MEMORIAL TRIBUTE: Nation loses one of its last sailors who served aboard the USS Saint Paul, Florian G. "Ray" Jednorski. He was 94.


With great sadness, we learn the passing of American Hero Mr. Florian G. "Ray" Jednorski who served World War II veteran has died.

The son of John Jednorski, a General Motors Corp autoworker, and Helen Jednorski, a homemaker, Florian Gilbert Jednorski was born in Baltimore and raised in Canton.

He was a 1939 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington, and paid his tuition while working as a $3-a-week copy boy at The Baltimore Sun at night, family members said.

Mr. Jednorski enlisted in the Navy in 1943. After completing gunsight training, he was sent to the V-12 program at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He joined the crew as a gunner's mate aboard the heavy cruiser USS Saint Paul.

From 24 July to 10 August, Jednorski and the USS Saint Paul screened the carriers as they delivered heavy air strikes on Kure, Kobe, and the Tokyo area in southern Honshū, then at Maizuru and various airfields in northern Honshū. During this period, USS Saint Paul also bombarded industrial targets: first on textile mills at Hamamatsu during the night of 29 July, and then on 9 August at iron and steel works in Kamaishi, firing the war's last hostile salvo from a major ship. Typhoon warnings canceled air operations from 11–14 August. Then, those launched that morning was recalled, after peace negotiations gave promise of Japan's surrender. On 15 August, all offensive operations against Japan were stopped.

Discharged at war's end, he went to work at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River. He joined the old National Brewing Co. on Dillon Street in East Baltimore in 1953, where he rose to become an assembly line foreman and supervisor.

In 1957, he married Audrey Mantler, who died in 2002. The former longtime Overlea resident, who moved to Oak Crest Village in Parkville in 2004, had been a Boy Scout leader. He was a communicant and usher at St. Michaels the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, and had served as president of the Holy Name Society.

On behalf of The Greatest Generations Foundation and its members, we salute Mr. Jednorski for his dedication and service to our nation.

Remember Those Who Served
The Greatest Generations Foundation