Martin Thomas Zakowski
|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Wife, Mrs. Lorraine Zakowski
|DATE OF BIRTH:
2/9/1942 – 11/14/1945
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private First Class
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 1917, the seventh of eight sons in Joseph and Antoinette Zakowski’s family. The entire Zakowski family worked for the Oliver Iron and Steel Company. Martin’s job in the shipping department helped support his own young family — his wife Lorraine, whom he married in 1938, and his little daughter Janis, born in 1939.
The eldest Zakowski brothers, Walter and Vincent, were old enough to serve in the Great War; both went to fight, but only Vincent returned. Walter lost his life in 1916 in the battle of Jutland. This did not deter the younger brothers from signing up to do their bit in the Second World War. Martin duly signed up with Selective Service in 1940, but when the United States entered the war, he volunteered for the Marine Corps.
Martin joined the Marines on February 9, 1942. Following boot camp at Parris Island, he was assigned to the newly established camp at New River, North Carolina, as a member of the 1st Separate Pack Howitzer Battalion. He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning his corporal’s stripes in July, and his sergeant’s rating in November just a few days after joining the First Separate Battalion.
Zakowski was posted to Company D, the battalion’s heavy weapons outfit. While in training at New River and Camp Pendleton, California, he proved to be a capable NCO, serving as the company’s property and police sergeant. In October of 1943, however, Zakowski had a disciplinary infraction that would spell the end of his tenure in the First Battalion. For being three days absent over leave, he was reduced in rank to corporal and transferred to the Second Battalion, 24th Marines. His woes were compounded in December, when he was once again absent without permission. Unfortunately for Zakowski, by the time he returned to duty, his regiment had sailed for combat.
At his summary court martial, Zakowski was once again reduced in rank. Now a Private First Class, he was assigned to duty with the service battalion at Camp Pendleton. He would spend the rest of the war working in the camp laundry, and was honorably discharged on November 14, 1945.
After the war, Martin Zakowski settled in Los Angeles. His marriage with Lorraine failed while he was in the service — she remarried in 1945 — and after 1952, Martin himself disappears from public records. He is known to be deceased but the exact date is not known.