Veteran Turns 100 on Fateful Anniversary

Korycki turned 27 on Okinawa the day Hiroshima bomb fell

Man and senior man shaking hands

Frank Korycki has seen a lot since he was born Aug. 6, 1918.

He grew up in North Andover, lived in South Lawrence for 69 years, and had a college education under his belt before enlisting in the Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the Air Force.

He was a first lieutenant and served as an engineer officer.

“His job was to go out and clean up airfields, make them user friendly for bombers and the Air Force as they approached Japan,” said Joseph Leblanc, veterans services officer for North Andover.

It was Korycki’s 27th birthday in 1945 when the United States detonated an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Korycki was a few hundred miles away, on the island of Okinawa.

Okinawa was to be the base for an Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands, an operation that was expected to result in hundreds of thousand of casualties among the Americans and our allies. Japan surrendered after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, rendering the invasion unnecessary.

And 73 years later, Korycki celebrated his 100th birthday at Ashland Farm at North Andover, an assisted living community in his hometown of North Andover.

When asked the key to longevity, Jennifer Anthony, outreach coordinator at Ashland Farm said Korycki maintains a love of gardening — particularly eating blueberries by the bucketful — and watching the home favorites Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.

At Korycki’s birthday, local law enforcement joined in to sing the veteran and freshly minted centenarian “Happy Birthday.” State Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, presented Korycki with citations from Gov. Charlie Baker and the state Senate.

Ashland Farm at North Andover