Black and white photograph showing a young Matt Urban in uniform during WW2. On the back it states, "Lt. Col. Matt Urban, U.S. Army, Retired, at Halloran Army General Hospital, Staten Island, New York, shortly before his medical retirement from the Army inFebruary 1946." This photograph is from a scrap book donated by Violet Van Kampen.
Matt Urban was born to Polish parents in Buffalo, New York in 1919. He graduated from Cornell University. Urban entered the U.S. Army on Julv 2, 1941, serving the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He served in the European Theater in WWII and received 29 different medals for his military service, including the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1980 for acts of heroism in France and Belgium, this was awarded to him by President Jimmy Carter. Lt. Colonel Matt Urban was wounded seven times during his service for our country. Each time he rejoined his men and continued to fight, which is a reason he earned those twenty-nine metals during his twenty months of combat. This made Urban the most decorated soldier in the war at that time. He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel on February 27, 1946, due to medical reasons from wounds he received during the war. He moved to Holland, Michigan after the war and lived there until his death on March 4, 1995. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Matt Urban became the City of Holland recreation and Civic Center director in 1974. In recognition of his valor the city council of Holland gave the name Matt Urban Drive to the new street off South Washington that leads past the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hall to West Forthy-Eighth Street. Urban retired from the City of Holland in 1989 after 17 years as the recreation department director. The City of Holland renamed the 32nd Street sports and recreation complex to the Matt Urban Sports Complex on September 14, 1996.