Marvin Russell "Russ" Novak

Russ Novak  

U.S. Navy  Lt. Commander

Air Medal

Air Medal (Korea)

Born 28 September 1918 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Home there.
High School & College star athlete.
Joined the Navy in late 1941.
Winged on 9 October 1942 (Ensign).
Flew with VF-17 from January to August 1943.
Then with VF-14 from August 1943 to December 1944.
(Promoted to Lt.jg in October 1943).
They flew in the Pacific Theater against the Japanese.

He was Flight Deck Officer on the Princeton in 1950.
He flew combat missions in the Korean War and earned another Air Medal as well as a Strike/Flight Air Medal for completing 20 combat missions.
Promoted to Lt. Commander 1 August 1951.
He retired from the Navy in July 1963.

Russ passed away on 21 January 2014 in San Diego, California.


Indiana Still Picked to Win Big 10 Title
Wisconsin Qualifies Seven Men in Trials for Saturday Night's Finals in Big 10 Meet

8 March 1941 - Lafayette Ind. - Indiana's small but durable band of stars was still the favorite Saturday to end Michigan's seven year reign in the Big Ten indoor track championships although Michigan served notice in the qualifying heats Friday night that it would not give up without a bitter struggle.
Michigan qualified 10 men, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois each seven, Indiana six, Purdue five, Northwestern four, Iowa three, Minnesota two and Chicago one.
Michigan sent Bob Ufer and Bob Barnard into the finals of the 440 yard dash, Warren Breidenbach, John Kautz and Howard Egert into the half mile, Frank McCarthy into the broad jump and Al Thomas into the low hurdles. Thomas and Al Piel qualified for the semifinals of the 60 yard dash, and McCarthy and Geoffrey Hall for the semifinals of the hurdles.
For Indiana, Roy Cochran won the fastest 440 yard semifinal in 49.1 seconds. Marc Jenkins joined him in the finals. Campbell Kane, the half mile favorite, coasted to victory in his heat, although he yielded best time honors to Purdue's Al Holderman, who finished in 1 minute 56.4 seconds. Paul Kendall gave Indiana another position in the half mile. Bob Burnett of Indiana led the broad jumpers with a leap of 22 feet, 7¼ inches. Ed Mikulas rounded out the Hoosier effort by qualifying for the semifinals of the high hurdles.
Wisconsin's qualifiers included Jim McFadzean, Russ Novak and Dave Soergel in the 60 yard dash, Byron Zohn in the 440, Al Harrer in the 70 yard high hurdles and McFadzean and Robert Foster in the broad-jump.


Wisconsin and Kansas In a Dual Meet
Badgers and Jayhawkers in Track Contest Tomorrow Afternoon
Big Ten Team Captured Two Firsts and Tied for One Saturday

21 April 1941 - The University of Wisconsin track team, fresh from an impressive showing in the Kansas Relays, swings into action tomorrow afternoon in Memorial Stadium in a dual meet with the University of Kansas Jayhawkers.

The meet will start at 3:30 o'clock. Admission will be 60 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Student activity books will admit.
Two firsts and a tie for first were the major spoils carried off by Wisconsin's Badgers in the big track and field carnival here Saturday, The Jayhawks captured only one championship, but placed in several other events.
Biggest surprise of the day was Bob Beierle of Wisconsin's victory in the shot put. Although he had not even placed at the Big Ten meet, Beierle found the cold, wet going to his liking and pushed the iron ball out 49 feet 4¼ inches.

Paskvan Not In Top Form
George Paskvan, the Big Ten champion, with a mark of 49 feet 8 inches, could not get going Saturday and finished fifth. Beierle's showing insures the Badgers of the first two places in the shot put against the Jayhawks, with Paskvan expected to do much better.
That Wisconsin will roll up plenty of points in the distance runs against Kansas was indicated by its victory in the four-mile relay. Drake, Texas Relays champion, was favored to win this event, but bowed to the Badger combination of Frank Stafford, Eugene Pitts, Howard Knox and Howard Schoenike.
Knox and Schoenike are the standouts in this quartet, both possessing fine records in Big Ten competition. Neither one, however, is conceded much of an edge over Dick Edwards of Kansas in the mile run or Don Thompson in the 880.

