|Pfc. Dale Willoughby served with the 37th Infantry Division in Bougainville.|
Dale H. Willoughby never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 9, 1918 in Iowa. His parents George and Leona were also both born in Iowa. His father worked as a farmer and later as a farm laborer. Dale was an only child. By 1940 Dale had completed four years of high school and was living at a state camp where he worked pulling trees.
He was drafted into the army on February 23, 1942. He became a private first class in Company K, 3rd Battalion, 129th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division (nicknamed "The Buckeye Division").
Pfc. Willoughby likely joined his unit as a replacement. I don't know if he was part of the unit when it fought on New Georgia in July 1943. He was part of the 37th ID during the Bougainville Campaign. In March 1944 the Japanese attacked the Americans in a series of unsuccessful counterattacks that reduced the Japanese strength to the point that the Americans were able to drive them off. Pfc. Willoughby was killed on March 26, 1944, the day before the fighting ended.
His grave is at Elkhart Cemetery in Elkhart, Iowa.
Famed 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace was born on the same day as Dale Willoughby. Wallace was born in Massachusetts, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Wallace began a successful career in radio. He joined the Navy in 1943 and served as a communication officer on the submarine tender USS Anthedon.
Wallace died in 2012.
Last year on this date I profiled Alonzo Jordan, 82nd Airborne Division. You can read about Alonzo Jordan here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100