Veteran Interviews – Lt. Janusz Nieduzak

Lt. Janusz Nieduzak was born in Lwow, Poland in 1921. While Janusz was still young the family lost their father and so he went to work outside the home to help supplement the family income at an early age while still attending school. When war broke out Janusz was too young for the military however he was not too young to be deported as slave labour to Siberia by the Soviets. In 1940 he and his family spent two grueling weeks in deplorable conditions while being shipped like cattle eastward.

After one and a half years of being used as labour for the Soviet government in August of 1942 Janusz made his way to the Polish army reception center at Guzara, Uzbekistan. There he was issued a basic denim uniform and then marched over 30 miles to a waiting ship to transport him out of Soviet controlled territory. In an effort to get as many people out as possible the authorities packed the ship tightly with their human cargo. Janusz spent 24 hours crammed in the hold with thousands of others but they were happy to be leaving the USSR. After arrival Janusz’s condition was so poor from malnourishment at the hands of the Soviets that he was forced to go to a camp in Tehran for recuperation.

From Persia he was transferred to Iraq where Nieduzak was finally assigned to his unit, The8th Regiment Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. The members of this unit would be his new family for the next several years. While in Iraq and then subsequently in Palestine he trained on every position on the 3.7” AA gun crew. Eventually however he was assigned a position on the radar controlled gun predictor.

The next big move was in November of 1943 onto Italian soil where most of the 2nd Corps passed through the port of Taranto. Janusz’s unit was moved to the front and soon in action in the area of Monte Casino. When not employed as anti aircraft defense his gun crew was used as infantry support firing high explosive shells as well as anti tank rounds. This brought the gun very close to German positions and several times the crew was under enemy machine gun fire. After the successful taking of the Monte Casino monastery the Polish 2nd Corps moved up the East Coast of Italy. The battles for Ancona and Bologna were added to the laurels of the Corps and Janusz’s unit.

At war’s end Nieduzak was promoted to Lieutenant for his service. After serving time in the PRC (Polish Resettlement Corps) he eventually emigrated to the U.S. with his wife and has lived here since 1952.

Janusz in 1944