Edward V. Bortnick
Biography: Edward Victor Bortnick, “Eddie”, was born on June 8, 1916, in Stratford, Connecticut. He was the son of Henry V. Bortnick and Anna M. Mikita and moved with the family to Garden City, New York when he was still a child. He attended Corpus Christi elementary school, and then Chaminade High School through the 11th grade.
After leaving school, he went into the building and construction trade. On December 31, 1938, he married the former Eathel L. Rogner, who was born in Zelienople, Pennsylvania and was the daughter of Clyde H. Rogner and Bulah Free.
Service Time: Eddie entered the service on December 14, 1943, at New York City, NY. He was sent to Camp Hood, Texas, where he was assigned to Company C of the 140th Tank Destroyer Training Battalion. His early training prepared him for his assignment to the Reconnaissance Company of the 824th Tank Destroyer battalion, which was stationed at Camp Hood from April to August. During his training he qualified as a Marksman with the Carbine and M1 rifles.
Eddie continued his training with the 824th in military facilities including Camp Joseph T. Robinson in Arkansas, the Louisiana maneuver area and Camps Bowie and Camp Barkeley in Texas. The 824th shipped out from the New York port on October 14, 1944, arriving at Marseilles, France, on October 29th. The unit was deployed near Sarrebourg on November 27th and fought around Bitche and against the Siegfried Line in December. They battled the German Nordwind offensive in January 1945, and converted to M18 tank destroyers in March, crossing the Rhine on the last day of the month.
The photo at left shows Eddie while stationed at Camp Hood and serving in the 140th Tank Destroyer Training Battalion. The photo on right was taken in 1945, at Le Havre, France.
The 824th joined the stiff fight at Heilbronn on April 8, 1945, and then advanced to the Austrian border by month’s end. They cleared the Bavarian mountains and took Innsbruck in early May. After the war ended, the unit took up occupational duties in Austria and remained there through May and into June when they began preparations for redeployment to the Pacific. On June 18th, the main body of the unit left by motor convoy for Camp Lucky Strike in France. Headquarters Co., C Co., & Recon. Co. sailed from Le Havre, France, on July 1st, aboard the SS Thomas Cresap.
The unit received credit for campaigns in the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe. Edward was awarded the EAME Ribbon, WWII Victory Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal. He left the service at the rank of Corporal.
Eddie returned to the U.S. and to Eathel. He also returned to the construction trade and became a residential contractor. The family made their home in Mineola, NY, and the family grew to include a son, Edward Jr., born in 1948. In his spare time, Eddie enjoyed fishing and was a member of the American Legion. In 1980, after his retirement, the family moved to Florida.
The photo at left shows Eddie with two of his five grandchildren.
Eddie passed away on September 30, 1983, and was buried in the Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge, Florida. I want to thank Eddie’s son, Ed Jr., for providing the photos and information for this tribute. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor, Rick, for the use of the grave marker photo.