Grand Rapids combat veteran Virgil Westdale turns 102


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Virgil Westdale, one of the most highly decorated combat veterans still alive today, celebrates his 102nd birthday on January 8th.

Virgil started his military career in 1942 as an army private. He then trained with the all Japanese American unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, before being transferred to the 522nd Artillery Battalion. He helped push the Germans out of Italy, rescued the “Lost Battalion” in France and freed prisoners from a sub-camp of Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.

After the war, he obtained two university degrees and pursued a career in research and development with large corporations where he ended up receiving 25 U.S. patents and earned an international award for his work with photocopier components.

He currently resides in Grand Rapids and has three children and seven grandchildren.

You can purchase his book on Amazon here.

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