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Irving Ostuw

1919 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Irving Ostuw Obituary

Irving Ostuw was born to Ida and John Ostuw on August 21st, 1919 in Passaic, New Jersey. He grew up working as a clerk in his father's Monroe Street grocery store while attending Passaic High School. Irving moved to Calhoun, Georgia when he was 19 years old to manage O'Jay's, his Uncle's chenille bedspread factory. It was during his stay in a Calhoun boarding house that he met Elizabeth Ingle of Blue Ridge, Georgia. They wed on Christmas Eve, only six months later.
On June 3, 1943, 22 year old Irving Ostuw arrived in Westover Field, Massachusetts to begin his active duty as a fighter pilot in the United States Army Air Corps. He said goodbye to his wife and left to serve his country from the cockpit of a Republic Aviation P-47 bomber high above enemy territory in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and other locations throughout Europe. Ostuw would go on to fight in many notable battles such as the Battle of the Bulge and D-Day as a member of the 396th Fighter Squadron, otherwise known as the "Thunder Bums", which was a division of the 368th Fighter Group. His accolades as a daring and skilled bomber pilot could be found in publications across the country. A newspaper clipping from the time period recalls how the "black-haired, sharp-eyed, and unusually calm, Captain Ostuw would dive from the clouds at 300 miles per hour before pulling up a mere hundreds of feet above the surface to release his ammunition and return to more friendly altitudes; a maneuver known as buzz bombing." A Brooklyn newspaper recounted a mission in which "he [Irving Ostuw] dropped two bombs inside an enemy fortress near Cherbourg, and after he gave the place a little extra working over, the Germans ran up the white flag." Irving would often return from a dangerous mission in his plane, dubbed the "Leaky Joe", whose nose art can be found in the WWII aviation museum in Seattle, to find hundreds of bullet holes and damage secondary to murderous flak explosions. Captain Ostuw would fly 135 missions; log 370 combat hours; be recognized as having the "Most Buildings destroyed" with 75 by Major General Hoyt Vandenberg; receive three distinguished Flying Crosses; 24 Air Medals and the illustrious Silver Star before being relieved of service in November of 1944. Once again on friendly soil, the heroic pilot, not ready to completely part with aviation, took a job as an airplane mechanic for Pan American in Miami, Florida. Soon after, Irving would return to North Georgia with his wife, "Lib", to continue his career in textiles and to raise their three children, Joel, Janie, and Jack. Aside from managing his new ventures of JanieJoe, and later, Crown Craft, Irving enjoyed playing cards with his friends at the Elks Club, of which he was a founding member, and joining his family on the lake. Irving and Lib would later retire to Daytona Beach Shores, Florida; a favorite weekend destination for the couple. The pair would often travel the old 41 highway in the dead of the night with Lib at the helm as Irving rested in the back in order to be ready for work upon their return. Despite all of Irving's exploits, perhaps his most successful venture of all was that of marriage. Irving and Elizabeth celebrated 75 amazing anniversaries together… The beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend is survived by his son, Joel Ostuw, of Calhoun, GA, daughter, Janie Newport, of Atlanta, Georgia and son, Jack Ostuw and his wife, Yvette, of Daytona Beach, Florida. The wonderful memories of his stoic and caring character are shared by his grandchildren and Great Grand-children and their families; Greer Taylor, Will Ostuw, Emily Shaya, Josh Newport, Jon Newport, Jeri Ostuw, Jenna Ostuw and John Ostuw; and his great-grandchildren, Winston Taylor and Merrill Ostuw. He is pre-deceased by his late wife, Elizabeth Ingle Ostuw and his grand-daughter, Kayla Ostuw. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at Mount Sinai Cemetery on White Street in Daytona Beach. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either Temple Israel, 1400 S Peninsula Dr, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 or Halifax Health Hospice, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, FL 32129.


Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Nov. 25, 2014
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