S1c Nicholas Runiak

Unknown Sailor

S1c Nicholas Runiak

NIcholas Runiak was born Dec. 31, 1919. His father, Daniel Runiak, was a steelworker in New Jersey. We could not determine his mother’s name. The father immigrated from Austria.

A younger brother, Andrew, was born July 22, 1922 in East Orange, New Jersey. 

Young Mr. Runiak enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 15, 1940. He was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was injured in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He died nearly three weeks later at the U.S. Naval Hospital of burns and abdominal injuries. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu.

A younger brother, Andrew, served in the Navy from October 1940 through January 1946. An older brother, Frank, served in the Navy from April 1942 through November 1945.

Runiak Avenue on the border between Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey adjacent to Mount Olivet Cemetery is named in Nicholas Runiak’s memory.

Sources: The Courier-News of Bridgewater, New Jersey; grave markers; Navy muster rolls; U.S. Department of Veterans Affair death file; military registration card; application for military headstone. 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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