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Jung Family History

Fred H. Keller

Last Revised 11/24/2008

Retrospect: Lisbon's Richard Jung stood out among town's VIP's

First of two parts

Posted: October 29, 2008 Sussex Sun

Only one Lisbon town chairman served in the armed forces during World War II – Richard “Dick” M. Jung, a Navy man, on the aircraft carrier Enterprise from 1940 to 1946.

Jung could have been at ground zero at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Bad weather saved his ship, however, by impeding its voyage back from a mission to Wake Island. Adm. William Halsey’s flagship finally made it into Pearl Harbor a day after the attack.

“We would have been the No. 1 target,” Jung recalled during an interview in 1984. “The spot was marked on the dock by the Japanese. They even radioed back that they had sunk the Enterprise.”

The Enterprise was deployed on eight dangerous missions in the Pacific the next year, including battles on Wake Island, the Gilberts, Marshall Islands, Midway, Marcus Island, Guadalcanal, Stewart Island, Santa Cruz and the Salomon Islands.

Jung’s job was to take photographs of enemy territory and concentrations. The plane would dip into the area, risking antiaircraft flak and attacks from Japanese fighter pilots, while he filmed movies and took still photographs. Back on the ship, he developed the films and photographs and provided the invasion forces with the latest pictures of the targeted area.

Jung earned a new appreciation for his life and safety when things got a little hairy.

At Santa Cruz, his ship got hit three times, and once over Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands three Zeros (Japanese fighter planes) attacked, and his plane had to take evasive action and go well off course. Then, with the gas tanks nearly empty, they homed into the Enterprise on a radio signal beam and hit the deck just before they ran out of gas.

Jung was frequently stationed as a movie film cameraman near the Enterprise, filming aviators and their planes as they crashed into the sea or onto the deck.

At Okinawa, the Enterprise was struck by some kamikaze (suicide) pilots and the resulting damage left it unable to take part in the surrender ceremony Aug. 14, 1945 – V-J Day – in Tokyo Bay. She was mothballed shortly after the war, then sold for scrap in 1958.

A city boy, Jung returned to Milwaukee, but not before taking care of some some unfinished business in Massachusetts with a woman he met while in Naval Aviation School back in the early 1940s. On this trip, they married in Barbara’s Massachusetts home.

The couple moved to Milwaukee and Jung started working for A.O. Smith Corp. in 1949, taking a leadership position he would hold until 1980.

In 1960, the Jungs moved to a house next to Richmond School in Lisbon. (Some of his former property has since been incorporated into the elementary school’s expanded footprint.)

Jung was elected to the Richmond School Board in 1966, and used that position as a springboard into Lisbon politics, campaigning successfully for a seat on the Town Board in 1969. He served as a supervisor until 1977, when the voters promoted him to Lisbon town chairman.

While he was still on the School Board, Jung and Dick Martin spearheaded a drive to save Richmond School, then expand it.

Jung served with some of the giants of Lisbon politics: Marvin Burg (who was town chairman when Jung was first elected supervisor), Al Schroeder, Art Manke, Gus Sandroni and Don Holt.


Retrospect: Heart problems cut short Dick Jung's civic career

Second of two parts

Posted: November 5, 2008 Sussex Sun

Richard “Dick” M. Jung (1922-87) moved to Lisbon from Milwaukee in 1960, when the town had fewer than 2,900 residents. Its population was about to explode, however, to three times that number (nearly 8,450) by 1980 as it changed from an agrarian society a bedroom community.

Jung put in 18 years as a local official, three on the Richmond School Board, eight on the Lisbon Town Board and finally seven years as town chairman from April 1977 to his retirement June 1, 1984.

Sussex, then a spinoff from Lisbon, was a much smaller community, with a population of fewer than 1,100 in 1960 that grew to just over 3,400 over the next 20 years.

Today Lisbon and Sussex both number almost 10,000 people each.

When Jung first joined the Lisbon Town Board, Marvin Burg was the Lisbon chairman and Al Schroeder was the other supervisor.

During Burg’s reign, some Lisbonites, led by Gus Sandroni and Leo Wolf, began a succesful push to enlarge the board from three to five members, electing each from numbered seats instead of at-large.

The biggest change in the town during the early 1980s, however, was the establishment of the Lisbon Fire Department. The town had been paying Sussex for fire and rescue services, but Jung disputed the annual increases in what the village charged Lisbon as excessive.

Jung found some supporters to study the issue and then to steer a course that led to creation of Lisbon’s own fire and rescue service in 1983. Jung was so gung-ho on getting the Lisbon Fire Department started that it made him one of its charter members, despite his age and health.

The Lisbon Fire Department now responds to about 500 emergency calls a year, Sussex more than 600. If they merged, the consolidated department would have to respond to at least 1,100 calls per year. Lisbon and Sussex do have a mutual aid agreement and frequently both will respond to the same emergency.

One offshoot of the Fire Department’s growth was that it took over so much of the old Lisbon Town Hall at Hillside and Good Hope that the town bought a two-room schoolhouse (and the land around it) from the Hamilton School District, which had abandoned it, and turned it into today’s Town Hall on Woodside Road south of North Lisbon Road.

During his own tenure as town chairman, Jung brought cable television to Lisbon and presided over a major expansion of the town’s park system. By the time he left public life, the town was acquiring its fifth park.

Jung had a heart attack in 1972, and more heart and stroke problems and heart bypass operations slowed him down. A final and debilitating illness slowed him down to a stop, forcing him to resign June 1, 1984.

At his retirement party, Betty Fryda, then Lisbon town clerk, said, “Dick was dedicated to the town and worked hard for the town. He was the person who got things done.”

He and wife Barbara did some traveling around the U.S. in a 26-foot mobile home after his retirement.

The strokes and heart attacks finally caught up with him July 27, 1987. He died in a retirement home in Pflugerville, Texas, at 65.

Surviving him were Barbara; his daughter, Karen; his sons, Gary and Richard Jr.; and, at the time, five grandchildren. A funeral was held at A.A. Schmidt, and burial was in Highland Memorial Park in New Berlin.

Richard M. Jung has been called the father of the Lisbon Fire Department. The department’s latest addition, a new firehouse at Highways K and KF within sight of his former home near Richmond School, is named after him.

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