George Torgun

GEORGE TORGUN was born Gieorgiej Torgun on April 23, 1923 to Grzegorz and Marja Torgun in what is now Worotinici, Belarus.

George Torgun’s father had come to America in 1907, returned to Russia, and came once again in 1912. By 1913 he was was living at 625 Ferry Avenue. His brother-in-law, Maxim Torgun, came the following year. After coming to Camden in 1913, Max Torgun fought in the the United States Army during World War I, and became a citizen in 1919.

Grzegorz Torgun went back to Eastern Europe in 1922, and married. The Torgun family, including young George returned three years later, arriving in the United States on October 28, 1925 through the port of New York aboard the S.S. Estonia, which had departed from Danzig (present day Gdansk, Poland). Immigration records state that their sponsor in the USA was a cousin, Miro Hryciuk of 529 Ferry Avenue, Camden. Both father and son took the given name of George after coming to the United States.

The 1930 Census states that he was born near Grodno in what was then Poland and is now Belarus, and that he and his parents were “White Russians”, i.e., natives of Belarus, and had come to the USA in 1925. Younger brother Nicholas was born in New Jersey in September 1926. An uncle, Maxim Torgun, lived with the family. Max Torgun had come to Camden in 1913, fought in the the United States Army during World War I, and had become a citizen in 1919.

George Torgun grew up in Camden’s 8th Ward, in the neighborhood centered around the intersection of Ferry Avenue and Broadway. The 1927 City Directory shows the family at 1604 South 6th Street. The 1929 Camden City Directory and the 1930 Census shows the family living at 1817 Salem Street. The Torguns later moved to 1900 South 6th Street, where they resided when George Torgun graduated from Camden High School in 1941. By 1942 the Torgun family was living at 1744 South 6th Street.

George Torgun went into the United States Army on April 23, 1943, served in Europe during World War II, and was honorably discharged on March 22, 1946. His family was still at 1744 South 6th Street when the 1947 Camden City Directory was compiled, and George Torgun was still living there as late as 1950.

George Torgun served as a reserve fireman in Camden after the war. He worked as a bricklayer for the Cohen Construction Company around 1950, the for a year as a maintenance man for the Harshaw Chemical Company followed by two years with the DiMarco Construction Company before being appointed to the Camden Fire Department.

George Torgun joined the Camden Fire Department on August 31, 1953. He was then living at 415 Van Hook Street. By 1956 he had been assigned to Engine Company 3 at 1815 Broadway, a short walk from his home.

George Torgun retired as a Fire Fighter after 28 years of service in December of 1981. Last a resident of Gloucester City, he passed away on February 24, 2006.

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