Decades after His D-day Death, an American Soldier to be Honoured in Roxbury, New Jersey

Warren Frost served in the Navy during WWII and participated in D-Day invasion.
Warren Frost served in the Navy during WWII and participated in D-Day invasion.

Phil Weinpel knew his uncle died on D-Day, but that’s all he knew about his mother’s brother, Edward Morozewicz.

He recently learned much more. Last Saturday he was at Horseshoe Lake Park when a wartime friend of Morozewicz came to Roxbury to posthumously present to the family his long dead friend the Silver Star that Morozewicz earned almost 75 years ago.

“The short life – and quick death by German gunfire – of his 22-year-old uncle wasn’t something Weinpel mentioned often,” said the resident of Succasunna. “Rose Morozewicz was only 16 when her brother, an Army medic, died in Normandy, France, on Omaha Beach,” explained Weinpel.

He was a member of the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division that assaulted the dangerous shore on June 6, 1944 – Morozewicz had never been forgotten by his sister. But his death was not something they talked about at the supper table, said Weinpel.

But Weinpel recently learned a lot more about Army Private Edward Morozewicz, thanks to the labors of Charles Shay, a fellow D-Day medic. He is a Penobscot Indian, residing on a reservation in Maine, who lived through the tough summer of 1944 and penned a book about storming the beaches, a book that acknowledges Morozewicz numerous times.

During a D-Day ceremony in France in June, Shay gave a brief speech. He spoke of the chaos and the bloodshed he saw that day, and he mentioned his friend Morozewicz.

Among the wounded man was Morozewicz, a fellow medic he remembers to this day, said Shay during the ceremony. Until his early 80s, he did not talk about the war. As one of the last survivors, he wanted to keep the memory alive of courageous young medics such as Native Americans (who fought in the battle) and Morozewicz, Shay said.

He had done a long search to locate Morozewicz’s family. He and others had exhausted all their resources, unable to find the medic’s family. That changed recently when Weinpel’s wife, Diane, decided to make an account on, a website that lets people determine their forbearers.

A researcher from the First Division Museum in Wheaton, Ill. found Weinpel’s profile. In a short time, Weinpel learned more about his uncle, about Shay, and about the decades-long search to find anyone related to Morozewicz, TAPinto reported.

“We talked to the museum,” said Weinpel. They said, “Charles Shay, who was the last soldier to see your uncle alive, this past June in Normandy during a D-Day ceremony, reached out to the audience and said he also desired that his fellow medic get the same award he received that day … They said Charles would like to present the medal to your mother.”

Shay’s wish came true on Saturday at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Roxbury. Weinpel, whose sons went to Roxbury High School, said he was hopeful the high school band would perform the national anthem.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE