FIRST LIEUTENANT ANTHONY KUZDRALL was a career soldier. He had enlisted in the Army in 1929, as a private in the Field Artillery. Given an opportunity to join the Air Corps, he re-enlisted in 1932 at Wheeler Field in Hawaii, and had been in the Air Corps for eight years at the time of Pearl Harbor. He was serving as a Technical Sergeant at Hickam Field in Hawaii. When the Japanese attacked Pear Harbor and Hickam Field, his wife Merle and daughter Irene were with him in Hawaii.
Once conditions allowed, Merle and Irene Kuzdrall went to live in Lansing MI. Another child was apparently on the way, a son, James Kuzdrall. At some point thereafter, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and subsequently promoted again, to First Lieutenant. A photo of Lieutenant Kuzdrall was published in the Camden Courier-Post right after Pearl Harbor. Another story about him ran, with a picture, in the February 4, 1944 edition of the Courier-Post. At that time, he had written home stating that "he enjoys jungle life, but it lacks razor blades and scissors". He is sorting a full beard in this photo.
Anthony Kuzdrall was awarded the Silver Star for heroism during the Battle of Mdway, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions at Guadalcanal. On April 11, 1944 it was reported in the Camden Courier-Post that Lieutenant Kuzdrall was awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster for operational and combat missions at Guadalcanal in a ceremony at Colorado Springs CO. It was stated in the article that Mrs. Kuzdrall and the two children were at this point in time living at Colorado Springs. It is not known as of this writhing if he was at Colorado Springs on assignment or on leave. he went on two win two more Oak Leaf Clusters for the Air Medal.
At the time of his death, he was serving as a bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress bomber in the crew of Captain William W. Watson, with the 6th Bomber Squadron of the 29th Bomber Group, Very Heavy, based on the island of Guam, and engaged in the bombing of the Japanese home islands.
Anthony Kuzdrall was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Kuzdrall of 111 Church Street, Atco NJ, his wife Merle C. Kuzdrall, and chidren Irene and James, two sisters, Miss Florence Kuzdrall of Atco and Mrs. Elizabeth Sikora of East Berlin NJ, and three brothers, Thaddeus M. of Berlin NJ, Stanley Jr., also of Berlin, and John Kuzdrall, of Atco,
Mrs. Merle Kuzdrall became a charter member of the Camden County Chapter of the Gold Star Wives of World War II in November of 1947.
November 27, 1947
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Merle Kuzdrall is seated,
Gold Star Wives Of America
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