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Black and white photograph showing Lt. Col. Matt Urban in his Holland, MI office.

Our country's most decorated war hero is former Holland, MI resident Matt Urban. He was born to Polish parents in Buffalo, NY in 1919. He graduated from Cornell University before entering the U.S. Army on July 2, 1941.

Urban served in the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He was wounded seven times during his service to our country. Each time he rejoined his men and continued to fight.
He received 29 different medals for his military service. The final medal, the Congressional Medal of Honor, was received in 1980 for acts of heroism in France and Belgium. This medal was awarded to him by President Jimmy Carter.

He retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel on February 27, 1946, due to medical reasons from wounds he received. He would later move to Holland, Michigan where he lived 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. He retired from the City of Holland in 1989 after 17 years as the recreation department director.
In recognition of his service to our country the Holland City Council gave the name "Matt Urban Drive" to the new street off South Washington that leads past the Disabled American Veterans Hall. The City of Holland also honored Urban when they renamed the 32nd Street sports and recreation complex the "Matt Urban Sports Complex" on September 14, 1996.
Gift of
Violet Van Kampen