ShareThis Page
News

Bogdewic didn't get to fly, so he packed up air bases and played in Army band

| Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008

Bruno Bogdewic's military career never "got off the ground" - ironic for a man who has spent 50 years making sure area residents had four wheels on the ground.

A 1944 graduate of Bentleyville High School, Bogdewic enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps while still in school.

He had hoped to become a pilot, but upon completing basic training was told that the aviator cadet program had been shut down. No more pilots were needed.

Given a choice, Bogdewic chose electronics and received training at Madison, Wis., and then at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, where he learned how to become a welder for the Air Corps.

At Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, he was placed on a packing and crating team. He furthered his training toward becoming an expert in that field at Harrisburg.

After that training, Bogdewic was one of 13 chosen for a special assignment. The group was sent overseas for six months to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations.

They flew to Calcutta, India and from there traveled into the wilderness to areas such as Burma. where they packed up bomb shelters and air bases.

After six months, Bogdewic was transported back to Middletown Air Depot in Harrisburg.

He retuned home on Palm Sunday, 1946.

Bogdewic faced an Army version of a Catch 22 when he got home - he did not have enough points to be discharged, but there was nothing for him to do at Middletown.

So his superiors formed an Army band.

For close to five months, the band played, with Bogdewic as the trombone player.

"When I came out of the service, they listed my MOS as a bandsman," Bogdewic said with a laugh of his Military Occupational Specialty, or job classification in the service.

"All of that training to become 'a bandsman.'"

Bogdewic never got to fly while in the service, but transportation of another type has dominated his career since.

Bogdewic began working at the Durant dealership owned by Frank Yenko in Bentleyville after he got out of the service.

He also delivered appliances sold at the four-story store owned by the Yenko. The store was located next door to the dealership.

He eventually worked in the parts department in Bentleyville, ultimately becoming the parts manager at Yenko Chevrolet. He would later get into auto sales.

But his big break in the business came in 1958 when Chevrolet asked him if he was interested in the dealership.

Agreeing to the offer, Bogdewic formed Central Garage on July 24, 1958. It was officially named B. Bogdewic Chevrolet in May 1963.

The dealership celebrated its golden anniversary last month.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me