December 15, 1926 - June 6, 2013
Samuel Polis, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean Conflict, passed away on June 6, 2013, at the Norwalk Hospital. The cause of his death was cardiac arrest. He was a resident of Wilton since 1974, and was an active member of the American Legion. He was dearly beloved by those who knew him, and is greatly missed by his family and friends.
Sam was a patent-holding chemical engineer who worked for 23 years at OLIN in New Haven and took early retirement in 1983. He then was employed by Crain Industries in Compton, California as Western Region Technical Director until 1987 when he suffered a stroke and had to retire at age 61.
Sam was a patriot’s patriot, having served in both World War II and the Korean Conflict. In World War II, he received The Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Achievement in ground operations against the enemy on or about 5 January 1945 in the European Theater of Operations. He served as a machine gunner with the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow Division” and was taken prisoner by the Germans in Sessenheim, France in January 1945 when he was just 18 years old. He and several of his comrades came under attack by a German tank and superior ground forces, and were forced to surrender. Sam was taken prisoner, and spent the final months of the war in Stalag II-B, turning 19 while a POW. After the war, he learned from a buddy who had also been taken prisoner in Sessenheim that eight of their comrades who also surrendered had been summarily shot by the Germans.
In the Korean Conflict, he served as a Captain and commanded the Combat Engineer Company of the 7th Infantry “Hourglass” Division of the U.S. Army. He was awarded The Bronze Star Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster) for Meritorious Achievement in Ground Operations Against the Enemy in Korea, 17 March – 30 June 1952.
A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sam was born on February 15, 1926 and was educated at Central High School and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He also received an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
A memorial service from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, is scheduled at the Collins Funeral Home, East Avenue, Norwalk, CT. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Florida 32256.