S1c Francis Anton Cychosz

S1c Francis Anton Cychosz

Francis Anton Cychosz was a month old when his father, Henry, died. Henry had been driving a lumber truck when it was hit by a train and boxcars flipped on top of him. The father, age 25, had served overseas in World War I.

Mr. Cychosz’s mother, Josephine, was left to raise Francis and an older son, Raymond.

Francis Cychosz was born in Bessemer, Michigan, on July 2, 1922. He graduated from A.D. Johnston high school in 1940, where he was an all-conference fullback and a basketball player. He enlisted in the Navy later that year.

Mr. Cychosz was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Josephine was notified of his death on the Saturday night before Christmas 1941.

His brother, Raymond, was a Michigan state police officer but left to join the Army in 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism on April 14, 1945 in Italy. The citation says: “During an approach march preparatory to engaging the enemy a group of mountain infantrymen were suddenly pinned down by sharp hostile machine gun fire. The platoon was unable to advance further when Private First Class Cychosz, without regard to his own personal safety, picked up his automatic weapon and advanced upon an enemy position which he had been able to detect. Maneuvering to get a clear field, he was wounded seriously. Although in great pain he proceeded to give his weapon to his assistant gunner and instructed him in the field of fire for the targets he had selected, remaining all the while calm and composed before medical aid men reached him to offer him treatment and have him evacuated.” He was paralyzed from the waist down. That did not prevent him, a relative recalled, from hunting and fishing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He died in 1991.

S1c Francis Anton Cychosz

Pictured above: Francis on left and brother Raymond on right.

Sources: Special thanks to relative Jay Shaw. Other sources include: The (Ironwood) Daily Globe’s Senior Sentinel, the Bessemer Herald. The photo of the two brothers shows Francis on the left and Raymond on the right. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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