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Wieslaw "Wes" Bartnicki

January 21, 2024

Wieslaw "Wes" Bartnicki Obituary

Wieslaw “Wes” Bartnicki, age 96, passed away on January 21, 2024 at his home in New Castle, DE.

Wes was born in Poland. During the World War II, at the age of 15, he was sent to Germany for forced labor, where he remained for 3 years until the conclusion of the war. Upon his return to Poland, he joined the Polish Merchant Marine. He was assigned as a crew member aboard the Polish passenger liner M/S Sobieski. At that time, the communist government of Poland did not allow anyone to leave the country.

The ship, M/S Sobieski was leased to the Italian Cosulich Lines to carry passengers from Genoa and Naples to New York and from New York to Italy. In April 1947, the M/S Sobieski arrived in New York while Mr. Bartnicki was serving as a crew member. For the next 2 years the M/S Sobieski made monthly scheduled round trips between New York and Italy. Then in March of 1949, on his 24th trip to New York, some problems arose with the communist party members and serious riots erupted. After docking in New York, more than 70 crew members, including Mr. Bartnicki, abandoned the ship and asked the INS for asylum. Their asylum request was denied and most of the crew was arrested and put on parole status to be deported back to Poland. Soon after, however, a bill was introduced in the US Congress to grant their asylum. That bill would never be acted upon.

Mr. Bartnicki arrived in Wilmington, DE in March of 1949 and was briefly employed on a farm in Ogletown, DE and in 1950, he was employed by the National Fibre Co. in Wilmington. Meanwhile, the Korean War started, and Mr. Bartnicki was drafted into the US Army. He served for 2 years before being Honorably Discharged from the service and transferred into the US Army Reserve.

After the Korean War concluded, and with the initial asylum bill not passing in congress, the INS once again opened Mr. Bartnicki’s case and, after a hearing in the INS office, he was ordered to leave the United States of be deported back to Poland. He was saved from deportation by President D. Eisenhower, who introduced a bill in the US Congress to allow all the aliens who served in the US Armed Forces for at least 2 years to legally stay in the US and after five years, apply for US Citizenship. Mr. Bartnicki became a US Citizen in December of 1960.

In August of 1964, he went back to Poland and was married there. In 1965, his wife, Jadwiga, joined him in New Castle, DE. Thew were married for over 19 years and had 2 sons, John and Thomas. They divorced in 1984 and Mr. Bartnicki never re-married. While living in Delaware, Mr. Bartnicki was employed by several different companies, the last 2 being Enterprise and Development Corp., where he worked as a Tool Maker and Mechanical Technician for 15 years and the second was the DuPont Co. in Glasgow, DE, where he worked for 16 years as a Mechanical Engineering Technician in the Research and Development field. He retired from DuPont in November 1993.

He is survived by his 2 sons, John and Thomas Bartnicki and his grandson, Dylan Bartnicki.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 1, 2024 at 1:00 pm at Delaware Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Bear, Delaware.

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Graveside Service
March 1, 2024

1:00 PM
Delaware Veteran s Memorial Cemetery
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