Four WWII Veteran Judges, All in 90s, Still Going Strong
Two years after a video featured five World War II veterans who became federal judges in the Eastern District of New York, four continue to serve on the bench and carry substantial caseloads, even as they all have entered their 90s.
One of the Judges, Jack B. Weinstein, born in 1921, is preparing to celebrate his 50th year as a federal judge in April 2017.
The five judges recalled their stories in “A Lifetime of Service,” a video released to honor Veterans Day 2014.
- Weinstein, who serves in Brooklyn, was a submarine officer whose vessel was hit by a Japanese destroyer. In the battle of Leyte Gulf, his vessel sank a Japanese cruiser, and his submarine also rescued U.S. flyers shot down by the Japanese.
- I. Leo Glasser, also in Brooklyn, served in a mobile anti-aircraft battalion and arrived at Dachau shortly after the concentration camp was liberated.
- Arthur D. Spatt, who serves in Central Islip on Long Island, recalled being under attack by Japanese kamikaze bombers on a Navy ship in Okinawa.
- Leonard D. Wexler, also in Central Islip, was wounded just as the Battle of the Bulge was about to start. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
- Thomas C. Platt Jr. retired as a judge in Central Islip after the video was produced.
The four judges who remain on the bench pride themselves on being full contributors. Although senior judges are permitted to carry partial workloads, Wexler noted in the 2014 video, “Like the other of my colleagues, we all carry a full load. Nobody gives up. Everybody continues working. … I love it all.”
“These remarkable four judges serve as great sources of inspiration to the other judges of the court, particularly the newer judges,” said Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry, of the Eastern District of New York. She praised the judges “for their spirit, work ethic, and dedication to public service and to the fair and just administration of justice to all.”