Letters displayed here were written by, or in regard to, Henry W. Stadnicki to the Bryant College Service Club.
Mr. Stadnicki was a member of Beta Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated from Bryant College on August 9, 1940 with the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Mr. Stadnicki, who later shortened his name to Henry Stad, lives in East Providence, RI at the time of this writing with his wife, Maria, whom he married in 1957. Henry lost both of his parents as a child. They died within a year of each other during the mid-1930's. Maria, too, lost her parents young and devoted much of her early life to caring for her siblings.
Henry was born in 1919 and was drafted to the U. S. Army Infantry in 1941. He ultimately transferred to the Army Air Corps where he served in the European/African/Middle Eastern Theater.
At the age of 93, Henry Stad drove himself to Bryant University and paid a most welcome impromptu visit to the Douglas & Judith Krupp Library staff on Friday, November 16, 2012. He brought with him several artifacts from his days at Bryant College and information regarding his professional life, as well as a number of stories and additional information about his life during World War II.
Henry can still recall the details of the death of his brother Frank, during the Battle of the Bulge, with great clarity even after so many years. Frank, at 22 years old, was the lead bombadier on his plane. After flying 25 missions he would be allowed to go home and he had already flown 23. On this day, Frank was not supposed to fly but was called in as a replacement for someone who was sick. It was assumed that the added mission would be beneficial to Frank. When he opened the door to drop the bombs, machine gun flak shot through the doors and the plane blew up.
His own brush with death was recounted by Henry when he told us of contracting malaria while serving in Africa. He had begun losing weight to the point where he was withering away and no one in the medical field was able to make a diagnosis. It was a British officer, also a doctor, who was able to finally make the diagnosis of malaria and help him to recover.
After the war, Henry worked as an accountant and, later, as coordinator and tax counselor for the AARP Tax-Aide program. Today, Henry works to spread the word to veterans and their families about Honor Flight New England, an organization begun in June, 2009 whose main objective is transporting World War II veterans to Washington, DC in order that they may see the monument erected in 2004 in their honor. Henry Stad made the trip himself in October, 2010. He was proud to tell about how all the veterans on the bus trip to Boston wore their dog tags and, among all of them, Henry was the oldest.