Niagara Gazette


March 30, 2013

Norman R. Bilski


Norman R. Bilski, 91, of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away on March 28, 2013 surrounded by his loving family at Niagara Hospice House in Lockport, NY. Born in Niagara Falls, NY, he was the son of the late Frank and Lucy (Szykalski) Bilski. Norman was a graduate of Trott Vocational High School and also completed various courses in electrical engineering. Norman was a United States Navy veteran of World War II and took part in the invasions of New Guinea and the D-Day assault on Normandy. Norman served as a radio man, and was a veteran of eight years active duty in the Navy, including 36 months overseas during World War II, and was assigned to the Naval Air Reserve Transport Squadron 851. During World War II in the Southwest Pacific area, he served 11 months aboard a Navy landing craft infantry ship. He took part in the initial landing assaults on Japanese-held positions along the East Coast of New Guinea, Goodenough and Woodlark Islands.
He was later assigned aboard another landing craft infantry in the European theater and served in the English Channel area from Feb. 1944 to August 1945. During the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, his ship took part in the first wave of invading amphibious landing craft. He also took part in the invasion landings on Utah Beach, Normandy, France. Following the invasion beachhead landings, Norman's ship shuttled troops from England to France until V-E Day.  During the Korean War, he was recalled to active duty for two years and served as supervisor of the communications department of Naval Headquarters in New Orleans, LA. He received Four Bronze Stars for his service.
On August 8, 1945, he married Jenny (Zemla) Bilski in Niagara Falls, NY. Norm worked as an electronic technician at Bell Aircraft in Wheatfield, NY and at Uhl Haul & Rich as an office clerk during the construction of the NYS Power Project. He later worked as a teletype operator for Great Lakes Carbon in Niagara Falls. Norman was also the owner and operator of Bilski's No Name Tavern in Niagara Falls, NY. In his earlier years, he played accordion with local bands, and in his leisure time played the organ. Norman enjoyed his daily visits to Tim Horton's with his wife, Jenny, and centered his life on his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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