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Tom Syfko Marine Corps

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Tom Syfko - 2340 Views
honored by Cal Syfko, Grandson

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Highest Rank: 1st lieutenant
Entered Service: 11/11/1942
Exited Service: 12/25/1945
Foreign Service Length: 9 Months
Continental Service Length: 1 year, 9 months
Location of Service: Midway
Gender: male
Basic Training: Iowa City, Iowa
Service Related Injury: no
Military Position: Pilot/ Co- Pilot
Place of Separation: Minniaploes, Minnesota
From City: St.Paul
From State: Minnesota
Current City: St, Paul
Current State: Minnesota
Date of Birth: 05/1922
My War Stories
  1942 My grandfather enlisted into the service when he turned 19. He never liked to be in the mud, so the army was never for him. His mom recommended him to sign up to be a pilot. He had a choice between flying for the USMC or the Navy and he picked the Marine Crops. My grandpa then went to Iowa city for preflight training. The main objective there was to break down the new recurs and sees who was cut out to be in the service and who was not. They would run sprints and cross country. They would make you take boxing lessons and tread water for hour with your clothes on, which my grandpa thought was the hardest work out. Not only did they do hard physical work, but they also did mental work outs as well. My grandpa had to take navigation and math classes to help him figure out where he was, and how to get from one place to the next. One of the hardest things my grandpa had to do was identify planes. The instructors would show a plane and you would have to identify in 1/10th of a second. My grandpa would have to identify planes for hours at a time. For 9 months, my grandpa and his fellow recurs trained hard, and finally they where ready to be ship back to Minneapolis for fight trading where my grandpa trained with open cockpit plane and passed the flight test with flying colors. He was commissioned as a pilot and sent on his way to Midway.
  1943 Life in war is never good but being an officer helped a bit, as my grandpa said. He was an officer during the war and was given certain perks, like better food and better sleeping conditions. My grandpa also got access to officer only bars where they served the best drinks. My grandfather's unit was always on stand by duty, but they where only on the lowest level of the scale. My grandfather and his unit still found time to have fun. They would play baseball during the long hours, and had social time for cards and they would sit around and tell stories about life back home before the war. Most of the day was spent in the air, flying and patrolling looking for subs. When you landed you also had to file a report so bookwork always kept you busy. The only thing my grandpa carried for good luck was a stainless steel rosary around his neck. One thing my grandpa looked forward to be the days they got letters, because letters only came once a month it seemed like. My grandpa always enjoyed reading letter from my grandma and his mom and dad
  1945 My grandpa and ten of his high school friends all signed up for the service after high school. Some went on to the navy and others went on to the USMC, but they all made it through the war. The thing I find interesting is that all ten of my grandpas friends are still friends today. All of them also married there high school sweet hearts and stayed married to this day, talk about true love. My grandpa and his friends liked to party before the war and still party today. They meet for lunch once a week, and over the years the conversation went from who was the best pilot to who was the sickest of the group and who had the latest back problems. My grandpa made some great friends in high school, friends through the war and still friends today, now that’s what I call true friends.
  1946 After the war my grandpa needed to support a wife and two kids so he went right on to work. He started off with some simple jobs like working at a fill station and working for the paper company. My grandpa finally got a good job when a friend of his asked him to take the firefighters test to see if he could cut it. My grandpa passed the test and went on to be a firefighter for 39 years. My grandpa also joined the American legend of north St. Paul after the war, and continues to be a member today. My grandpa enjoyed the service and said "I doesn't know how it changed my life but deep down it does something to you, just knowing how lucky you are and what you are fighting for". My grandpa enjoyed the service and said "I doesn't know how it changed my life but deep down it does something to you, just knowing how lucky you are and what you are fighing for".

My War Pictures
Click on the pictures to enlarge.
  Taken while on leave Taken while on  leave taken before my grandpa took off for a fight taken before my grandpa took off for a fight