Virgil W. Westdale
Male of Japanese and European ancestry. Born July 8, 1918, in Millersburg, Indiana. Grew up on family farms in Indiana and Michigan. Became a licensed pilot, and, during World War II, volunteered for the War Training Service as a flight instructor. Reassigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team as part of the Fire Direction Center. Split off from the unit with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, and was with one of the first groups to liberate the concentration camps in Dachau, Germany. Following the sudden death of Harriett Engelhardt, an American Red Cross worker in Germany, in 1946, Virgil and the members of the 522nd FAB pulled together $271.40 and sent the money to her parents. The Engelhardts used this money, along with money from Harriett's estate and other donations to establish the Harriett Engelhardt Memorial Collection at Black Mountain College, Harriett's alma mater. Following World War II, Virgil worked for several corporations as a research and development scientist developing patents.
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