Richard
F.
Urban


RICHARD F. URBAN was born in New Jersey in 1942. His father, Frank Urban, was a well known semi-pro baseball player in Camden. Richard Urban attended public schools in Camden NJ, and Camden High School, where he was an All-South Jersey center in 1940 on the school's football team, coached by Billy Palese and featuring Al Litwa at quarterback. He graduated from Camden High School in June of 1942.

Richard F. Urban enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps at Philadelphia on November 12, 1942, with a deferred enlistment date of August 1943. After completing basic training and qualifying for flight duty, he trained as a B-17 bomber pilot, receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in April, 1944. He then married his high school sweetheart, Clara Pierzynski. 

Lieutenant Richard F. Urban was trained to pilot B-17 bombers. After completing training, he was sent overseas to Italy, where he was assigned to the 348th Bomber Squadron, 99th Bombardment Group. On March 19, 1945 he took a B-17G-85-BO, serial number 43-38418, nicknamed "Glittering Gal", on a raid to bomb Vienna, Austria. 

While returning from the raid, the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire over the Austrian border at 18,000 feet altitude. Engines 3 and 4 were set on fire. Lieutenant Urban and his crew bailed out just before the aircraft exploded in mid-air over a town known as Krizevci. Lieutenant Urban and his crew were taken prisoner by the Ustachi, the pro-Nazi military of German-controlled Croatia, and held until the war's end, six weeks later. 

After returning from the war Richard Urban completed his education and later moved to Sparrow's Point, Maryland, where he worked as an engineer for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.


1941 CAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM
Click on Image to Enlarge 

1941 NJ State Championship Team

Camden

36

Trenton

2

Camden

31

Vineland

0

Camden

22

Collingswood

0

Camden

13

Atlantic City

0

Camden

57

Camden Catholic

0

Camden

52

Woodrow Wilson

0

Camden

9

New Brunswick

6

Camden

220

Opponents

2


William Palese...................Head Coach
Arthur Blaker..............Backfield Coach
Walter Nowak......................Line Coach

Kenneth Winfield.................Line Coach

CHAMPIONSHIP EXCURSION

The above chart shows the power of the hard-charging, fast-thinking, and always alert Purple Avalanche which represented Camden High on the gridiron in 1941. After two games had been postponed due to an infantile paralysis epidemic, the Avalanche really put the pressure on Trenton, bowling over the Capitol City eleven 36 to 2. The following week Vineland felt the full power of the great team to the tune of 31 to 0. Collingswood was Camden's next victim and the rain really saved them from a worse beating than they took. After this 22-0 victory coach Billy Palese's boys passed their milestone to the championship by routing Atlantic City 13-0. Camden Catholic and Woodrow Wilson suffered a worse fate than anyone, getting thrashed 

57-0 and 52-0, re­spectively. The victory over Woodrow Wil­son gained for the Purple and Gold the­ South Jersey Group IV Championship. In a post season tilt Camden concluded one of its most successful years in its history by pounding out a 9-6 win over New Brunswick for the mythical state championship.

To pick any star players is hard, but Co-Captains Wally Bubien and sure-footed Al Vogt, who kicked the field goal that beat

New Brunswick; Matty Siedlicki, Ray Ksiazek, Sid Wenof, Reds Sgariglio, Abe Savitsky and Ed Shuda is anybody's all-American line. Working behind this line were Apples Litwa, Rabbit Glemser, Rags Ragone and Duck-foot Weber.

There are many other boys who really put their hearts in making this a very great year for the coaches and Camden High.

Members of this year's championship team who gained all-star honors are: Glemser, Vogt, Siedlicki, Bubien, Ksiazek, and Shuda. Litwa was chosen as a member of the All­State team.

We added to our trophy case the South Jersey Group IV Championship and the Group IV Conference Championship trophies.

RICHARD URBAN
Camden High School Purple & Gold Yearbook
June 1942


CAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL
June 1942 Purple & Gold Yearbook



CAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL
June 1942 Purple & Gold Yearbook
Click on Image to Enlarge 

TRIPLETS JOINED THE FAMILY of a former Camden couple, Richard F. and Clara P. Urban, at a Baltimore hospital last week, a boy, Richard, and two girls, Ann and Susan. An ex-air Force lieutenant and Camden High football star, Urban is now an engineer with the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at Sparrow’s Point, Maryland.

Click on Image to Enlarge 


Camden Courier-Post * February 23, 1954

Triplets Born to Richard Urbans; He's Ex-Grid Star, War II Flier

Richard F. Urban, 30 formerly of 2992 North Atlanta Road, Fairview, is used to the spectacular.

When he was a star center at Camden High in 1942, he was voted the classiest snapper-back in the local conference.

Then, when he was flying for Uncle Sam in a bombing mission over Yugoslavia in the closing days of World War II, his B-17 exploded at 18,000 feet; he blacked out but recovered in time to pull the rip cord of his parachute and landed practically unharmed.

He spent two months in a Nazi prison camp and survived that, too.

Last week, however, he became merely a party to the spectacular. The real stars were his wife, the former Clara Pierzynski, daughter at John Pierzynski, of 931 Mechanic Street, and her triplets- Richard, Ann and Susan- born in the Church Home and Hospital in Baltimore on Wednesday.

Urban, now an engineer at the Bethlehem Steel Co. plant at Sparrows Point, Md., and his wife have been residents of Sparrows Point for three years.

They have two other children, Barbara, 5, arid Judy, 2. And, because of X-rays, etc., they weren't much surprised by the multiple births, just pleased.

All three children were born within 10 minutes of each other, Richard arriving first at 5 pounds and 3 ounces. His sisters each weighed over 6 pounds.

Although the children were at first placed in an incubator, as a precautionary measure, they were soon taken out, bubbling with health.

Urban is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Urban, of the Fairview address. The senior Urban, now employed at Campbell Soup Company, was a widely known baseball and basketball player in his younger days in Camden.

Both young Urban and his wife are graduates of Camden High. They were married April 15, 1944, shortly after Urban had been commissioned as an Air Force lieutenant.


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