A large group gathered at the intersection of Grand and Flushing avenues in Maspeth to memorialize a local World War II veteran Stanley E. Wdowiak Saturday, Nov. 6.
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.
City Councilman Robert Holden said he is proud to co-name part of 64th Street 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.”
Wdowiak grew up in Maspeth and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He died in 1988 and was buried in Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island.
This event was co-sponsored by Holden’s office, the American Legion’s Kowalinski Post and the Wdowiak family. Representatives from Maspeth Federal Savings, the Maspeth Lions and Kiwanis Clubs also attended.
“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.