STAFF SERGEANT ROMAN DRAPINSKI lived at 1468 South 10th Street, in the mostly Polish neighborhood anchored by St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He was born in the US in 1918 to Stanislaw and Victoria Drapinski, but had gone back to Poland at an early age, and had received all of his education there, before returning to America in 1938, at age 19, to stay with his brother Adam, and work in Adam's wholesale meat business. His parents and one brother remained in Poland.
Roman Drapinski attempted to enlist in the Army in 1940, but was turned down, as he was not fluent in English at that time. He was inducted, however, in September of 1941, and rapidly advanced through the ranks. Roman Drapinski served at Fort Dix NJ, Fort Knox KY, and Camp Campbell KY. He was a assigned to the 53rd Armored Engineer Battalion, 12th Armored Division.
In early July of 1943, he had wrote his family that he had received two medals and that "the next time he came home he would be all decorated up like a Polish general."
Staff Sergeant Roman Drapinski was killed on July 18, 1943. While demonstrating the use of hand grenades to a group of soldiers, a defective grenade exploded, killing him.
Their are conflicting accounts as to what became of his family in Poland. According to the Camden (NJ) Courier-Post his father had died of starvation under Nazi occupation in Poland, and his mother was unaccounted for, "somewhere in Europe", and his brother a "prisoner of the Nazis". A 1949 booklet from St, Joseph Church of Camden stated that he was survived by his parents, Stanley and Victoria Drapinski, a sister, Helen, and two brothers, Adam and William.
TO CAMDEN NJ INTERNET WWII WAR MEMORIAL
RETURN TO CAMDEN NJ St. Joseph Parish WWII MEMORIAL
RETURN TO CAMDEN NJ St. Joseph Parish WWII 1943 SERVICE FLAG
TO PENNSAUKEN NJ
St. Joseph Parish of South Camden NJ WWII MEMORIAL
RETURN TO DVRBS.COM HOMEPAGE
|Camden Courier-Post - 1944|