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LT. Col. Joseph A. Boich


1919 - 2014 | Notice Condolences
LT. Col. Joseph A. Boich Notice
Boich, Joseph A. LT. Col. Retired Age 94 years. June 3, 2014. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Andrew Boich (Retired) was born October 19, 1919, in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Gary Vocational High School, Gary Indiana. He completed two years of Cummings Diesel School and two years of training at the Stranton School of Engineering in Chicago. Joe married Florence W. Olson on July 2, 1943, and enjoyed over 50 years of marriage until her passing in 2006. As World War II approached, Joe enlisted into the United States Army as a Combat Engineer in January, 1941 and in April, 1942 he was immediately sent to Engineer Officer Candidate School (OCS) for officer training. He graduated in July, 1942 as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers and was assigned to the 308th Engineer Battalion, Camp Atterbury, Indiana as a platoon leader for wartime training. In July, 1943, Joe was sent overseas to England as part of the 819th Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB) to assist in building runways for the 8th Air Force heavy-bomber base. As part of the 819th EAB, he parachuted into Normandy at H plus 3 hours on D-day into a hostile enemy climate to construct an emergency landing strip and advanced airfields for the invasion force. Joe and his unit were successful and were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their actions. His unit blazed a trail in support of GEN George Patton's 3rd Army across Northern France building airfields and aircraft landing strips into the Ardennes. He continued Engineer support into Germany until war's end and returned to the United States in November, 1945. Joe was awarded Bronze Star for Valor for his wartime service as well as other service decorations. He was released from active duty in March, 1946. Joe returned to active duty in 1947 at Geiger Field, Washington. In September, 1947, Joe, accompanied by Florence, was assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska to build Camp Greeley (now Fort Greely). They returned in 1949 to Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division. When conflict arose in Korea, Joe and his unit were assigned duty in support of American forces battling the North Korean Army. He served 10 months in Korea before redeployment back to Japan and then to the United States. He received numerous awards and decorations for his Korean service. Joe continued his military service rising in rank to Major in a variety of command and staff positions throughout the United States, culminating in his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and retirement on August 31, 1961. He served well and faithfully for over 20 years in the United State Army. Upon retirement, Joe was hired by the General Services Administration (GSA) in their Federal Buildings Service. Joe advanced his civilian career leading to Federal building manager in Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago and culminating in his final assignment in Milwaukee Wisconsin. In 1981, Joe was officially commended in Washington by the GSA for managing the best operating Field Office in the Nation. Joe was active in the Boy's Club's, contributing his time and energy to helping disadvantaged children. Survivors include one Brother-In-Law, John Olson of Princeton IL, one sister-in-law, Norma Olson of Tremont, IL; and nine nieces and nephews; Larry Olson, Randy Olson, Cindy Dahl, David Saathoff, Michael Saathoff, Linda Murphy, Gerald Olson, Debra Fonder, and Noreen Townsend. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Florence. A visitation will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park, Family Center, (12875 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53005) on Saturday, June 7, 2014, from 10 AM until time of services at 11 AM. Entombment will follow with Military Honors.
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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on June 6, 2014
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