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John Csiacsek

Obituary Condolences

John Csiacsek Obituary
Csiacsek, John J.

John J. Csiacsek, 87 of Beaver Dam, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at Hillside Manor in Beaver Dam.

John was born on January 30, 1925, in Beaver Dam, to Jacob and Anna (nee Hasenstaub) Csiacsek. He graduated from Beaver Dam High School and proudly served his country in the United States Navy Armed Guard. While in the Navy, John served on the Edward D. White Liberty Ship, the Brown Victory Ship, and the USS Alaska.

John was a Pointer or "Gun Captain" on the bow. Deck logs from the National Archives confirm stories told by John and the Pointer on the stern Gordon Carlson of the Brown Victory while their ship was docked off the Island of IeShima near Okinawa toward the end of WWII. John said the day it happened he was manning his gun when the plane hit. He said there were two Navy Hellcats chasing and shooting at the Japanese plane. His gun was firing as were all guns on board. The Japanese plane was hit and, "did a kamikaze" into the Brown Victory.

The events of 28 May 1945, were written by Raymond Harris GM 2/c and are housed in the National Archives. He notes Lieutenant Harold L. Streator, Armed Guard Officer was taken ashore at IeShima for medical attention. At that time he gave Raymond Harris charge of the Armed Guard crew. Raymond Harris wrote an air alert was first given at 0730. Condition 1 set. At about 0745 an enemy bomber and three of our fighter planes were sighted on the port quarter. The enemy bomber made a suicide run at the Brown Victory. He notes, "All our guns and adjoining ships open fire. Enemy plane crashes into aft masts and lands on deck. His bombs explode. Ship on fire. Armed Guard crew puts out fire. Armed Guard crew has 11 casualties. Two of Armed Guard personnel killed instantly. The enemy bomber was strafing as he came in and one of the bullets struck a powder case that R. Peters, first powder man, was holding causing same to explode. A tug comes alongside. A doctor comes aboard and tends to the injured. Message sent ashore for more doctors. Immediately they are sent out. Landing barges come alongside bringing stretchers and more first aid. Immediately following the plane's crash, Lt. Streator, though seriously wounded himself rushes to Gun #6 and administers first aid to M. George Carlson who is seriously wounded. Then he rushes back to Gun #10 to administer first aid. Gun #10 has 6 casualties. Quite a time elapses before Lt. Streator has his own wounds taken care of. The 9 injured members of the Armed Guard crew are taken ashore at IeShima. Also 7 members of the Merchant Marine crew are casualties. 0945 All clear given. Condition 1 secured. All hands turn to refill Gun #1. 1100 Armed Guard crews help lower coffins of deceased members to landing barge to be taken ashore for burial. L.R. De Aguiar, and M.R. Evans accompany bodies to shore and return. 1200 All hands turn to clean Gun #1. 1300 All hands turn to load 20 mm magazines. Weather condition at time low clouds hanging over island. Rounds fired at enemy bomber: Gun #1 5, Gun #2 60, Gun #4 60, Gun #6 120, Gun #7 60, Gun #8 60, Gun #9 60, Gun #10 1. M.G. Carlson fired two full magazines. He was capably assisted by 1st Lt. Newton C. Rochte 0-1945687 Army Security Officer. M.G. Carlson dies the same afternoon. 1st Lt. Rochte was seriously injured. Enemy bomber was identified as a Betty. There are more notes contained in the deck logs about the days that followed this attack most of which were complicated by repeated air alerts and watches for enemy swimmers carrying "high explosives." Japanese air raids were intensified during the last weeks of May 1945 in this area near Okinawa. The Brown Victory's cargo of gas drums had been emptied prior to the attack or John said, "The whole ship would have gone u.". Other cargo included new trucks some of which had canvas roofs that burned up. The Pointer on the stern said he and the other injured were taken to a fleet hospital and flown from Okinawa to Guam. He also said Lt. Streator had been a teacher from Kansas before the war.

After the attack John said when he got back to his quarters he found numerous holes in his bunk and shrapnel (some of which he kept) embedded in his bunk. He also kept and preserved a piece of the Japanese plane along with 4 medals for the different theaters he served in "WWII," "American Campaign," "European African Middle Eastern Campaign," and "Asiatic Pacific Campaign." Some years ago he cut off a piece of the Japanese plane and sent it to the parents of one of the men killed in the attack. He said the jean jacket he had hanging on his bunk that day was also full of holes. John was unharmed. The deck logs indicate on-going repairs to the Brown Victory in the days following the attack. After leaving Okinawa the Brown Victory went on to Saipan then back to San Francisco.

After his military service, John worked at the Wisconsin Conservation Department as a game warden, the Beaver Dam Pattern Shop, the foundry at Van Brunt in Horicon, followed by working as a tool-and-die maker at John Deere for over 30 years, until his retirement.

On June 23, 1956, John was united in marriage to Elizabeth (Betty) Kuhaupt at St. Malachy's Catholic Church in Horicon. John had a strong faith and was a devout Catholic. John and Betty enjoyed volunteering at St. Vincent De Paul Society together, where he was a member. He made many rosaries for mission that were sent all around the world, and he also made rosaries out of rose petals. John's hobbies included deer, turkey, and pheasant hunting, fishing, tending to his garden and fruit trees, as well as making homemade wine.

John is survived by his children, Tom (Deb) Csiacsek of Beaver Dam; Anne Manske of Marshfield, MA; Barb (Randy) Lueptow of Manitowoc; and Julie (John) Schewe of Two Rivers; his grandchildren, Amber Manske, Jackie (Chris) Lokken, McKenzie and Olivia Schewe, Kirsten Navarrette, Sarah Csiacsek, Lindsay, Kelsey, Joshua and Jacob Lueptow; one great-grandson, Isaac Lueptow; his brother, James (Becky) Csiacsek of Beaver Dam; and his sister, Katherine Rux of Beaver Dam. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty in 2001; his brother, Richard; and other relatives.

A Mass of Christian Burial for John will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 1 p.m. at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, 511 S. Spring St., Beaver Dam, with Father Mike Erwin as celebrant. Visitation will be held prior to the Mass at church, beginning at 11 a.m. John will be laid to rest next to his wife, Betty, at St. Peter's Catholic Cemetery, Beaver Dam, followed by a luncheon at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam.

Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family.

You may send private online condolences or sign the family's guest book at www.cstonefs.com.

Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter on Jan. 29, 2013
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