CYTLAK, CHARLES (CASMIER) E., Technical Sergeant, # 36723193, USAAF
Charles E. Cytlak was born on 25 January 1912 in Chicago, Illinois, to Frank J. Cytlak (1875-1917) (Poland – arrived 1890) and Salomea “Selma” (Przybylski) Lewandowski nee Sytlak (1880-1956) (married Cytlak 3 June 1901, Chicago, IL – married Lewansowski, 14 November 1920, IL)). Siblings were Gertrude Selma Cytlak (1902-1993), Paul Frank Cytlak (1905-1954). Helen Loretta (Cytlak) Jerzycke (1910-1987) and Casmier Cytlak (1912-1946).
He registered for the WWII draft on 16 October 1940, employed by the Ward Baking Co., resided at 6545 S. Union Ave., Chicago, IL, and described himself as 5’11”, 180 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. His mother, Mrs J. (Selma) Lewandowski, resided at 1023 Elizabeth St., Joliet, IL. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained to maintain and monitor the mechanical systems (engineer/crew chief) on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 12 January 1945 a B-24J, “Shootin’ Star,” # 42-73249, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 374th Bomb Squadron, Chengkung, China, departed the airfield at Luliang, China, on a combat reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea and the Indochina coast. The aircraft was presumedly lost at sea somewhere along the coast of China and French Indochina (Japanese occupied). He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial is in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Crest Hill, Will Co., Illinois. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His brother, Paul F. Cytlak, born 17 May 1905, served in the USAAF, Staff Sergeant, from 27 January 1942 to 25 August 1945. He died 15 November 1954 and is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Crest Hill, Will Co., Illinois.