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Chester Joseph Piasecki

S/SGT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co D, 4th Platoon

ASN#33345025 Casualty: Wounded

Born 1918 in PA, Died 1992

County of residence at enlistment: Luzerne County, PA
Other residence(s): Wilkes-Barre, PA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: Semiskilled occupations in mechanical treatment of metals (rolling, stamping, forging, pressing, etc.), n.e.c.
College education before the war: Bucknell University
Notes: Wounded as part of an advance group who arrived in France on D-Day (per Official History of the 23rd HQ Special Troops); awarded the Purple Heart (per his obituary); rank changed from CPL in GA Roster to S/SGT per Pennsylvania US Veterans' Burial Cards
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Bernie Mason Company D Roster; Official History of the 23rd HQ Special Troops; photo from Wilkes-Barre Record, August 5, 1944

Chester Piasecki was born on October 11, 1918 in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the third of four children. His father was a coal miner; both of his parents had been born in Poland.

Chester graduated from Wilkes-Barre Township High School in 1936, and attended Bucknell University for a time. By 1940 he was working at the Georgetown Silk Company in Wilkes-Barre as a spinner. He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940, enlisted on May 29, 1942, and was assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion.

According to the Official History of the 23rd HQ Special Troops, Chester was one of "four sergeants from the 603rd Engr Cam Bn Sp who left the unit at Bristol to go directly to an invasion staging area with the 602nd Engr Cam Bn. Their mission involved the use of phony 'Q lighting' during the first critical nights following D Day. They left from Plymouth on four different LSTs and began landing on D Day H-10. It was soon apparent that there were so many real Q lights – at so many points – that the small deceptive effort would be ridiculous, so it was not tried. Instead, the sergeants busied themselves with the camouflage of early beach installations and supply dumps. Two of the party were wounded. (S/Sgt Chester J. Piasecki and Sgt. Tracy B. Slack.)"

Chester's wound involved artillery shell fragments in his thigh, and he was not released from Army medical care until November, 1944. He was "discharged to duty," and most likely returned to the 603rd. He was discharged from the Army on September 25, 1945, and returned to Wilkes-Barre.

He went to work as a postal clerk at the Wilke-Barre Post Office, and he would remain a postal employee until his retirement in 1981. He married Anne Lukas on May 21, 1949, and they went on to have four children: Bonnie, Gina, Donna, and Fred.

Chester was an avid fisherman and gardener, and a member of St. Mary's Church of the Maternity. In 1975, he received an award for superior performance in his daily duties at the Wilkes-Barre PO.

He died on July 19, 1993 in Wilkes-Barre, and is buried at St. Mary's Church of the Maternity Cemetery in West Wyoming, PA.


1944 photo in uniform (see article below)


1920 census

1940 census

1940 draft card

1942 enlistment record

1944 World War II Hospital Admission Card File

1944 article in the Wilkes-Barre Record (PA) re his being wounded

1949 marriage record

1950 Pennsylvania Veterans' Compensation File

1950 census

1975 article in the Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA); he received Postal Service award

1993 Pennsylvania Veterans' Burial Cards

1993 VA death record

1993 Social Security death index

1993 obituary in The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

1993 obituary in the Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA); contains slightly different info

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