Veterans

April 25, 2014

WW II, Korean War veteran retires at Luke

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

A young Master Sgt. Marion Kiszczak, enlisted in the Army Air Corps Sept. 15, 1942. Kiszczak retired in 1969 from the 62nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron at K.I Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich. He returned to his old squadron, which is now the 62nd Fighter Squadron on Luke AFB to have an official retirement ceremony.

A World War II and Korean War veteran was honored in a retirement ceremony April 4 on Luke Air Force Base.

Master Sgt. Marion Kiszczak served in the Army Air Corps and one of his final wishes was to officially retire in front of family, friends and leadership from Luke.

Responsibilities at home and limitations at work prevented Kiszczak from having a retirement ceremony in 1969, something he’s regretted. With declining health, his family reached out to his old squadron to give him the retirement he never had.

“It is remarkable,” Kiszczak said. “It’s outstanding, believe me. It’s hard to believe I would receive this kind of a send-off, and I sure really appreciate it.”

Lt. Col. Shamsher Mann, 62nd Fighter Squadron commander, presided over the ceremony and Congressman Trent Franks, U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district, delivered the closing remarks.

Kiszczak was wheeled into a packed room of Airmen, civilians, family and friends, who came out to honor the 91-year-old veteran. Capt. Aubrie Jones, 56th Force Support Squadron operations officer, narrated the accomplishments of Kiszczak as he sat at center stage.

Kiszczak enlisted in the Army Air Corps Sept. 15, 1942, when America was in the midst of WWII. He completed basic training at Sheppard Field in Wichita Falls, Texas, and went on to learn armament and received tow target training at Chanute Field, Ill.

Master Sgt. Marion Kiszczak speaks at his retirement ceremony April 11 on Luke Air Force Base. Kiszczak, whose health is failing, returned to Luke to have the retirement ceremony he wasn’t able to have when he retired in 1969.

His first assignment was at Hammer Field in Fresno, Calif., followed by Williams Field in Chandler. He served at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., training pilots on the P-51 Mustang and with the 56th Fighter Group, and with 56th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

While in Illinois, Kiszczak began working on an idea to increase the efficiency of tow target reel operations. His suggestion to attach an electric motor to the tow reel was approved and implemented across the Air Defense Command. This innovation resulted in saving 260 man-hours and a decrease in the amount of personnel needed to perform the operation, from three to one, making it safer.

In 1959, the interceptors were moved from O’Hare to K.I. Sawyer AFB in Michigan where Kiszczak served as a standardization technical advisor with the 62nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron until his retirement.

Kiszczak held many jobs throughout his 27-year career to include tow reel operator, weapons technician, standardization NCO in-charge, and an aircrew egress systems repair technician and NCO in-charge.

His long years of service during a turbulent time in America’s history left an impression on all of those who attended his retirement.

“That was one of the most powerful things I have done,” Mann said. “To honor somebody that has served as long as he has, who was part of such a storied generation, is truly an incredible honor.”

Kiszczak has been married for 57 years and has four children. His son Kevin never knew how much his father had accomplished in his career until hearing it at the ceremony. He was overwhelmed with emotion upon hearing his father’s deeds and witnessing the reception.

“It really hit home how much the Air Force appreciates their own,” Kevin said. “We learned about contributions he made that were a mystery to us. To find out he helped invent a winch that took only one person to operate when the previous winch took three personnel and they are still using it to this day, that’s when I actually got a little emotional. I didn’t know the military side of my dad, I just knew dad. The ceremony was not only a great tribute to his military career, but it taught us some things that we didn’t know about him.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>