NCDUs Karnowski, Lawrence S.

John Robertson

Staff member
Lawrence Stephen
  • UNIT
U.S.N.R. N.C.D.U. 45
  • RANK

Navy Cross
Normandy 1944 (Omaha Beach)
from Lawrence, Kansas
born 1.10.1916 Tampa, Kansas
father Peter Boniface Karnowski (1885-1955)
mother Maybelle Mildred (nee Weiss) Karnowski (1889-1972)
1942 bachelors degree Civil Engineering at University Of Kansas
1943 married Lillian Leona (nee Wendler) Karnowski (1922-1997)
5 sons and 2 daughters
son Dennis Lee Karnowski (1945-2015) (formerly US Army)
son Lawrence Stephen Karnowski (1946-2017) (formerly US Navy)
son Timothy A. Karnowski (1948-2012) (formerly Captain US Air Force BSM Vietnam)
son Christopher Carl Karnowski (1954-2007) (formerly US Army)
died 29.03.1992, (Aged 75) El Cajon, California
buried Sacred Heart Cemetery, Ness City, Kansas, USA


Navy Cross : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Lawrence Stephen Karnowski, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in action against the enemy while serving as Officer in Charge of Naval Combat Demolition Unit FORTY-FIVE (NCDU-45), during the amphibious assault on the Normandy Coast of France on 6 June 1944. Ensign Karnowski, although under heavy artillery and rifle fire succeeded in clearing a fifty yard gap through the enemy beach obstacles. He exposed himself to enemy fire to rescue a wounded member of his crew in danger of drowning in the rising tide and time after time returned alone to place charges to widen the gap when the rest of his crew had been killed or wounded. When tidal conditions made further demolition impossible, he tended wounded along the beach and assisted in the evacuation of casualties in the absence of sufficient medical personnel. The conduct of Ensign Karnowski throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


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