Captain Wilfred J. Toczko, Sr. (U.S. Army Retired), passed away Friday, December 23, 2011. The son of Polish immigrants, Josef Toczko and Emily Korzenski, Fred was born March 6, 1921 in Detroit, MI. As a youngster, Fred moved with his parents to Norwich, Connecticut. He later graduated from Norwich Free Academy and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in July 1939. He served in Hawaii with the 72nd Bombardment Squadron and was part of a machine-gun crew on Hickam Field when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. After Flight School in 1943, Fred was assigned to a B-24 "Liberator" crew as Co-Pilot. Within the 566th Bombardment Squadron, the 389th Bomb Group flew combat missions over France and Germany. Fred's 16th and last combat mission was June 21, 1944. His B-24 was shot down on the outskirts of Berlin, and Fred was taken Prisoner of War until June 1945. Fred remained in military and government service as an intelligence officer until his retirement in 1960.
Always the adventurer and linguist, Fred lived and traveled around the world. He continued flying his private plane into his 70s. His adventurous spirit never left him, and he enjoyed exploring with his wife, Marcelle and the lucky invited family members. He showed all the simple pleasures of learning and traveling. Throughout his retirement, he participated in military associations and the Pearl Harbor Survivors Group.
Beloved husband of 21 years to Marcelle T. Toczko. Father of five sons with first wife Aline Rowley: Leslie J Toczko (Tucson, AZ), Richard Toczko (Centrailia, WA), Robert Toczko (deceased), John Toczko (Prescott, AZ) and Wilfred (Freddy) J. Toczko, II (Yuma, AZ); 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. His extended family and friends will dearly miss his colorful stories and sage advice.
A private service is planned in Tucson with burial to follow in Hawaii.