On May 25, 2015 Ken Chomiak sent me this photo of his dad, Nicholas Chomiak, taken in June 1943 during his service in World War II.

          I (Bob Meli) live in New Milford and a man I have become friends with over the years is Ken Chomiak.  When we first met in the late 1980’s when our sons started playing baseball together. He told me that his family had worked at Seilhiemer Soda Company in Hackensack.  His Aunt Anna had married Ed Seilhiemer and so a few of the Chomiak brothers worked at the soda company after the war.  Ed Seilhiemer’s brother,Phil Seilhiemer was in the service during World War I

          My father, Tom Meli, who lived on Hudson Street knew the Chomiak family and that they worked at the Soda Company.  Seilhiemer Soda was as common as Coke or Pepsi is in Hackensack right through the early 1970’s.  After the passing of Ed Seilhiemer and the lack of modern equipment in the facility, the family closed up shop and the building is now Bautista Dance Studio on Hudson Street as of August 2011.          

I asked Ken Chomiak if his father and any of his uncles had gone to
Hackensack High School and had any of them served in the armed forces.  Ken Chomiak told me that they all went to Hackensack schools while growing up in Hackensack, but not all graduated.  Ken Chomiak said that six brothers joined the service.  The information is very general and incomplete. Ken Chomiak knew of his uncle's service which was passed down through family stories. 

          Ken Chomiak said his father, Nicholas Chomiak, born in 1909 attended Hackensack Schools, but left at a young age to work like so many young men did in the 1920’s.  When war broke out on December 7, 1941, Nicholas Chomiak wanted to join the service, but was unable to until 1943 when they raised the enlistment age to 35.  Nicholas Chomiak was 34 years old and, according to his son, served in Boise, Idaho in the Air Force and worked on planes and taught survival when a plane was shot down. 

On Nicholas Chomiak’s Discharge papers, it says that he had Yellow Fever in
1944 and Cholera in 1945 and he received the Good Conduct Medal for his service.        

          What makes the information interesting, although brief, is that it reveals that this family had
five men serving in the armed forces of the United States during World War II.

Click on John Chomiak, Harry Chomiak, William (Willie) Chomiak, and Peter Chomiak to read brief information Ken Chomiak, their nephew, knew of there service.

Ken Chomiak said his uncle, Mathew Chomiak was on the Hackensack Fire Department during World War II, and was exempt from service.  Mathew Chomiak became Fire Chief of Hackensack in the 1970’s .  
Ken Chomiak said that his Uncle George Chomiak served during the Korean War.

Written by:
Bob Meli
August 14, 2011


Enlistement and Discharge Papers


Nicholas Chomiak


Background image of U.S. Air Force plane located in the base from Boise, Idaho obtained from:


Home Researched Veterans World War II