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Charles Anistranski

1925 - 2020
Charles Anistranski Obituary

Old soldiers never die.

Colonel Charles Anistranski departed from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Plains Twp., for his final glorious assignment on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Born in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 25, 1925, and christened Basil, Charlie was "renamed" in grade school at Grant Street School in the Heights. He was the son of John and Fenna Dnistransky.

He was educated in Wilkes-Barre schools as well as at the Ukrainian Literary Association. Charlie graduated from Coughlin High School, where he was captain of the baseball team.

Following his high school graduation, Charlie reported for service in the U.S. Navy. He saw action on an LST in numerous operations, including North Africa, the invasion of Italy at Anzio, and the D-Day invasion of Normandy, where his LST sustained several direct hits from enemy fire.

After World War II and his discharge from the Navy, Charlie attended and graduated from Mansfield State College, where he also served as captain of the baseball team.

Charlie subsequently obtained a master's degree from Vanderbilt University and began studies toward a doctorate degree.

With the onset of the Korean conflict, Charlie returned to service, receiving a commission with the U.S. Army. His career in the Army included combat in Korea, the Dominican Republic, where he was commander of the medical battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as in Vietnam.

A master parachutist, Colonel Anistranski had 359 military parachute jumps, over 100 of which occurred at night.

During his service in Vietnam, Colonel Anistranski displayed the selflessness of the American soldier, personally rescuing an eight-year-old Vietnamese child whose boat had capsized. For heroic action, he was awarded the Soldier's Medal.

Colonel Anistranski received numerous other awards and citations during his military career, but he felt most fortunate to have survived the conflicts so many of his comrades perished in. He never discussed his many decorations, expressing the feeling that others had been more deserving of the awards than he was.

Among the colonel's decorations were the Legion of Merit with cluster; the Bronze Star; the Army Commendation Medal with three clusters; Air Medal with clusters; Purple Heart; Combat Medic Badge; Master Parachutist Badge and the Department of the Army General Staff Insignia. He was also presented three Crosses of Gallantry with gold stars by the Republic of Vietnam for his services to the Vietnamese troops.

Following his retirement for the military, Charlie did some substitute teaching in Wilkes-Barre Area schools, and served as director of the Wilkes-Barre Model Cities redevelopment program.

An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brothers and nephews.

He was a life member of Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Nellie, Anne, Mary, Jean and Helen; and brothers, John and Joseph.

Charles is survived by his brother, George, Wilkes-Barre; as well as nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations can be made to either , 4899 Belfort Road,Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or , PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.

Colonel Anistranski's family would like to thank those staff members at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center who made special acts of kindness during his stay there. Special thanks go out to the other veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who are true heroes.

A private service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are entrusted to Hugh B. Hughes & Son Inc. Funeral Home, Forty Fort.

For information or to send the family a condolence, please visit the funeral home website at hughbhughes.com.

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