PRIVATE FIRST CLASS LOUIS BONTKOWSKI, was born on August 13, 1920 to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bontkowski. At the time of the April 1930 Census, the Bontkowski family lived at 1284 Everett Street, in the predominantly Polish Whitman Park section of Camden. The elder Bontkowski, who like his wife had cone to America from Poland in 1913, was working as a laborer in a leather works. He later owned and operated a grocery at 1191 Liberty Street.
As a boy, Louis Bontkowski attended the St. Joseph Parochial School and Hatch Jr. High School in Camden NJ, attended Camden High School and graduated from Camden County Vocational School. He also attended classes at the Drexel Institute and Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia PA. He was very fond of horses and horseback riding. Prior to his induction into the Untied States Army, he worked at the Camden Forge plant.
After entering the Army on May 5, 1944, he saw duty at Fort Dix NJ, Camp Shelby, and overseas in the European Theatre of Operations. He was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division and joined them in April of 1944, in time to take part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He served as a machine gunner. On September 18th 1944 he died of wounds received in combat.
Louis Bontkowski was survived by his parents, Joseph and Teodozja Bontkowski of 1191 Liberty Street, Camden NJ, a sister Regina, and a brother, Edward, who had served 20 months in the Army prior to being discharged due to an injury. A Mass was held for home at St. Joseph Church in Camden on November 4, 1944. His death was reported in the October 27, 1944 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.
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