Ashland County Veteran Highlight
We are proud to highlight Walter Luke Peter Wizbowski
Walter Luke Peter Wizbowski was born in Cleveland on June 21, 1935. He later moved to the Polk area with his parents, Walter and Agnes Wizbowski. Walter graduated from Northwestern High School in 1953 and from the Ohio State University with a BAchelor of Science degree in Physics in 1957. He was a member of Alpha Kappa Lauda fraternity in college, and was also in the ROTC and a member of the fencing team.
In November 1957, Wizbowski joined the U.S. Army Reserves. He served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Signal Missile Support Agency and received a commendation for outstanding service. In November, 1959, he was discharged from the Reserves and joined the U.S. Army, where he was trained as a helicopter pilot. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division in 1960. Wizbowski served in the Army for two years and was honorably discharged in March of 1961.
Wizbowski then joined the CIA and entered the Vietnam War. He worked as a civilian helicopter pilot, often carrying medical supplies to Vietnam.
On May 30, 1961, while on a mission, Lt. Wizbowski, was killed in a helicopter crash in Ben Pa Dong, Laos, along with his co-pilot, Charles H. Master, of Charlotte, NC.
It wasn't until 2015 when Lt. Wizbowski was added to Ashland County's Fallen Heroes Memorial at Ashland Cemetery. He was initially missed because he wasn't actively serving in the military at the time of his death. He was added when it was determined he had recently been discharged from the Army and died shortly thereafter while in service with the CIA. There are currently efforts to recognize Wizbowski at the National level, and others like him who served during the Vietnam War.