The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 29, 2013

Franklin Borough has had its share of military heroes

JOHNSTOWN — Like most of the Johnstown and Cambria County region, John Clayton Mastovich’s hometown of Franklin Borough provided much support to the World War II efforts.

Among the list of those Franklin residents who served in that conflict were three prominent heroes:

• Sgt. Michael Strank, a U.S. Marine, was one of the six U.S. servicemen in Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Joe Rosenthal’s shot of the second American flag raising atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. The photo is one of the most memorable and well-known images in U.S. history.

Strank also was featured prominently in author James Bradley’s book “Flags of Our Fathers,” which evolved into a motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood. Strank died in combat at age 25 on March 1, 1945. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Franklin Borough VFW Post 5107 and the Conemaugh-Franklin bridge are named in Strank’s honor.

• Office of Strategic Services Capt. George Musulin was an instrumental part in one of the most daring rescues in U.S. military history, Operation Halyard.

Musulin helped in the extraction of hundreds of American servicemen from Yugoslavia despite being in territory occupied by Nazi soldiers.

Musulin and others inspired author Gregory A. Freeman’s 2007 book “The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II.”

He later enlisted in the Office of Naval Intelligence and joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1950.

Musulin died in 1987.

• Col. John J. Tominac received the Medal of Honor for his actions Sept. 12, 1944, in Saulx de Vesoul, France, while a first lieutenant.

The citation stated Tominac charged alone over 50 yards of exposed terrain onto an enemy roadblock to dispatch a three-man crew of German machine gunners with a single burst from his Thompson machine gun.

Tominac died July 11, 1998, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Maple Avenue Bridge was renamed in Tominac’s honor.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads