Joseph J. Bernstein, Another Tough World War II Veteran. He lived May 5, 1923 – May 29, 2008

Joseph (Jack) Bernstein was my daughter’s grandfather & my father-in-law. Jack was tough. He smoked Marlboro Reds when I first met him, had rough hands and an iron handshake.   Jack was probably always tough, but especially since he survived being captured at sea by the Germans and then being turned over to a Japanese war camp to spend the rest of WWII.  This is for Jack, R.I.P. and we miss you.

His son wrote

Thursday, Jack was declared dead . . .for the second time. He was 85. Sixty-five years ago, another article appeared in the Kansas City Star; the headline read, “And a Boy Dies At Sea.” It told the story of a young Kansas Citian in greasy overalls working on a merchant marine tanker — the boy and the tanker lost at sea when an enemy torpedo struck. Insurance benefits were paid and he was given up for dead, by all but his family. “We were deeply grieved to hear of the death of your son,” the letter to his mother read. “He set an example in heroism and patriotism for all of us.”

The text below is copied from http://www.usmm.org/calcutta.html


It wasn’t until 1943 that Washington learned that 27 crew members of the Calcutta were alive and prisoners of war at Camp Fukuoka in Japan.

He often remarked that he was living on borrowed time. At 11:35pm on May 29, 2008, he opened his eyes for the last time and closed them. All who knew him will miss him dearly.

One response

  1. Having survived two years in a Japanese POW camp, I’m sure he lived the rest of his life with gusto.

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