A line of people gathered outside Wentworth Home in Dover, NH on Tuesday, about the 100th.
Frank West can be seen in the photo below and then again on Tuesday afternoon with an American flag. He took off his face mask for the photo.
To keep West safe, Wentworth Home staff had a small group gather on the site and then everyone else stayed on the sidewalk on Central Avenue.
Some people held signs.
Others held American flags.
A proclamation from the Mayor of Dover, Robert Carrier, was read out.
It was a diverse group of people who had come to the event. The woman in the photo below said she was there with students who are home schooled.
She wanted to say a prayer for West.
“God, thank you very much for him and his willingness to serve for our freedoms,” said the woman.
There were also members of the Pease Greeters At the event.
Event organizer and friend Malcolm Kenney, from South Berwick, Maine, said West moved to the facility next to the hospital about six years ago.
Before that, West lived across from the Post Office and ate at Harvey’s Bakery and Coffee Shop every day.
Kenney told the crowd Tuesday that West is a lifetime member of VFW Post 5744 in South Berwick.
Kenney said West was involved in five invasions while on duty and at one point he and his crew members washed ashore and took cover in sand dunes.
“Planes flew over and shot at them. Not just this time, but other times too. He’s earned the honor of being called a hero,” said Kenney.
West was sworn into the Navy on August 28, 1942, according to his records. He received a European Theater Ribbon with one star, an Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with five stars, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two stars, an American Theater Ribbon and a Victory Ribbon.
West’s split date is January 21, 1946, according to his records.
A copy of a Millville, NJ newspaper dated August 23, 1943 showed West talking while on vacation. He was back from the Sicilian campaign.
West said he was used as a signalman and machine gun operator during the campaign.
“I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything,” West told the reporter. He was 21 years old then.
Speaking to Seacoast Current Tuesday, West said he was surprised by the turnout, but most of all by the number of birthday cards he has received so far.
“I would say so many cards, from so many people,” said West.
People who want to send cards can address them to:
c / o Wentworth Home
795 Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at [email protected]