Contest in the Sprints
The sprints should be bitterly contested with John Towle and Dave Soergel of Wisconsin battling it out with the Jayhawk sprinters, Darrell Mathes and Ted Scott. Towle and Soergel teamed with Russell Novak and James McFadzean, Saturday, to take third in both the 440 and 880-yard relays.
Kansas is counting on first and second in the high jump from its leaping twins. Bob Stoland and Norman Sanneman. The Jayhawk aces tied for first in the high jump at the Relays. Favorite in the Pole vault is Bill Williams of Wisconsin, the Big Ten champion, who tied with DeField of Minnesota, Saturday.
It will be the first dual meet between Kansas and a Big Ten school in a decade.


Local Boy Enlists

Russ Novak, former Lincoln high school and University of Wisconsin athlete, who recently applied for enlistment as an aviation cadet in the US Naval Reserve Air Corps, has been notified of his acceptance and ordered to report to Genview, Illinois, January 2. Novak, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Novak, 845 N. 11th Street, who already holds a private license which includes acrobatic flying, engaged in extensive aviation activity at the Madison airport while attending the University. After completing his training he will be assigned to a naval air base and active duty.


Our Men In Service

Decorated with the Air Medal aboard a US carrier in the Pacific was Lieutenant (jg) Marvin R. Novak, USNR, 845 N. 11th Street. He is with Fighting 14, a carrier-based Hellcat squadron which has never lost to enemy fighters any torpedo bombers it was escorting, the crew of which was decorated with individual medals.



  • Marvin 'Russ' (baby) Novak, sister Estelle, brother Dave
  • Russ Novak, clarinet, brother Dave Novak, Tuba, Lincoln High School Band
  • 1936 Track and Field star Russ Novak set records in the 100 and 220 yard dash and long jump at Lincoln High School. He also was a star football quarterback
  • 1937 Russ Novak #70, Semi-Pro Football team, Manitowoc Galloping Gaels
  • 1940 Russ Novak, student at U of Wisc. Madison, with the 1941 Aeronca 'Super Chief' plane that he, his friend Hal Zweifel & Hal's brother bought. Did his first 'Solo' in this Cub
  • 1941 Russ Novak @ CAA Training with his Aeronca 'Super Chief', the plane that he, his friend Hal Zweifel & Hal's brother bought in 1940
  • 1941 Russ Novak and Hal Zweifel flying their Aeronca 'Super Chief' cub plane they bought in 1940
  • 1941 Russ Novak and Hal Zweifel, friends, college roommates, war pilots. University Wisconsin Madison
  • 1941 Hal Zweifel and Russ Novak, CAA Flight Training
  • 1941 Marvin 'Russ' Novak, CAA Flight Training
  • 1942 Ensign Marvin 'Russ' Novak
  • 1942 January - October 'Russ' Novak did his flight training at NAS Glen View, Dallas, Corpus Christi and Miami in Navy Primary Trainers, N3Ns such as this one
  • 1942 Ensign Marvin 'Russ' Novak in front of his family home @ 845 N. 11th St. Manitowoc, Wisc
  • 1942 August 19 'Russ' Novak in his Navy Flight Jacket and goggles
  • 42 December - 1943 March - Ensign 'Russ' Novak ferried planes to the West Coast, some F3Fs mostly F4Fs
  • 43 Lt jg Marvin 'Russ' Novak in his Dress Whites
  • 1944 February - October USS Wasp, VF14, Paul Coari, John Cantrell, Russ Novak@ Eniwetok. South Pacific
  • 1944 February - October WW11 VF14, USS Wasp, Larry Moaci, Lt. Russ Novak, Carl Silverstein @ Ulithi
  • 1944 February - October WW11 VF14, USS Wasp, Lou Zajice @ Ulithi
  • 1944 mar 30 - oct 14 - Lt. Russ Novak, VF14, USS Wasp, flies F6Fs. His scrapbook record of combats
  • 1944 may - october - Lt jg Russ Novak, VF14, aboard the USS Wasp, combat time in and around Japan. Here, at Majuro
  • 1945 January 13 LT Russ Novak reports to NAS JAX, VBF 97, as Combat Team Trainer. Flies Corsairs
  • 1945 LT Russ Novak at Jacksonville Beach Florida where he meets and marries mom
  • 1945 May 18 LT Marvin 'Russ' Novak and Ann Elizabeth Hamner get married
  • 1945 May 18 LT Russ Novak, Ann Hamner's wedding day with Ann's Aunt Nelle as the Maid of Honor
  • 1945 May LT Russ & Ann Novak and the Novak cousins at their grandparent's farm near Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  • 1945 December 17 Russ goes home to Wisconsin on leave
  • 1945 - F4Us on Deck - 1945 January LT Russ Novak flies F4U Corsairs as Combat Team Leader of Training Squad VBF 97, NAS JAX. 1945 June he flies the F4U-FM pool base at Grosseile, Michigan



