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Eugene A. Telecky, Navy veteran survived Pearl Harbor attack May 25, 1921 -- Sept. 6, 2009

Eugene A. Telecky of Cheektowaga, a Navy veteran who lived through the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and participated in the Pacific Theater's fiercest fighting throughout World War II, died Sept. 6 in Veterans Affairs Skilled Nursing Facility, Bath. He was 88.

Born in Howells, Neb., he graduated from Howells High School and enlisted in Navy in 1940.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Mr. Telecky was serving aboard the USS Raleigh, moored at Ford Island at Pearl Harbor, when the ship was hit below the water line by a torpedo launched by a Japanese plane.

An armor-piercing bomb also penetrated every deck of the ship, just missing the ship's magazine, before exiting the hull and exploding in the water below the ship. The Raleigh needed four barge pontoons strapped to it to keep it from capsizing.

Mr. Telecky went on to serve throughout the duration of the war, including campaigns at Guadalcanal and New Guinea and amphibious assault landings at Okinawa and in the Philippines.

At war's end, he and Irene Kuster married Dec. 7, 1946.

He served another 15 years in the Navy, retiring with 20 years of service in May 1960 as a chief petty officer.

After the Navy, he went to work in the office of Ford Motor Co.'s Buffalo Stamping Plant in Hamburg, retiring in 1983.

During his retirement years, he and his wife spent winters at their home in Seminole, Fla.

Mr. Telecky was a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association; Post 735, American Legion; and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Survivors, besides his wife of nearly 64 years, include three sons, Kenneth, Donald and Jeffrey; a daughter, Janice Klima; and a brother, Donald.

A memorial service is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 630 Main St., West Seneca.


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