdr Norbert F Walczak and USS Zellars (DD-777)” Digital image. Photograph originaly held by Vixtoria Szubinski [address for private use,] Chicago, Illinois. Scanned image privately held by Julie L Bartimus, [address for private use,] Naperville, Illinois. 2017.
(2) “U.S. Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009.” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 10 Nov 2017). 1967, USS Zellars, photo and bio of Commanding Officer, Norbert F Walczak, CDR, USN, p2. Citing United States Navy. Various U.S. Navy Cruise Books. Navy Department Library, Washington, D.C.
(3) Norbert Felix Walczak tombstone at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, sec CT6-A, row 500, site 536, ca Dec 2016, Photograph, digital image, privately held by Julie L Bartimus, [address for private use,] Naperville, Illinois. 2017.
(4) “U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 10 Nov 2017) Entry for Norbert Walczak, enlistment date 8 Sep 1952, release date 30 Sep 1972.