  • 1946 January 25 LT Russ Novak reports to USS Kearsarge, Brooklyn Navy Yard, as Hanger Deck Officer
  • 1946 March LT Russ Novak, Johnny Fredericks, USS Kearsarge, Shakedown Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • 1946 Sept 19 LT Russ Novak and Ann, Bill Hulten & friend at Latin Quarter
  • 1947 LT Russ Novak & daughter Sharon, NAS Roosevelt Roads. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1948 January 6 LT Russ Novak reports to NAS Corry Field, BTU2. Flies SNJs as an Instructor
  • 1948 January 6 LT Russ Novak reports to NAS Corry Field, BTU2. Flies SNJs as an Instructor
  • 1948 January LT Russ Novak at 14 NW, home with daughter Sharon & niece Sandra Rosinsky, NAS Corry Field
  • 1948 LT Russ Novak, flying his SNJ as an Instructor, BTU2, NAS Corry Field
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak 'Soloing the Mule' aboard the USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA-65, XO LCDR Novak, USS Boxer, (CV-21), Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak & his AD4 plane #501, USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak in his AD4 plane #501, aboard the USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak in his Upper Bunk, USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak's AD4 plane # 501, USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak, Jack Tolford, aboard USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1952 April - October CG2, VA 65, XO LCDR Russ Novak, USS Boxer, Korean War Battle Cruise
  • 1953 May LCDR Russ Novak reports to Washington DC Bureau of Aeronautics. Family resides in Falls Church, VA. Here, Russ and Ann out for an evening in DC
  • 1955 aug to 57 jan - LCDR Russ Novak in his office. X O, NAS Ford Island, Pearl Harbor
  • 1957 August LCDR Russ Novak, AD5W, Detachment Mike, USS Ticonderoga, Surveillance, the West Pacific
  • LCDR Russ Novak, Operations Officer, NAS North Island, June 1961 to June 1963 when he retires after serving as an aviator 'ACE' in two wars and nearly 25 years in the US Navy.
  • 1999 LCDR Russ Novak, retired, pointing out some of his Naval flight experiences at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, Wall Mural of the Philippines. Oahu, HI




Victories Include :

19 Jan 1944
22 Jun 1944
1 July 1944
21 Sep 1944
1.5  Ki-61 "Tony"
1/4 H8K "Emily"
  2    A6M "Zero"
1/4 Ki-61 "Tony"

3.75 / 0.25 / 0


--- American Aces ---


Thanks to Russ & daughter Sharon for the photos !

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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