Edward Drenka ROTC Photograph

Edward Paul Drenka was born August 5, 1925. In October, 1942, at the age of 17, Drenka enlisted in the Coast Guard as an Apprentice Seaman.

He served on a number of destroyer escorts, including USS Calcaterrra, which guarded the ships that transported men and equipment in support of the invasions of Southern France and Italy. Drenka was a Seaman First Class (E-3) when he was discharged in April, 1946. Upon discharge, Drenka received the Coast Guard Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. 

Drenka served as a Chicago firefighter for many years before retiring in 1981. He died on January 18, 2012 at the age of 86.

Photograph from the Edward P. Drenka Collection