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Congressman Lipinski Helps 95-year-old Navy Veteran Obtain Medals He Earned as a Teen on WWII Combat Missions (September 12, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and an Air Medal to former Aviation Machinist Mate First Class Bernard B. Bartusiak of Palos Hills for meritorious service involving aerial flight during World War II. The ceremony took place at the Secretary of the Navy’s office inside the Pentagon and was attended by Bartusiak, his relatives, and Congressman Lipinski, who helped Bartusiak claim his medals after meeting him at a senior fair the congressman hosted.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is a U.S. Military Decoration awarded to any enlisted member of the Armed Forces who distinguished himself or herself in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. Bartusiak, 95, was part of the aircrew on a PB4Y Liberator aircraft in the European Theater of World War II. He received one of his Flying Crosses for completing 20 combat missions during the period of May 1, 1943 to August 20, 1944.

Bartusiak enlisted in the Navy in 1941 at the age of 17. He was the youngest of seven children, born and raised in Chicago.  He was married to Dolores for 65 years until her passing two years ago. They have two daughters, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. After the war Bartusiak became a corporate accountant and started his own accounting and tax service. He is still involved in the community.

“Mr. Bartusiak’s sacrifice and dedication to our country are an inspiration to us all,” said Congressman Lipinski. “He is a man who defended our country at a time of tremendous need. It was my sincere privilege to help him obtain the medals he had rightfully earned for his service and bravery in WWII. After the ceremony, Bernard made me the 11th Honorary Member of Crew 57. It is an honor I will never forget.”

If you’re a veteran or a family member of a veteran who needs help obtaining service medals, please contact Congressman Lipinski’s office at (773) 948-6223.

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