John Raymond Comulada Sr.
CPT in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co
Born 1916 in NY, Died 2013
County of residence at enlistment: Prince George's County, MD
Other residence(s): New York, NY; Lanham, MD; Upper Marlboro, MD
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: machinists apprentices
College education after the war: George Washington Univ.; Univ. of Maryland
Johnny Comulada was born on February 17, 1916 in Brooklyn, NY, the third of six children. His father had been born in Puerto Rico and his mother in Poland; his father was a Warrant Officer in the Army and the family lived in a number of different locations. Census records found them in the Bronx in 1920, in Fort Lewis, WA in 1930, in Panama (where he attended Balboa High School) in 1932, back in NYC in 1933, and in Lanham, MD by the late 1930s.
Johnny graduated from Fisher's Island High School in New York and went to work as a machinist's apprentice. He joined the DC National Guard 121st Engineers in 1938, and was promoted from PFC to CPL in 1940. He enlisted on February 3, 1941 with the rank of SGT.
He married Helen Elizabeth Dziomba on November 23, 1940; they would go on to have four children: Alan, John Jr., Bonnie, and Chris.
Johnny was eventually assigned to the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, HQ & Service Company, and was sent to the ETO with the unit. He was promoted to the rank of 1LT and later to CPT, and was the commanding officer of Company B. Near the end of the war he served as commanding officer of the displaced persons camp in Wittlich, Germany.
After he returned stateside, he went to work for the GSA (General Services Administration) and the NSA (National Security Agency) as a building manager, and held those positions for 33 years. He continued to serve with the Reserves until his retirement on February 17, 1976 with the rank of LTC. He received numerous awards during his 38 years with the military, including commendations for meritorious and outstanding service for conducting the Command Demolition School at Fort Richardson, AK, and serving as Engineer Company Controller. During his time working for the government he studied at George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and the USDA Graduate School (now known as Graduate School USA—an institution which offers non-credit courses in skills training, workforce development, and leadership/management for government employees).
Johnny was living in Upper Marlboro, MD when he died on November 28, 2013. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery along with his wife and parents.
1932 Balboa HS Panama yearbook (he is freshman)
1940 article in the Washington DC Sunday Star about his promotion to CPL in the National Guard
1940 marriage record
1941 enlistment record
1945 Report of the UNRRA Liaison Officer, 12th Army Group (see p. 29; note that his name is misspelled as “Comulate”)
1960 article in the Lebanon PA Daily News about his reserve work
1961 father's death notice in the Washington DC Evening Star
2013 Find a Grave record
2013 US obituary collection
2013 obituary in Southern Maryland Online