December 14, 1920 (Zelienople, PA) – September 25, 1944; 23 years old; unmarried
Last local address: 15 Frances Avenue, South Norwalk
Enlisted July 3, 1942
Service number: 31142848
88TH INFANTRY DIVISION, 350TH INFANTRY REGIMENT
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal (twice).
Official cause of death is “Died of Wounds (DOW)”. No other details are known.
From The Norwalk Hour September 18, 1944
From the Norwalk Hour October 18, 1944
Staff Sergeant Joseph J. Sedlak, 23, serving with the United States Army in Italy for the past year, died of injuries on September 25, according to a War Department telegram received today by his mother, Mrs. Bertha Sedlak of Pogany Street. Sedlak’s mother possesses the Purple Heart awarded her son for injuries received in the service and sent to her several months ago. Sedlak also received the coveted Combat Infantry Badge. He previously had what seemed was a narrow escape form death as he was bathing in an Italian stream. A shell landed in the stream about 10 years from where Sedlak was enjoying his first bath in 40 days, but it failed to explode although it did shower mud upon the soldier. He joined the Army on July 16, 1942 and had his basic training at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma in infantry tactics. He had been home on furlough on September 29, 1943, and went overseas in November. Mrs. Sedlak received her last letter from the soldier son three weeks ago today at which time he wrote that he was in good health, was feeling fine and had just returned from a five-day leave which he spent in Rome. The Hour published on September 8, a picture it had received from Sergeant Sedlak in which he and two other Norwalkers, Eugene Nyardy Jr. and Louis Reda, who had met in Italy while on pass were shown together in a group. Staff Sergeant Sedlak was cited by his regiment of the 88th Infantry Division in August and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge for actual participation in combat with the enemy on the Fifth Army front in Italy. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant last April at which time he was a squad leader in an infantry unit. Before entering the service, he was employed by the T.H. Catty Company in Norwalk. He would have been 24 on December 14. Surviving are his mother and two sisters, Mrs. Bertha Kerry of Pogany Street, and Mrs. Anna Lato of Soundview Avenue.
Sergeant Sedlak is buried at Florence American Cemetery, Impruneta, Italy; Plot B, Row 9, Grave 21.