Grand Rapids in Service
Images of Grand Rapids individuals who have served in American wars.

Silas Perkins (standing) and Theodore Lampert of
Grand Rapids (right), with two unidentified comrades
in the Twenty-Fifth Michigan Infantry.
(GRPL, Photo Collection)

Recent immigrants returned to fight for their home countries.
L-R: John Dagostern, L. Fiorvanti, C. Giulos, Tony Odola,
L. Salvati, Tony Cassini, and John De Bernardis.
(Grand Rapids Press, July 29, 1915, pg.13)

John Anthony VanderWerf (1895-1972) from Grand Rapids, who served in W.W.I.  He was earning a post-graduate degree in chemistry at Columbus College (now Ohio State University), and was drafted to make mustard gas at Stanford, Connecticut. This made him very ill, and many of his colleagues died. He was unhappy that he was made to be instrumental in something that could possibly have cause the deaths of many people, and upon his return home after the war, started his own insurance company instead of returning to the field of chemistry.
Photo provided by descendant -  Sue Davis

Created: 2 May 1999