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‘Hometown hero’: Local veteran to be memorialized in Maspeth plaza

World War II veteran Stanley E. Wdowiak, a Maspeth native. (Photo courtesy of Maspeth Savings Bank)

The plaza at the intersection of Grand and Flushing Avenue in Maspeth will be named after local World War II veteran Stanley E. Wdowiak.

Wdowiak was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary bravery and heroism after capturing an enemy submarine and its crew. Wdowiak and another sailor, armed with rifles and grenades, salvaged the submarine. The capture was off the northwestern coast of Africa on June 4, 1944.

The submarine also contained a valuable codebook and an “enigma machine,” which the U.S. used to decode communications in the German military just before D-Day. This information saved thousands of U.S. and Allied Troops.

Councilman Robert Holden said he is proud to co-name part of 64th Avenue after Wdowiak.

“The location was chosen because it’s near where he lived on Grand Avenue. Many of his neighbors enthusiastically gathered signatures in support of this co-naming and I am very happy to fulfill their request,” Holden said. “Mr. Wdowiak’s service is inspirational to us all.”

World War II veteran Stanley E. Wdowiak, a Maspeth native. (Photo courtesy of Maspeth Savings Bank)

Wdowiak grew up in Maspeth and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He died in 1988.

A ceremony to honor Wdowiak will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 6.

This event is co-sponsored by Holden’s office, the American Legion’s Kowalinski Post and the Wdowiak family. Also attending will be representatives from Maspeth Federal Savings and the Maspeth Lions and Kiwanis Clubs.

“Stanley E. Wdowiak is a perfect example of the greatest generation ever produced. Maspeth is indeed proud of its hometown hero,” said Ken Rudzewick, a member of the board of directors at Maspeth Federal Savings.

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