Charles John Ozuk, 0-419618, Captain
Navigator Crew 3
Graduated from Carl Schurz high School. Enlisted November 9, 1939 at Chanute Field, Illinois. Attended Radio and Mechanics School, Chanute Field before entering pilot training. Eliminated from pilot training in June, 1940. Re-enlisted for navigation training in November, 1940 and graduated with rating of navigator and commissioned as Second Lieutenant at McChord Field, Washington in June, 1941. Remained in China-Burma-India Theater after Tokyo Raid until July, 1942. Subsequently served in North Africa until April, 1945. Relieved from active duty April, 1945. Decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Chinese Army, Navy, and Air Corps Medal, Class A, 1st Grade.
Born June 13, 1916, Vesta Heights, Pennsylvania
Died October 9th, 2010, San Antonio Texas
By Scott Huddleston - Express-News www.mysanantonio.com Web Posted: 10/15/2010 12:00 AM CDT
Charles J. Ozuk, one of the last survivors of the famed Doolittle Raid over Japan in World War II, was buried near San Antonio this week.
Of the 80 men in the April 18, 1942, raid, Ozuk, a resident of Air Force Village II, was the last survivor living in San Antonio, said Richard Cole, another former Doolittle Raider who lives in Comfort. Ozuk, 94, died Saturday and was buried Wednesday at St. Louis Catholic Cemetery in Castroville.
Cole said he got to know “Chuck” in China, where the raiders sought refuge after bailing out of their planes, lacking fuel to reach an airstrip.
The raid caused little damage but exposed Japan's vulnerability and gave a badly needed strategic and moral victory to America four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Ozuk, born in Vesta Heights, Pa., enlisted in 1939 and was a navigator in the third plane. He was good friends with Henry Potter, the navigator in the first plane, said Cole, who was the co-pilot in the lead B-25B Mitchell bomber, flying alongside Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle.
In personal accounts, Ozuk would say his best memory of the raid was hearing a voice aboard the USS Hornet announce, “Army, man your planes!” after the Japanese spotted the ship's position.
Ozuk later served in North Africa until his discharge in 1945. After the war, he was an electronics engineer for Motorola in Chicago when the television industry was booming. He raised a family and was proud of his role in the raid, but he was also humble, said a daughter, Martha Brown of Libertyville, Ill.
“He just felt like everyone in that war was a hero,” she said.
Ozuk and his wife moved to San Antonio in the late 1980s. With his death, there are now only six survivors of the raid. A 1991 article in the San Antonio Express-News listed Ozuk and Cole as two of six Doolittle Raiders living here then. The others have since died, Cole said.
Ozuk is survived by a brother, six children and three grandchildren.