Sylvester P. Hajduk Group
Sylvester P. Hajduk Group

Full name:  Hajduk, Sylvester Paul
Army Serial No: 36205353

Enlisted: March 25, 1941 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Born: December 22, 1912 

Died: February 26, 1999 

Buried: Wood National Cemetery Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Section: 6 / Site 165, buried March 4, 1999

 

Operation Cobra
Operation Cobra

Pfc. Sylvester P. Hajduk, K Company, 2nd  Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division joined his outfit while the unit was on Iceland in 1942. In August 1943 the Division moved from Iceland to Tidworth Barracks, England then in October 1943, to Northern Ireland for advanced training for the invasion of France. The 5th Division landed in France on July 9, 1944 at Utah Beach, Sector Sugar Red. It was assigned to the V Corps, First Army, and relieved the 1st Infantry Division in the Caumont area. The division launched its first attack on Vidouville (Hill 183) on 26 July 1944 as part of Operation Cobra (Normandy Breakthrough, 25–31 July 1944). 

Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements, former Sergeant in K/3-2 Infantry. Photo courtesy Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements
Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements, former Sergeant in K/3-2 Infantry. Photo courtesy Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements

Regarding to Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements, who was a Sergeant in K/3-2 Infantry, Sylvester Hajduk was a scout and scouted for him. During the battle of Vidouville, which was the first major battle, Hajduk and his fellow scout de Hogg got shot on July 30, 1944 for what Hajduk got a Purple Heart.

 

Here the story regarding Hajduk getting shot as seen by Sergeant Clements:

 

Years prior, large mounds of rock and dirt were formed, which created the boundaries of each small field.  This was called the hedgerow country.  Trees had begun to grown on top of the mounds. 

The Germans had dug gun emplacements in each of those fields, and the Germans couldn’t be seen due to the mounds and growth.  My squad was to lead the attack for the 3rd Platoon.  Two scouts (Hajduk was the second one) and I went through a hole in the hedge and went over the hedgerow, then turned left for 15-20 yards to the next fence row, then turned right.

We had gone about 25 yards, when both of the scouts were wounded.  When I turned around to see where the rest of the guys were, no one was following us.  I went back to the hole in the fence and went over, and I heard a burp gun (German MP40) go off, and knew it was close.  I was angry because no one was helping us – the Lieutenant had stopped the others from following.  When I sat down, where my pant legs were bloused over my leggings, the pant legs were shot to ribbons.

I was not allowed to go back to help the wounded scouts.  About ½ hour later, another outfit was brought in to relieve the whole company.  I never knew for sure what happened to the scouts – not knowing whether they lived or died. I always felt bad about it, but knew I could not dwell on it in order to continue to do my job.

When Ausby Clements heard from me, it was the first time he knew that Hajduk had returned to duty.  He still doesn’t know about what happened to the other Scout

 

Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements, former Sergeant in K/3-2 Infantry. Photo courtesy Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements
Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements, former Sergeant in K/3-2 Infantry. Photo courtesy Ausby L. "Shorty" Clements

As Hajduk has 5 Battle Stars, which indicates that he participated in all Campaigns fought in Europe by the 5th Infantry Division, it must be assumed, that this wound was not so severe that he went out of action.  However, regarding to his obituary of February 28, 1999, Hajduk was a disabled veteran of WW2.

Photos above (taken by Jerry Dutscheck):
Sylvester P. Hajduk final resting place:
Wood National Cemetery Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Section: 6 / Site 165

Photos above:
Sylvester P. Hajduk’s medals