Categories: Great Depression and World War II, Wallingford, World War II

Hometown Hero: Wallingford Remembers Stanley Budleski

Stanley Budleski and flight crew, 1942 – Connecticut Historical Society. Gift of Mary Jane Dapkus

By Nancy Finlay

Frank and Bogumita Budleski immigrated from Poland in the early 20th century. Their two children, Frances and Stanley, grew up on the family farm in the Yalesville section of Wallingford. Frances attended Skidmore and New York University and taught and performed music in Wallingford for many years.

Budleski Day Parade in Yalesville, May 28, 1944 - Connecticut Historical Society. Gift of Mary Jane Dapkus.

Budleski Day Parade in Yalesville, May 28, 1944 – Connecticut Historical Society. Gift of Mary Jane Dapkus.

Dedication of Budleski Park, May 28, 1944 - Connecticut Historical Society. Gift of Mary Jane Dapkus

Dedication of Budleski Park, May 28, 1944 – Connecticut Historical Society. Gift of Mary Jane Dapkus

Yalesville Memorializes World War II Pilot

Growing up, Stanley—known as “Bing” to his friends—was fascinated by airplanes, and he became an airplane mechanic and repairman following his graduation from high school. On April 10, 1942, five months after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. On December 20, 1943, his plane was shot down over Germany. He was initially listed as missing in action and his death was not confirmed until March 1944. He was the first serviceman from Yalesville to be killed in World War II.

May 28, 1944, was proclaimed “Budleski Day” in Wallingford. Following a parade, the green in Yalesville was officially named “Lieutenant Budleski Park” in his memory. The local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was also renamed in his honor, becoming Stanley Budleski Post 9965. Stanley’s sister Frances married Edward Dapkus in 1954. The couple named their son for her brother. In 1995, when a new aluminum flagpole was erected in Budleski Park, it was dedicated to Stanley Budleski, the young pilot who gave his life for his country more than 50 years earlier.

Nancy Finlay was formerly the Curator of Graphics at the Connecticut Historical Society and editor of Picturing Victorian America: Prints by the Kellogg Brothers of Hartford, Connecticut, 1830-1880.

© Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and Connecticut Historical Society. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared on Your Public Media

LEARN MORE

Places

“Connecticut Historical Society,” 2017. Link.

Documents

“Catalog Record for Frances Budleski Dapkus Collection, 1913-1997.” Connecticut Historical Society Library Catalog, 2014. Link.
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