Ex-chemist to be honoured for work on penicillin

Robert Walton was part of a team with New Jersey-based Merck & Co. tapped to ramp up production of the drug after the U.S. entered the war. Representative image

Columbus: A veterans group is honouring a 103-year-old former chemist for the work he did to develop large stocks of penicillin during World War II.

Robert Walton was part of a team with New Jersey-based Merck & Co. tapped to ramp up production of the drug after the U.S. entered the war.

Though drafted after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Walton was blocked by the government from serving and directed to continue his work in the lab.

Walton says he was simply doing his job.

The local chapter of the Military Order of The Purple Heart has asked Walton to lay a wreath at the group's monument at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum Aug. 7.

Chapter head Tom Beck says the work of Walton and others saved millions of lives.

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