Stanley F. Swertinski
Wall of Honor Level:Air and Space Leader
Honored By:Mr. Joe Swertinski
This profile honors Stanley F. Swertinski. He, along with thousands of other men and women, quietly served their country during World War II. Their courage, dedication and sacrifice helped to preserve the freedom that the people of the United States enjoy today.
After enlisting in the Army Air Force in December 1942, Mr. Swetinski trained as a radio operator. He was deployed to the SWPA in April 1944 and assigned to the military base in Milne Bay, New Guinea.
Shortly thereafter, he was assigned to the famed "Satan Angels" 475th Fighter Group, servicing P-38 Lightnings of the 433rd Fighter Squadron. From 1944 - 1945, Mr. Swertinski participated in a number of significant campaigns as the 5th Air Force swept across the Southern Pacific Theater, capturing the Bismarck, Archipelago, Luzon, the North Solomons and Ryukus Islands.
Among the memories indelibly etched in his memory is the liberation of the Philippines and his presence on the beach as General Douglas MacArthur staged his triumphant return. When hostilities were officially concluded, Swertinski was aboard an LST heading for the final invasion of Japan that never occurred.
In the post-war years, the names of faraway places such as Biak, Mindoro and Ie Shima faded with time, but the strange codes on model airplane collections were a source of endless interest. B-25s, P-40s, B-29s and of course, P-38s developed into lifetime wonders for a new generation growing u among the stories, photographs and memories of these incredible aircraft and the men who so skillfully flew and maintained them.
This placement at the National Air and Space Museum is a testament to our father, a member of the "Greatest Generation" and a direct link with these legendary airplanes whose exploits have captured the imaginations of successive generations.