Grave marker for Joseph Olkowski in the Forest Oaks Memorial Gardens,
Havelock (Craven County), North Carolina
Joseph was the son of John and Catherine Olkowski. Both had
immigrated from Poland and John worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines.
Joseph had at least one brother, John, who was two years younger.
Olkowski was a woodworker with but a grammar school education when he
enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 6, 1943 in Wilkes Barre (Luzerne
County), Pennsylvania. He was exactly 19 1/2 years of age that
Little is known of his service record other than the
fact that according to Special Order 92, dated 18 June 1944, issued at
the 508th Base Camp in Wollaton Park, Pfc Olkowski arrived from the 19th
Replacement Depot and was assigned to Service Company.
On 9 July 1944 he and two other men were sent on
Detached Service to 82nd AB Division. On 16 July all three were
then transferred to Company B. Olkowski's arrival in Company B was
noted as "transferred fro Service Company on detached service with HQ
82nd A/B Div APO 469".
He received a Good Conduct Medal on April 4, 1945
probably while the regiment was still at Camp Sissone, France.
Also, he was listed as a member of Service Company on 20 October
1945 which would place him in Frankfurt, Germany.
According to his death certificate, Mr. Olkowski was
never married. He died in 1992 in a New Bern, North Carolina
general hospital. Because he died while under care of a physician,
no autopsy was performed. He was buried in a cemetery 20 miles
south of his home and just south of the Cherry Point Naval Air Station.
Since there are at least three cemeteries in the city where he died, the
choice of this location is interesting but the connection is unknown.