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Bernard Paul Kozma

PVT in 3132nd Signal Service Co

Born 1924 in NJ, Died 2011

Other residence(s): South River, NJ; Milltown, NJ
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education after the war: Morehead State Univ.
Notes: Rank per 1945 newspaper article
Source: W. Anderson Notes; Post War Sonic List from Bill Anderson; 3132 Pine Camp Photo Names; photo courtesy Angela Kozma Maxwell

Bernard Kozma was born on December 6, 1924 in South River, NJ, the seventh of eight children. Both of his parents had been born in Hungary; his father was a foreman in a brick company and later an engineer at a defense plant.

He graduated from South River High School in 1942 and registered for the draft on November 26, 1942; at the time he was working for Schweitzer, a paper mill in Spotswood, NJ. He enlisted on March 25, 1943, joining his five older brothers in the military (three in the Army and three in the Navy). He was eventually assigned to the 3132 Signal Service Company, and went to Europe with the unit.

After the war was over (all six brother survived!), he returned to South River and used his GI Bill benefits to study history at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY. He married Rose Kucharski in 1949; the 1950 census shows them both living in campus housing at Morehead. Bernard and Rose would go on to have three children: Angela, Paul, and Kenneth.

Bernard Kozma in the classroom; photo courtesy Ancestry® and the South River High School 1968 yearbook

After earning his degree, he got a job teaching history and social studies at the Campbell School in South River (brought in as a mid-semester replacement in the fall of 1952). By 1953 he was teaching at South River High School, his alma mater, and he would remain there until 1981. According to his daughter, a student of his had the following to say: "Mr. Kozma's dedication to education echoes through the halls of South River High School, where he shared his passion for history and social studies with generations of students. His impact extended far beyond the classroom, touching the lives of those who had the privilege of learning from him."

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Bernard was also heavily involved in South River summer recreation programs.

He was a member and an elder at the First Reformed Church in South River, and later a member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Milltown, NJ when he and his family relocated there. He was also a member of the Milltown American Legion.

In his spare time, he loved watching football, basketball, and baseball, and playing board games such as chess, checkers, and Monopoly.

Bernard retired from teaching in 1981. He and Rose spent 30 years in retirement in Milltown until his death on May 25, 2011. He is buried at Washington Monumental Cemetery in South River.


1930 census

1940 census

1942 article in the Central New Jersey Home News about his high school graduation

1942 draft card

1943 article in the Central New Jersey Home News; he has five siblings in Army/Navy

1943 article in the Central New Jersey Home News; more on the above

1945 article in the Central New Jersey Home News; all six brothers survived the war

1948 Morehead yearbook (he was freshman)

1950 census

1952 article in the Central New Jersey Home News; he is teaching 7th grade

1953 article in the Central New Jersey Home News; he is new high school teacher

1954 and 1956 articles in the Central New Jersey Home News re his summer work in recreation (typical of numerous other articles)

1959 marriage record (the marriage actually took place in 1949)

1968 South River High School yearbook (includes photo; he was teacher)

2011 Social Security death index

2011 obituary in the Central New Jersey Home News

2011 obituary

2024 (April 14) GALP Veteran Biography Worksheet from daughter Angela Kozma Maxwell

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