Sgt. Roy J. Jensik

World War II: an event that defined individuals, nations, and history alike. When Adolf Hitler, a brutal dictator, took over the economically weak Germany, conflict escalated very quickly. Hitler would invade countries he wasn't supposed to, and the world's governments would let him, hoping it would appease him, and set new boundaries, which he would step over again. This cycle continued for a while until Great Britain and France had enough and went to war with him. The United States took a long time to join, as the country seemed divided as to if they should go to war or not. Then Japan, one of Germany's allies, bombed Pearl Harbor, a naval base in Hawaii, and the U.S. responded by joining. For years battles raged on, until 1945, when the United States ended the war by dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

Everyone was affected. In Medina, the townsfolk suffered from the Great Depression like the rest of the country, and World War II brought a new type of opportunity. Many people from Medina and the area surrounding it died during the war: a death toll taken in 1945 shows that sixty-three total people from the county died either fighting or from accidents. Sgt. Roy J. Jensik, a twenty year old man who grew up in Cleveland but moved to Montville Township with his family when he turned 18, was one of those people. A member of the 83rd Infantry Division, the young man was killed in action while in Germany, just ten days away from being in the army for two years.

Images

The 83rd Division

The 83rd Division

Sgt. Jensik was drafted into the Army when he was only eighteen years old. He was placed in the 83rd Division, or the Thunderbolts, more specifically in the 329th Infantry Regiment. They used to be known as the Ohio Division, due to the large amount of recruits from that area, but changed it in the Second World War to reflect that they had recruits from everywhere now. The word "Ohio" can still be seen on their insignia. Image courtesy of From Afterbury to the Elbe: 83rd Infantry Reenactors, Original Photos of 83rd Veterans. View File Details Page

Adventures of the 83rd Division

Adventures of the 83rd Division

During his time in the army, Sgt. Jensik participated in multiple events with his division. They liberated a concentration camp known as Langenstein, captured a German city, freed 42,000 prisoners of war, and raced from the Ruhrs River to Berlin, which are about 280 miles apart, in just thirteen days: one of the fastest military feats in history. They reached the Elbe River on the thirteenth of April, deciding to claim it for strategies sake, creating the Truman Bridge. Image courtesy of From Afterbury to the Elbe: 83rd Infantry Reenactors, Original Photos of 83rd Veterans. View File Details Page

Propaganda

Propaganda

Many Americans were incredibly motivated to join the war, and the propaganda posters such as this one were scattered through out America as a constant reminder of why they should enlist. Roy J. Jensik, unlike most Americans, was drafted into the war in April, 1944. Image courtesy of World War Two Poster Collection, Northwestern University Library View File Details Page

Tragedy

Tragedy

Unfortunately, Sgt. Jensik did not make it out of the war alive. On April 15, two days after reaching the Elbe river and the third anniversary of his division's activation to World War II, Sgt. Roy J. Jensik died in battle at the Elbe river. In a horrid twist of fate, his mother had listened to a radio broadcast on a battle his division was taking a part in. Days later, she found out that her son was killed in that very battle. This image is of the Radio Corporation of America. Image courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery. View File Details Page

In Honor of Roy Jensik

In Honor of Roy Jensik

Sgt. Roy J. Jensik was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery, in Margraten, Netherlands. His body was never returned home. He was awarded the Purple Heart. Image courtesy- Wiki Commons Media View File Details Page

Audio

News article, Sgt. Roy Jensik Killed At Battle

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Cite this Page:

Mackenzie, “Sgt. Roy J. Jensik,” Discover Medina, accessed July 22, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/144.

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