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Col. Steve dePyssler (1919–2020), only known American to serve in four wars

by Linnea Crowther

Col. Steve dePyssler was a U.S. Air Force veteran who was the only known American to have served in four wars.

38 years of active duty

Col. dePyssler began his military career serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He later transferred to the U.S. Air Force and went on to serve in the Korean War, the French Indochina War, and the Vietnam War, as well as at the Bay of Pigs Invasion. He rose from private to colonel over 38 years of active duty. After his retirement, dePyssler worked in the Retirees Office at Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base for 40 years and was the office’s director for more than 30 of those years. Saying his goal was to help at least one person each day, dePyssler helped veterans get their VA benefits, as well as assisting widows of veterans. He continued working all his life, coming to the base to help veterans even after his 100th birthday in 2019.

dePyssler on his long military service

“When I tell people I’ve held 20 different ranks, they always say that there isn’t 20 different ranks. But in World War II they had six grades that are no longer there and I held three of them.” —as quoted by Barksdale Air Force Base

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What people said about him

Full obituary: Shreveport Times

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