Philip Streczyk

Philip Streczyk (25 November 1918 — 25 June 1958) was a sergeant in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division during World War II.


Streczyk was born to Polish parents Andrzej "Andrew" Streczyk (was born 1876 in Austria-Hungary, now in Poland) and Marya (was born 1886 in Austria-Hungary, now in Poland). Streczyk was a native of East Brunswick Township, New Jersey.[1]


He is famous as one of the first men off the beach at Omaha Beach. He served in E Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, under Lieutenant John M. Spalding. He and his men helped make the breakthrough there on D-Day possible. His platoon landed on the Easy Red sector, and made it to the seawall largely intact, unlike most in the first wave. Instead of attacking up the beach exits, as was planned, he instead helped find and clear a path up the mined bluffs, left of Exit E-1. Once at the top, he attacked the enemy fortifications from the rear, clearing out trenches and pillboxes along Exit E-1 and taking prisoners. He was able to interrogate several of the Ost battalion POWs because he spoke fluent Polish. Later on, D-Day he was involved in actions further inland at Colleville-sur-Mer.

For his actions on D-Day, he was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Great Britain's Military Medal[citation needed]. His company commander later called him "the greatest unsung hero of World War II". He saw action in five other major battles during World War II with the "Big Red One", including Tunisia, Sicily, and Hurtgen. He was also awarded the Silver Star four times. His six theaters earned him six Bronze Stars.


Philip Streczyk was buried with honors at The Church of Our Savior Cemetery, first known as Polish National Catholic Church Cemetery in East Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey.

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