|Original picture from http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=2884116&PIpi=134126080|
Stanley P. Berdinski could have been 100 years old today.
As best we know he was born on January 1, 1917 in Michigan to Polish immigrants. According to the 1920's census it looks like he had a twin brother Leo (who died on November 24, 2006) as well as two older sisters, two older brothers, and one younger brother.
For whatever reason, Stanley went no farther than the 8th grade. Perhaps in the depths of the Great Depression he needed to work to help support his family.
Before joining the Army, Private Berdinski was a laborer in Muskegon, Michigan where he built aircraft. It appears that he never married. He wasn't a big guy; only 5 foot 5 inches tall and weighing 129 pounds when he enlisted on May 27, 1942.
Private Berdinski served in the 409th Regiment of the 103d Infantry Division. It arrived in Marseilles France in October 1944. It advanced through France and crossed into Germany in mid-December. At the time of Berdinski's death, the general commanding the 103d was Anthony McAuliffe, famous for his "Nuts" reply to the Germans while leading the 101st Airborne in defending Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
In March the 103d attacked across the Moder and Zintzel rivers and captured the city of Muehlhausen. Private Berdinski likely lost his life on March 20 helping to win this battle. Within a couple of weeks all fighting has pretty much ended for Berdinski's unit, but it wasn't soon enough for Stanley.
Private Berdinski is buried in Rock Island National Cemetery.
Thank you Stanley for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Stanley.
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