Arthur M. Krisak
Biography: Arthur Michael Krisak, “Art”, was born on March 30, 1916, in Syracuse, New York. He was the son of Michael Dominick Krisak and Victoria E. Olšavský and graduated in 1935 from Saint Vincent’s School, Diocese of Syracuse.
He found work in the retail grocery industry and as indicated by his enlistment record, he was working as a manager prior to the war.
Service Time: Art entered the service on January 20, 1942, at Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY. We are not sure of his initial assignments but after his basic training, he would have been assigned to a unit, possibly a tank destroyer unit. Not long afterwards he was chosen to attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) at Camp Hood, Texas, graduating with Class Number 36, on July 2, 1943, at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
On July 8th, while on leave from the unit, Art married the former Margaret Doster at the Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Syracuse, NY. Serving as attendants were a Mrs. Weston Sotherden and the groom’s brother, Pvt. Bernard A. Krisak. Margaret was born in Syracuse and was the daughter of John M. Doster and Frances Sellin. The new couple would be going to Camp Hood where Art was still stationed. In addition to Bernard, Art’s brother Michael was also serving in the military and was stationed in Africa at the time of the wedding.
Art was then assigned to the 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion and trained with them at a number of military facilities in the U.S., including Camp Bowie, TX, Camp Forrest, Tennessee, for the Tennessee Maneuvers, and Camp Atterbury, Indiana, among others.
The 610th was finally sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for final preparations before overseas deployment. Thinking they were headed overseas, they were sent to Camp Kilmer, New York, but were soon headed back to Fort Dix. They were again sent to Camp Kilmer and this time, on June 3rd, they boarded the Dutch liner, Nieuw Amsterdam, and sailed for the United Kingdom. The unit arrived at Greenock, Scotland, on June 11th and about six weeks later, they boarded transports and landed at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, on July 31st. They were equipped with the 3″ towed anti-tank gun and committed to action on August 10th near Craon, France, participating in the elimination of the Falaise Pocket. Lt. Krisak served as the unit’s communications officer.
Racing east to the Moselle River by September, they converted to the self-propelled M36 tank destroyer in September–October and were the first TD unit to do so. The 610th helped clear Maginot Line fortifications in November and were then ordered to the Ardennes on December 21st.
They helped to eliminate the Bulge in January, 1945, and battled through the Siegfried Line in February near Brandscheid but were then transferred back south in March, crossing the Rhine River at Worms on March 29th. The unit raced through central and southern Germany in April and reached the vicinity of Munich by month’s end. The 610th received credit for campaigns including Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. They then took up occupational duties in Nurnberg, Germany.
The 610th had come under the control of the 9th TD Group back when they were training at Camp Atterbury and on October 26, 1944, the 9th had again taken up operational control of the unit. On July 2, 1945, Art was transferred to the 9th and served as the unit’s S-4, which is the logistics and supply officer. They eventually moved to the Antwerp, Belgium, port on the 26th and boarded the S.S. William S. Young for the voyage back to the U.S. They arrived on August 9th at the Hampton Roads, Virginia, port. Art left active service at the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Now back in civilian life, Art returned to his former work in grocery retail and worked as a manager. He later worked as the Regional Supervisor for the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. He and Margaret would make their home in Syracuse but later moved to Rome, NY in 1967. In his spare time, he enjoyed studying history and playing golf. He and Margaret had four daughters and one son.
The photo on left was taken in 1956, with two of his children. The photo on right was taken sometime in the early 1960s.
Although Art had left active service after the war, he continued to serve in the Army Reserves and often went to Camp Drum in Watertown, NY, for training. He retired at the rank of Major.
Art passed away on July 20, 1971, and was buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Port Leyden, NY. I want to thank Art’s daughter, Vicki, for providing the information and family photos used in this tribute. Thank you also to Find A Grave contributor CHerr for the use of the grave marker image.