American Red Cross General Hospital No. 2. Fort McHenry Baltimore, MD May 21, 1919 Pal Jack, Received your letter and was glad to hear from you. Also glad to hear that you are out of the Army. Well Jack I have had some time since I see you last in the hospital all the time and getting cut up but I am coming along fine now. Expect to be out in about a week or so myself. Your wounds weren't very severe as you being out of the service all ready. Well there isn't very much to say as I guess you know that our Rgt. arrived home yesterday and I was coming back to the Fort again. That is why I didn't write sooner as my wife sent your letter down to me and I went home before I received it and I didn't have your address but I guess this will be all right. I guess you will be surprised to know that I am married but I am and am enjoying it hoping you are doing the same thing. Buchanon is in the same ward as I am here but he is going to another ward today. Well Jack I believe I have said all for this time and hoping to hear from real soon and would like to see you again so if you are ever down in Phillie stop in and see me. From your pal, Harry C. Rommel 330 North Queen Street West Phila, PA
July 9th 1964 John Blazosky Family R.D. #1, Port Matilda, Pa. It is with profound sorrow that we record the recent passing of another of our loyal buddies of the Veterans of the 314th Infantry, A.E.F. JOHN BLAZOSKY 'L' Company Words cannot express our deepest sympathy in your great loss and bereavement, but in extending our sincere compassion to you it is expressed in all sincerity direct from the heart of each member of the Veterans of the 314th Infantry, A.E.F. and especially from his buddies of .L. Company. A total of 2278 members have already passed on to the Eternal Reward, far too many since our call to duty in 1917. Comrade JOHN BLAZOSKY is recorded on the Bronze Tablet in our Log Cabin Memorial at Valley Forge, Pa. A public memorial service will be observed at the Log Cabin, Sunday, May 30th, 1965, 2:00 P.M. at which time we shall affix a silver star alongside the name of Comrade Blazosky. If in the vicinity of Valley Forge you are most cordially invited to attend the memorial service. True, we cannot change the Divine Law, but we can face the days ahead with courage and with hope, thankful for the joys we have shared with those whom we loved. No one hears the door that opens As they pass beyond RECALL: Soft as loosened leaves of roses One by one our buddies fall George E. Hentschel Regimental Secretary Veterans of the 314th Infantry A.E.F.
Soldier saved doughboy from perilCentreDaily.com
Posted on Mon, May 29, 2006
By Chris Rosenblum email@example.com
Somewhere in France, a trench turned into a tomb for an American soldier.
An artillery shell caved in the muddy wall, burying the World War I doughboy.
Cpl. John "Jack" Blazosky, who was nearby, pulled out his mess kit.
He started digging.
Using the lid, Blazosky freed the man, Jimmy Halderman, who later became a minister. At a reunion long after that fall day in 1918, Halderman vowed to do anything for Blazosky as long as they lived.
So went the story told to Blazosky's son.
John Blazosky, 79, grew up on a Worth Township farm listening to tales from his namesake, who fought with the 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division, during the famous Meuse Argonne Offensive.
"We'd be working and he'd tell me something during a rest," Blazosky said.
The boy remembered, but until recently, kept the accounts to himself. Then, his sister's son-in-law, a military commander, was asked to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony at the regimental memorial site at Valley Forge. Blazosky agreed to send details about his father's service.
In his Ferguson Township home, an old, tin mess kit contained medals, a draft card and dog tags. There was also a worn, brown diary carried into battle, its faded entries recalling the stories all over again.
Blazosky is unable to attend the Valley Forge ceremony. But today, he nonetheless will think of the coal miner's son who lived when thousands of others perished.
"It was kill or be killed," Blazosky said.
The American Expeditionary Force's biggest operation, lasting six weeks, Meuse Argonne claimed 26,277 Americans from late September to the war's end on Nov. 11, 1918. No division lost more men than the 79th.
Into the front lines with Company L went Jack Blazosky. Once in the Argonne Forest's blasted fields and trenches, the 30-year-old miner and expert marksman from Philipsburg needed all his skill with a Springfield rifle.
"They'd be fighting, and one time, he remembered, there were five days when they didn't get any food or water. It was too intense, and they couldn't get them up to the lines," his son said.
One time, during a lull in the shelling, he and his squadmates charged over a hill. Their guns became so hot, they couldn't touch the metal parts.
But when a German biplane sprayed his trench with a machine gun, Jack Blazosky held his fire to avoid revealing his position.
He also didn't shoot when he encountered two possible relatives. The enemy soldiers, it turned out, came from where the American's parents had emigrated.
"He heard them talking to each other, and here they were talking in the language that he had in his home," John Blazosky said.
They had been conscripted, they told the doughboy, who let one bring back other Austrians who wanted to surrender.
When bunches returned, Jack Blazosky lined up rows, a white flag at each end, and sent one at a time back to headquarters.
A runner brought a note from the captain. How did the corporal take so many prisoners? The reply: It wasn't their war.
And then, on Sept. 30, it wasn't Blazosky's either.
Artillery hit him in the hip. Before he could arrive at one first-aid station, it was bombed. He went to a Vichy hospital by train, survived a bout of diphtheria and came home on a battleship.
Tired and hungry, he arrived in Philipsburg in the middle of the night. His parents and sister, who had received a telegram stating he was missing in action, were overjoyed. His father shook so hard he had to place the oil lamp on the floor. Nobody slept a wink.
Jack Blazosky died in 1964 with shell fragments still inside him. But he didn't carry his memories to the grave, and his son now honors those memories.
The old soldier also had some advice when the Navy drafted his boy in 1944, John Blazosky said.
My dad always said, 'Don't volunteer for anything. I want you to come back allve..
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/local/l4691450.htm?template=content... 5/30/2006 (no longer online)