Hamilton County


Capt. J. L. Ptacek





W. C. Physician Is a Flight Surgeon Stationed in England.

A letter from Dr. J. L. Ptacek, formerly of this city and now a flight surgeon with the rank of captain, stationed in England written Aug. 28, brings the news that he has been overseas for six months.

He writes in part. “It is our job primarily, to take care of the pilots and other flying personnel much as one would do in private practice, with the additional problems that are naturally peculiar to the various changes that occur in flight. For example, physical changes which accompany the terrific speed and great altitude that these men are subjected to, also the great changes in temperatures and pressures.

“This has opened up more or less of a new field in medicine which is interesting, and fortunately these men are carefully selected, both from intellectual and physical standpoints. The high level of their morale and their indomitable spirit are wonderful to behold and are, of course, of prime importance in their difficult jobs. They are doing a swell job, as is evidenced by the recent reports from the fronts in France.

“Being closely attached to work of this kind, I am able to get up into the air quite often and have been pretty much over this part of the country, as well as over to France on several occasions and am happy to report things there are going surprisingly well. The service of supply is doing a marvelous job and I have the greatest faith that this type of cooperation will expedite an early victory in this area at least. Then I think we can turn to the other battlefield with renewed confidence and vigor."

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA – Sept. 6, 1944

Air Surgeon

Capt. Joseph L. Ptacek, Webster City doctor, is a flight surgeon for the air transport group of the Ninth air force in France, according to word received by the Freeman-Journal. The Captain, who has been overseas for 13 months, was graduated from the AAF school of aviation medicine at San Antonio, Texas, and has been in the service since November, 1942.

Source: Webster City Freeman, Webster City, IA - Apr. 19, 1945 (photo included)

Joseph Lester ‘J. L.' Ptacek was born July 13, 1908 to Anton and Mary Straka Ptacek. He died Oct. 15, 2000 in Webster City, IA.

Capt. Ptacek was a Flight Surgeon stationed in England, France and Germany with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II.

Sources: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Oct. 16, 2000 (his obituary); ancestry.com