William Joseph Kormos Sr.
Lt. Col. William Kormos, USAF, Ret., 96, formerly of Brownsville, passed away Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, after a long illness, where he resided at a Sunrise Assisted Living Community in Fairfax, Va. He served this country with great distinction, participating in three armed conflicts: WWII, Korea War and Vietnam.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Kormos was born in Brownsville in 1923 and graduated from Brownsville High School. He was married to the former Ms. Patricia Barrack for 32 years; they were married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brownsville. Unfortunately, she passed early in her life from cancer in 1985.
He was the oldest of four brothers — the other three being: Joseph Kormos of Cleveland, Ohio, and Ernest “Chuck” Kormos and James Kormos, both of Hiller. He is survived by two sons: Lt. Col. William Jr., USAF, Ret., and Lt. Col. Mark Kormos, USA, Ret. He had three grandchildren: William III, Mark and Patrick. He was fortunate to see his great-granddaughter, Autumn Kormos of Seattle, Wash.
He was a devout Catholic who volunteered many hours to help the less fortunate. He was a member of the following organizations: Lions Club, Order of the Moose and Veterans of Foreign Wars. William was also a professional engineer.
He spent most of his career of 32 years as a military officer; his career included being a military member of both the Army during WWII and a more expansive career as a U.S. Air Force officer. During WWII, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge under General George Patton and was part of the cadre that transited the Bridge of Remagen into Germany the very first day it was captured. The Bridge of Remagen was the last remaining bridge that allowed the allies to start their march to capture Berlin and end the war. He advanced up through the enlisted ranks quickly due to his leadership and bravery in conflict. He remained in Berlin for a year after the war to ensure peace after the chaotic war. After WWII, Lt. Col. Kormos received a civil engineering degree from Syracuse University and used that skill to build the Tan Son Nhut Air Base outside Saigon, Vietnam. During his military career, he was stationed at Wright Patterson AFB, Manila, Philippines; San Antonio, Texas; Tan Son Nhut, Saigon; Montgomery, Ala.; Philadelphia; and Anchorage, Alaska. He ended his career as the director of procurement of the Alaskan Air Command. His final choice of retirement location was Newry, before moving to the Fairfax Assisted Living Facility in Fairfax, Va.
During his military career, Lt. Col. (Ret.) William Kormos earned the Bronze Star Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; WWII Victory Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Longevity Service Award; Good Conduct Medal; and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. In addition, Lt. Col. (Ret.) William Kormos, earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at the Skirpan Funeral Home, 135 Park St., Brownsville, PA 15417, and at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at the funeral home, where a prayer service will be held. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, at The Historic Church of St. Peter, Brownsville. Interment will follow in LaFayette Memorial Park, with full military honors accorded by the U.S. Air Force.