2015 Honoree Stan Dabrowski

Stan Dabrowski: Thanks for Saving My Life

New Britain’s Stan Dabrowski, who turned 91 on September 20, 2015, was a medical corpsman with the 28th Marine Regiment on Iwo Jima during February and March of 1945. The trauma, pain, suffering and loss of life that Dabrowski witnessed during those hellish weeks cannot be calculated – but it will always be with him.


“It was terrifying,” he says. “The intense fury, deafening noise, concussion and carnage all around us was mind-boggling.”


However, in the midst of such loss and tragedy, Dabrowski recalls a tragic-turned-uplifting experience.


“The first casualty I treated on Iwo Jima was a soldier hit by multiple machine gun fire. He suffered a massive, sucking chest wound. I did everything humanly possible, closing off the wound and administering morphine. I marked his forehead with an M for morphine and went on with my unit, and I didn’t really know if he would survive.”


Months later, Dabrowski learned of the soldier’s fate.


“I heard a voice say ‘Where’s Doc Dabrowski?’ I turn and it’s the Marine sergeant I had treated. He gave me a big bear hug and said ‘thanks for saving my life.’”


Dabrowski earned multiple medals for his heroism and service, and went on to a successful career as a microbiologist, mostly at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He played a central role researching the names of Connecticut casualties on Iwo Jima as the former secretary of Iwo Jima Survivors Association.


Stan and his wife Wanda, who passed in 2013, raised two boys. Dabrowski has four grandchildren and resides on Grandview Street in New Britain.