Welcome to the iHonor American Flag paying tribute to World War II Vet Ernest L. Komarek
iHonor American Flag honors: World War II Veteran U.S. Army Technical Sergeant (T/Sgt.) Ernest L. Komarek
Ernest L. Komarek, age 94, last served in the U.S. Army, as a Technical Sergeant (Radioman), 74 years ago during World War II Assigned to the 7th Cavalry Regiment stationed in the Philippines and Tokyo from 1944 to 1946 Fought in the Battle of Leyte (Sep. - Dec. 1944) and Battle of Luzon (Jan. - Sep. 1945) in the Philippines and served as part of the occupation force in Tokyo, Japan We honor and thank U.S. Army WWII Veteran, "Ernie" Komarek, a member of "America's Greatest Generation," for defending our freedoms and fighting to liberate the lives of others.
Ernest L. Komarek Born on March 3, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois Ernie grew up within the Czech community of Chicago Attended Chicago public schools during the day and Czech school at night - becoming fully bilingual Excelled in math and sciences and started his passionate work in amateur (ham) radio operation at age 8 Graduated in 1944 from Farragut High School in Chicago
After high school, Ernie enlisted in U.S. Army to fight for America during WWII Boyhood hobby propelled Ernie to be an expert Army Radioman while fighting Japanese forces in the Pacific Served in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, stationed in the Philippines and Japan, from 1944 to 1946
Ernie fought and served with his unit, the 7th Cavalry Regiment, in the Battle of Leyte (pictured above - see radioman in bottom right ;) and Battle of Luzon in the Philippines When his unit was assigned as part of the occupation force in Japan, after the Japanese surrender, Ernie spent time working at the Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, Japan
Famous moments for Ernie during WWII: -Witnessed the Japanese forces formally surrender to the Allies aboard the USS Missouri (pictured above) on V-J Day, Sep. 2nd of 1945 -Interacted with war criminal Tokyo Rose (charged with treason for radio broadcast propaganda in the Pacific - pictured below) at the Sugamo Prison -Met Hideki Tojo (General of the Imperial Japanese Army and Prime Minister - pictured below) at the Sugamo Prison
CLICK HERE to learn more about Iva Toguri (aka Tokyo Rose)
After WWII, Ernie left the Army to attend technical schools back in his hometown of Chicago. In 1950, he married another Chicago-raised, Czech-American, Lillian, and soon thereafter they had their first of 3 kids (Ernest, Karen, and David) In 1954, Ernie moved his family to Boulder to study physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder Graduated in 1957 and began working as a physicist and electronic engineer at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder
[ Note: The views of campus and the Flatirons were lots less cluttered back in 1957 - per this photo outside Norlin Library via Coloradan magazine ]
[ Note: In 1957, the year Ernie graduated from CU, the first Ralphie was introduced as the CU living mascot ;) ... photo from Coloradan magazine ]
During his long career at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) microwave lab, he helped invent the household microwave In 1968, Ernie took a 6-month sabbatical from NBS to finish building the family's home just outside of the Boulder city limits. He did most of the carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work to complete the 3,400 square foot house that was named one of the Top Ten New Homes in Boulder in 1969 At age 53, in 1979, Ernie retired from NBS (pictured below and now known as NIST - National Institute of Standards & Technology), and he and his wife began a 25-year run of teaching young adults ham (amateur) radio and helped them get their radio licenses.
Ernie spent many Saturday afternoons listening to CU Football games in his garage while working on his hobbies (ham radio broadcasting, as well as, TV and radio repair) Unbelievably, Ernie and his wife, Lillian, were married for an incredible 67 years before Lillian passed away in early 2019. Now, Ernie stays active by working word and number puzzles with his friends at Sunrise in Boulder.
[ Note: Example ham (amateur) radio set-up via Wikipedia Mw0rkb ]
Insightful Quotes from Ernie Komarek
"That's the way it goes" -Ernie's way to comfort others ;)
"Don't say you can't do it if you haven't tried it." -Ernie's method to motivate others
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