Lee C. Westphal
Past Post Commander Lee C. Westphal earned his eligibility to join the VFW while serving in WWII. Lee is also a Pearl Harbor Survivor. Lee enlisted in the United States Navy on March 13, 1940. After boot camp he was assigned to a Battleship the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, the fleet flagship, stationed in Honolulu. After the attack on Pearl Harbor he returned stateside and was transferred to a destroyer, the U.S.S. Chevalier, being built in Bath Main. On Christmas day, 1942, the U.S.S. Chevalier traveled through the Panama Canal, en route to the South Pacific. After many air raids and engagements with enemy surface forces, the U.S.S. Chevalier and two other destroyers met its match on the night of October 6, 1943, when they engaged a large force of enemy ships, one cruiser, numerous destroyers and six torpedo boats. 

The U.S.S. Chevalier was sunk that night. Lee was a Signalman and stayed with the Captain. Having only a flashlight, Lee signaled to the rescue ships saving many of his shipmates. Lee received a personal citation from Admiral Halsey for his heroism that night. 

Lee was discharged March 22, 1946. Much of Lee's civilian occupation dealt with his love for animals. He was a dog trainer. Lee has trained dogs for the blind, to include guard and police dogs. His main love were the dogs that he trained for the movie Benji. Lee served four terms as Commander of VFW Post 10040, and was appointed to the "All State Team" of Post Commanders for 1998-1999 and received a White Hat at the State convention in Buena Park. 


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