WEST SPRINGFIELD, Pa. —
Walter Wolchik, age 90, passed away at his home in West Springfield, Pa., Monday morning, June 2, 2014.
Born March 3, 1924, in Parsippany, N.J., he was the son of Michael and Katherine (Zeblecavich) Wolchik.
A member of the “greatest generation”, Walley fought in World War II with the 401st Bomb Group out of Deenethorpe, England. He was a Bombardier with the 612th Bomber Squadron, and flew 11 missions over Germany, France and Belgium with a crew of nine other young men.
On Sept. 30, 1944, on a mission to bomb Munster, Germany, the bomber known as the “IP” with Walter and his crew on board was hit by enemy “FLAK”. With two engines out and a third engine on fire, the crew bailed out. Several crew members were injured and had to have help from Walter to get out of the plane. Once on the ground, all of the crew were eventually taken prisoner. Some of them were actually detained and threatened with death by German civilians. The Navigator evaded capture for seven days! The seriously injured were taken to local hospitals.
Walter and other officers of the crew were taken to Stalag Luft I (POW Camp 1) at Barth, Germany. In June, 1945, after eight months of prisoner life, Stalag Luft I was liberated from the Germans by the Russian Army. The POW’s were then flown back to England before returning to the United States. Following his discharge, he was in the Reserves for 15 years.
Walter was employed at the former Marx Toy Company, and General electric.
He was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, and a 46-year member of American Legion Cowle Post #151 in Conneaut, Ohio, where he liked to have a “scotch”. He was a 25-year fireman/paramedic with the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department.
Walter was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman, and enjoyed gardening. Most of all, he and his wife enjoyed building their home together which he had started prior to joining the Air Force, and then for three years on summer weekends. They were married on August 27, 1949, and enjoyed more than 60 years of marriage.