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Cdr. George Lawniczak  
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In his memory:

Commander George Lawniczak
VFP-62 circa 1960-62

Updated: May 22, 2023

[Webmaster's Note: This page is under construction and will be updated as tributes from family, friends, and former Navy members are received. Contact Webmaster on the link below.]

    Memories and Tributes

  • Updated (5/22/23) Dr. George E. Lawniczak, Jr. age 82, of Orlando, FL, passed away Monday, June 1, 2015 at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando. He was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, the eldest son of Virginia (Crabbe) and George E. Lawniczak, Sr. George graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1955 and retired as a Commander after 22 years, much of that time spent as a pilot serving on aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. He earned a Doctorate from the University of Michgan in 1969 . After retiring from the Navy, George and family moved to South Florida where he became Director of the Ocean Sciences Center at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale. Next came a period of years involved in Aquatic Safety, testifying in numerous lawsuits on behalf of victims of aquatic injuries around the country. He appeared many times on 20/20 and Inside Edition.

    After relocating to Orlando in 2000, George became a member of the Holy Family Catholic Church where he served in a number of ministries. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 11488.

    George leaves to cherish his memory, wife Nancy (Hird) Lawniczak of Orlando; daughter Mary Keesling of Davie, FL; two sons Gregory J. Lawniczak of Lancaster, CA; George E. Lawniczak III, of Flower Mound, TX; step daughter Jennifer Tyrer of Sun Valley, ID; step son Christopher Hollyman of Waikoloa, HI; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. George is also survived by sister Mary Lynne Pringle of Leesburg, FL; and brother Jon Lawniczak of Ocala, FL.

  • (6/17/15):George Lawniczak , USNA '55 and I were in the same company at USNA. I was USNA'56.

    We were both in VFP-62 and assigned to Larry Stapp's DET 62 for USS Independence shakedown May- August 1959.

    We were shipmate roommates and got along well. George was a very intelligent individual and a very good Naval Aviator.

    Later when we were "re-qualing" on the FDR-CVA-42 George noticed an unsafe gear light and alerted Pri-Fly. George stated, correctly, that he was going to pull the emergency air blow-down because that is what the procedure calls for. We both knew that this would not help the situation but the AAR board would fault him if he did not!

    On a very good approach and landing one of the main landing gear folded when the retraction process started. The F8U-1P was put on jacks in the hangar bay for seemingly weeks while Mal Raffo, LTV Tech Rep and George figured it out. A failed O' ring allowed emergency bottle air to unlock side of valve on the Landing gear and it folded as designed. I may be wrong but I think that the o'rings were replaced and the bird was put back in the air.

    George was a very well liked GUY!

    Capt. P. J. Smith USN (ret.)

Photo taken aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62)

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    Updated 3/9/18



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