Spencer F. Wurst (Colonel, AUS, retired) joined the Pennsylvania National Guard when he was 15, transferred to the paratroops, and earned his wings at 17. Assigned to Company F, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne, he made three of the regiment’s four combat jumps, dropping into Italy, Normandy, and Holland, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Hurtgen Forrest, Germany. His numerous decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and the French Legion of Honor, to name only a few. He rejoined the National Guard in 1946 and served in the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. Recalled to active duty in 1950, Wurst served as a tank company commander with one of the first divisions assigned to NATO. In 1969, he was promoted to colonel and assigned as assistant chief-of-staff, G-3, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. After retiring in 1975, he was assigned the distinction of "distinguished member of the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment" by the Secretary of the Army, in recognition of his "special place in regimental continuity, tradition, and esprit de corps (1990)." He was inducted into the Officers Candidate School Hall of Fame at Fort Benning in 2000, and served as President of the 112th Infantry Regiment Association in 2004. He now lives in upstate New York.
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