World War II Central Illinois Stories - January 30, 2008

Oral History Interview: Philip John Dziuk of Homer

When Phil Dziuk was an 18 year old farm boy, he qualified for an eleven month long Navy electronic technician training program, in June 1944. His education in a two year practical program in the School of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota and experience milking cows was a far cry from repair, maintenance and servicing radar, sonar, receivers, transmitters and other electronic gear. He struggled through the program at Herzl college in Chicago, Great Lakes, Treasure Island, California. He served on the USS Ajax, a repair ship that went to Hawaii, the atom bomb test site in Bikini and later served at the transmitter station in Lualualei, Hawaii. Discharged , August 4, 1946, he was welcomed back to Foley, Minnesota and immediately began work in the harvest fields, on August 5. He later took advantage of the GI Bill and taught at the University of Illinois for more than 37 years.