|AHF Memorial, Quartermaster 2 Stephen Ganzberger, USN|
Stephen Ganzberger Memorial
Stephen Ganzberger was born on August 25th, 1924 in Wyandotte, MI. He grew up in Wyandotte, MI and enlisted in the Navy the day after his 18th birthday, August 26th, 1942, during World War II. He would see action in the Pacific Theater aboard two different LCI’s (Landing Craft Infantry) and be on active duty for 36 straight months. He served aboard the U.S.S. LCI (L) 329 [1942-1944], and also the U.S.S. LCI (G) 65 [1944-1945]. By war’s end, he had been awarded 4 medals, 3 battle stars, 2 campaign bars, 2 ribbons, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, the Insignia for the Amphibious Forces, and Honor Guard responsibilities.
His WWII journey began on the LCI (L) 329 from in the southern Solomon Islands where he would see his first action of the war on Rendova Harbor, New Georgia Island. On the afternoon of July 4th, 1943, while his LCI Group was landing Army troops of the 169th Infantry onto the beaches of Rendova Island, sixteen Japanese Mitsubishi 97 bombers in attack formation bombed the Allied landing beaches. He shot down one of the twelve bombers that were eventually shot down by anti-aircraft fire. This action earned him his first Bronze Star.
While on the LCI (L) 329, he would later land troops on the Russell Islands; New Georgia Island; Kolombangara; Vella Lavella; and Treausury Islands (Stirling), Bougainville.
In January 1944 he transferred for duty aboard the U.S.S. LCI (L) 65. In June 1944, his LCI was converted from a Landing Craft to a Gunboat, being renamed LCI (G) 65. Aboard the 65, he would participate in the Morotai Island and the Philippines Campaigns.
He would be involved in the Leyte Gulf, Philippines Campaign in October 1944. From his position in San Pedro Bay on the LCI (G) 65, he witnessed General Douglas MacArthur’s famous October 20th return landing on Red Beach, Leyte Island. On October 24th, 1944 at around 9am, a kamikaze pilot made a suicide crash dive into the stern of the LCI (G) 65, killing Stephen’s friend Lester Eugene “Paul” Aiston (SC3c). The action in Leyte Gulf would earn Stephen his second Bronze Star.
His last action of the war was covering landings of the Sixth US Army on White Beach #1 and #2 in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines on January 9th, 1945. He would be sent home four months later in May 1945 to recover from battle fatigue. He was later awarded a Silver Star because of an accumulation of all actions he performed during “Operation Cartwheel,” from Guadalcanal, to Bougainville, finally ending with the victory in Rabaul, New Britain.
Stephen Ganzberger was honorably discharged as a Quartermaster 2nd Class from the Navy on August 15th, 1945.
Upon returning to civilian life, Stephen Ganzberger worked as a sheet metal, heating and air conditioning mechanic for more than 50 years. He married his wife Patricia Ganzberger on April 28th, 1951, and they remained together for 60 years. They eventually had 6 children.
He would become a Southgate City Councilman for 14 years from 1970 to 1984, in Southgate, Michigan. He was elected as a credit union president, and later as president of Sheet Metal Workers Local 80. He was instrumental in many community and fundraising projects, and also served as the employee representative to the Civil Service Commission. His passion was playing golf, the sport he loved. He always kept devoutly close to his faith
When he retired, he became a licensed builder and a heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractor. He also served as liaison to the Capital Improvements Commission, where he provided input into the construction of City Hall, Police & Fire departments, and the courthouse.The World War II veteran and former Southgate councilman died on Friday, May 20, 2011. He was 86.
In addition to his wife Patricia, he is survived by his children - Stephen, Michael, Patrick, Heidi, Victoria and Barrie; and his seven grandchildren - Eric, Kelly, Abigail, Zach, Patricia, Caroline, and Geoffrey.
He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
See below to learn more about the Hungarian Americans buried at Arlington National Cemetery. To see where some of these heroes are buried, [download the map]!
IF YOU KNOW additional Hungarian Americans buried in Arlington National, please contact us!
General Alexander Asbóth
the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he was wounded in the left arm. Despite
the wound, he saddled up next morning. His arm was later shattered and
a bullet lodged under his cheek in the Marianna engagement in Florida.
In 1866, he was appointed U.S. Minister to Argentina and Uruguay. The
wound in his cheek failed to heal, and on January 21, 1868, he died and
was buried in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He finally came home on October
23, 1990 to full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery thanks
to the Hungarian Freedom Fighters’ Federation. His grandson attended
the funeral and is in the Virginia National Guard. Read more about him
Major-General Julius H. Stáhel
Stahel received the US Congressional Medal of Honor for
his bravery at the Battle of Piedmont in Virginia. While wounded, the
General led a cavalry charge which led to a Union victory. In 1866 President
appointed Stahel consul in Japan where he succeeded in opening additional
ports to American trade. In 1884 he was made consul in Shanghai, China.
S/Sgt. Lászlo Rábel
As he and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard
an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter.
With complete disregard for his own life, he threw himself on the grenade
and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate
explosion. By gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions
of the military service, he has reflected great credit upon himself and
the US Army.
Capt. Ákos Dezsö
complete disregard for his own personal safety, he moved about the bullet
swept area, and while engaging the enemy with his M-16 rifle, Captain
Szekely was mortally wounded. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably
to the successful completion of his mission and the defeat of the enemy
force. He appears to be the only Hungarian American whose tombstone uses
Hungarian accented characters. When competing for an appointment to West
Point, Representative John R. Foley, Sixth Maryland District, reported
his selection from the large number of finalists with this remark: “Akos
Szekely…the most unique, special, and outstanding student I ever
appointed to the United States Military Academy.” He would go on
to rank near the top in all of his academic courses and graduated number
five in his class on 3 June 1964, and has been recognized as the highest
ranking graduate of Hungarian ancestry from any of the United States Service
TEC5 Andrew Major
As former president of Collins and Aikman Decorative Fabrics, he presided over the world's leading fabric group. He joined Mastercraft in 1946, became president in 1960, assumed ownership in 1969, and is responsible for the company's meteoric rise, which today provides employment for 3,500 and sales in excess of $350 million. The recipient of numerous industry and civic awards, including the first Lifetime Leadership Award from Dupont in 1995, which embodied his creativity, devotion and legendary status in the industry. In 2002 he received ''The Trailblazer Award'' and was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
He will always be remembered for his wit, generosity and love of life.
In lieu of flowers the family asked for contributions to the Andrew Major
Scholarship Fund at Isothermal Community College, P.O. Box 804, 288 ICC
Loop Road, Spindale, N.C. 28160.
Nicholas Ferencz, III
CWO2 Alexander Ferencz
S/Sgt. George Alexander de Holczer
QM2 Steven Ganzberger
[Read his Memorial] by his loving Grandson, and AHF member, Zach Morris
M Gy Sergeant Dale R Csizmadia
Thomas C. Cseak, Sr.
Maj. Francis Csutoros
John Joseph Kovacs
CW04 Michael Kovacs
CPL Stephen J. Kovacs
Capt. William Kovacs
Did you know there are at least 9 Hungarian American recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor? Read more about Maj. General Asboth and other Hungarian American Military Heroes on The Hungary Page's "Nobel Prize Winners and Famous Hungarians" Military Section.