Joseph G. Padusniak was killed in action on Dec. 18, 1944 during the “Battle of the Bulge.”
This infamous battle, a surprise attack, began just two days earlier. 300,000 German troops, backed by artillery and hundreds of huge Panther, Mark IV and new Tiger tanks struck along an 85 mile front through Belgium, France and Luxembourg.
On the final day of Padusniak’s life, the Germans continued attacking and advancing. Elements of the 394th Infantry Regiment- Padusniak’s unit- were attacked throughout the morning.
On the third day of the battle, Padusniak was somewhere on the battlefield when he succumbed to inflicted wounds and gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He was one of 30,000 American forces killed during the month-long battle .
This Fallen Hero resided on Westfield Avenue in Clark prior to his entry into the army. Padusniak is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Clark.
Clark's Fallen Heroes profiles those 21 soldiers from Clark who died in service to their country. Author William Duffy’s research into Clark’s fallen heroes included such primary sources as United States military records kept at the National Archive, articles and reports from “The Elizabeth Daily Journal,” photographs, letters and, when possible, interviews with family members and friends of the deceased.
Find out more about William Duffy: One Man’s Quest to Keep Alive the Memory of Clark’s War Dead
The series runs daily through Memorial Day, 2017. Click for an index of stories.
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