Bridges Dedicated As Memorials To Vietnam War Soldiers

oct6austinbridgevietduoTwo Potter County bridges recently named in memory of soldiers who were killed in the Vietnam War were dedicated during a ceremony at Austin’s town square. The bridge carrying Route 607 over Freeman Run in Austin Borough is now designated as the Captain Edgar E. Nuschke Memorial Bridge. A bridge carrying Route 872 over the East Fork of Sinnemahoning Creek in Wharton Township is now named the Private First Class Edward Ritsick Memorial Bridge.

Capt. Edgar Erwin Nuschke (left) was just three months from his anticipated retirement from the Air Force when the aircraft he was piloting was struck by enemy ground fire on Jan. 21, 1967. Capt. Nuschke was born May 17, 1922, to Edgar Erwin and Mabel Carlson Nuschke. He graduated from Austin High School in 1940 and attended college in Pittsburgh before entering the Air Force in September 1941. He served in the European Theatre during World War II, flying 100 successful missions and attaining the rank of captain in 1944. He completed his education at the Northern Illinois School of Optometry, then decided to return to the Air Force, serving in both Korea and Vietnam.

PFC Edward Ritsick (right) of Austin entered the Army in November 1966, six months after his graduation from Austin High School. He was assigned to the 65th Engineering Company. At age 20, he was serving with the 25th Infantry Division when he was killed in action on the perimeter of Saigon in the early hours of March 11, 1968, just 19 days after his arrival in Vietnam. He was the son of Andrew and Dorothy Watson Ritsick of Austin.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.