Press Release

World War II Veteran Captain Frank Wendzel Turns 100

Captain Frank Wendzel is visited and greeted Happy Birthday from Orange County Fifth District Supervisor, Lisa Bartlett

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (June 19, 2020) – After being in quarantine for over 90 days, World War II Army Air Force Veteran Captain Frank Wendzel celebrated a significant milestone of turning 100 years old this past Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Wendzel’s family reached out to the Orange County Veterans Service Office to help collect 100 birthday cards. The goal was met, with the assistance of Orange resident, Hannah Lavine, whose father, brother and husband all served in the military. “During this time of uncertainty, I just wanted to do something positive and uplifting for someone,” said Lavine.

Captain Frank Wendzel was presented with 100 cards and a framed commendation on his birthday by Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, 5th District, Orange County Board of Supervisors. His birthday celebration also consisted of a drive by car parade and special visit from the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ motorcycle club.

“I want to wish Captain Frank Wendzel the happiest of birthdays and commend him on behalf of the County of Orange for his meritorious service to our great nation,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. “Celebrating a centennial birthday with your family and loved ones is truly a monumental occasion.”

Having quite the resume, Captain Frank Wendzel joined the Army Air Force in 1941 to fly B-17s. During his service, he was a part of the nuclear weapons tests for Operation Crossroads and received several medals including an American Campaign medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign medal, World War II Victory medal, and Overseas Service Bars. Following his military service, Wendzel worked as an engineer on the Mercury, Apollo, and Atlas space missions.

Captain Frank Wendzel now resides in a Retirement Community in Lake Forest, California.