January 27 – Happy Birthday Norman Briskie

Norm2BriskieHere is an excerpt from my story about this Rug City hero. His entire story appears in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order a copy, click here.

On Sunday, October 26, 1947, the US Army transport ship, Joseph V. Connolly steamed into New York City harbor carrying a sacred cargo. On board were the funeral caskets of 6,250 American servicemen who had made the supreme sacrifice while fighting for their country in Europe during World War II. One of those caskets held the remains of an Amsterdam hero. His name was Norm Briskie.

Briskie was born on January 27, 1925. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Briskie had lived in Fort Johnson at the time and then later moved to a farm on Star Route Hagaman. Young Norm had started his schooling at Perth Central and later transferred to St. Joseph’s School in Amsterdam. He had worked for a short while in Amsterdam’s carpet mills but at the time he was inducted into the US Army in April of 1944, he was working full time on his dad’s farm.

He did his basic training in Georgia and then got sent to Fort Meade in Maryland for more specialized training. He did not get sent overseas to England until August of 1944, two months after D-Day. From England he was sent to France. Once there he joined the allied advance that pushed the German Army back to Belgium and into Germany. On December 16, 1944, the German launched a major surprise counteroffensive that would come to be known as the “Battle of the Bulge”…

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