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LCdr. Frank John Woidyla, U.S. Navy, Retired
HAVERHILL MASSACHUSETTS — Ret. Lt. Commander Frank J. Woidyla, 84, of Haverhill, died Thursday afternoon, Sept. 27, 2007 at the Lawrence General Hospital, Lawrence.
He was born in Haverhill, Jan. 16, 1923, son of the late John and Frances (Pirog) Woidyla. Educated in the Haverhill school system, he graduated from Haverhill High (Trade School), Class of 1942, where he captained the school's football and wrestling teams. He was employed for a short time at the Boston Navy Ship Yard and Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, before enlisting in the Navy.
For over 28 years he was in the United States Navy, where he earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer and then commissioned to the rank of Lt. Commander. While in the Navy he participated in the Bikini Atoll Atomic Bomb Tests in 1946. During his career he served on six different surface vessels, including the Atlantic and Pacific Destroyer Force Fleets. He was awarded the American Theater Medal, Asiatic/Pacific Theater Campaign Medal, China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal with three stars, the National Defense Medal with one star and the World War Two Victory Medal.
Mr. Woidyla also received the Navy Commendation Ribbon from the Secretary of the Navy for "heroism in saving a man from drowning in waters off Wallis Sands Beach, Rye, N.H., June 20, 1953."
Mr. Woidyla is a “plank owner” at the U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C., life member of the VFW Post 29, DAV Post 20, AMVETS Post 147, American Legion Post 4, where he was commander in 1976, life member of the Retired Officers Association (TROA), Polish National Home where he was president from 1971 to 1972, and a former president and general commissioner of the Polski Club, Haverhill, MA.
He was an avid golfer, and also enjoyed bowling and deep sea fishing.