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Alex Grundkowski

War: World War I
Parent/Wife: Anton
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: abt 1897
Death Date: 8 Oct 1918
How Died: Dod
Where Died: Camp Logan, IL
Where Buried: Wisc. Rapids
Rank: Pvt
Branch: Navy

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Alex Grundkowski
Alex was a young man whodied from pneumonia, while he was at Camp Logan, in Zion City, Il. His funeral was held on a Friday morning at his home at 8:45, and then in St. Lawrence Polish Church on the west side of town at 9:30am. Rev. Ciszewski was officiating and he was given military honors.

Alex was twenty-one years, ten months and twenty-five days old when he passed away. His father, mother, three sisters and four brothers were left to mourn his death. He was well known and highly respected in his city, where he had worked for one to two years, before he went into the Navy.

People came to know of his death by a telegram. He died of pneumonia that had followed an attack of Spanish Influenza while he was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.

A few weeks before he passed away, his parents got the news that he was very ill and they left for the Great Lakes. They gave out no other information about his funeral. He had enlisted in the navy, the summer before he died.

Alex Stensberg, Student
East Junior High, Wisconsin Rapids


World War I lasted from 1914 to 1918. However, the United States did not enter the fight until 1917. During the earlier periods of WWI, America discussed staying neutral in the war. Though that idea changed in 1915 when a German submarine sunk a British passenger liner. This devastating attack killed 128 Americans and greatly influenced the U.S.'s decision to enter the war soon after.

Alex Grundkowski was a young private in the United Sates Navy during WWI. He worked as a respected tailor in Wisconsin Rapids for approximately two years before he made the decision to enlist in the Navy. On October 8, 1918, he died at Camp Logan in Zion City, Illinois. According to the Daily leader, Oct 10, 1918, He was 21 years, 10 months and 25 days old when he passed away. Grundkowski left the following relatives to mourn his death: Father, mother, three sisters and four brothers.

Alex Gundkowski died from pneumonia that followed an attack of Spanish influenza at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station.- Daily Leader, Oct 9, 1918. The worldwide pandemic of influenza devastated countless numbers of people during the war and especially during the year 1918. Many soldiers were greatly susceptible to the disease because of the harsh and terrible conditions they had to experience. The germ dwelled in the many trenches and boats that were used in WWI. Ships became floating hospitals instead of battleships.

Influenza possessed the ability to affect ones lungs so greatly that it could create the most terrible type of pneumonia ever recorded. Along with Grundkowski, six hundred thousand people died in the United States alone because of influenza related deaths. In 10 months, more people had died in America from the flu than in combat in all the wars of this century.

The country gave Grundkowski military honors for his funeral. His remains were escorted by Co. K, a part of an infantry division in Wisconsin. Even though Grundkowski died of pneumonia, it does not make him less of a hero than those who were killed in action or died of wounds. He and the others who passed away because of sickness pledged their lives to their country, just as all WWI soldiers did. They all had to struggle and work their hardest to survive the trying environment World War I presented.

World War I is often referred to as, "The War We Forgot." World War I has no national monument and no iconic images.- Tony Dokoupil. This makes it hard for the memory of the people involved in the war to survive. All those who sacrificed their lives for their country should be honored and remembered. Alex Grundkowski is among those courageous and admirable people. His sacrifice for his country should always be kept in mind as a true and respectable commitment of a courageous American.

Daniel J. Janik Jr.
East Junior High School


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