Monday, April 28, 2014

Military Monday ~ Dr. Matthew S. Levitas of Brooklyn

Matthew Samuel Levitas was a first cousin of my husband's grandmother, Rose (Levitt) Goldstein. According to his WWI and WWII Draft Cards, he was born in Newark, New Jersey, on April 14, 1892.

I shared his family in census records here (1895-1915) and here (1920-1940).

I'm not sure where he attended medical school, but by June 1917, according to his WWI Draft Card, he was working as a Physician at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, N.J., U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
Registration location: Kings County, N.Y.; Roll: 175449; Draft Board: 60; Record for Mathew Levitas

He did serve in the medical corps in World War I, initially serving at Base Hospital Camp Upton on Long Island, then as a surgeon in Hoboken, N.J. He was given an honorable discharge on September 4, 1919.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle can be found online at Brooklyn Newsstand. (Any issues not found there might be found at Fulton History.) I found several articles that mentioned Dr. Matthew S. Levitas in the 1940s and early 1950s. A select few follow.

During World War II, Dr. Levitas served as chairman of the V.F.W.'s Civilian Defense Medical Unit. After the war, he continued to work on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars as national surgeon-general of the V.F.W., encouraging the establishment of a national blood bank and encouraging blood donation, starting in 1947:

Brooklyn Newsstand, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 10 September 1947, page 12
Dr. Levitas was also a fundraiser for the V.F.W. The following 1949 articles notes that he served as national cancer chairman of the V.F.W. helping to raise money to build a hospital for cancer patients.

Brooklyn Newsstand, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 26 February 1949, page 8

Matthew S. Levitas never married. He died on February 20, 1956, and is buried at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y. He is memorialized at Find A Grave.

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