Wednesday, November 23, 2016

1SG Henry Lester Brightwell

1SG Henry Lester Brightwell was born 17 June 1913 in Roanoke, Virginia to HenryWycliffe and Flora Etta (Dowdy) Brightwell.  The family only had 3 children.  In 1920 his father was a "tinner" or roofer, in 1930 a sheet metal worker for the steam railway and in 1940 a gang leader on the steam railway.  He made a very good living in 1939, $2121.  Henry Lester was working as a file clerk for an electrical power company and made $1080 in 1939. 

Henry was a SGT in the National Guard when his unit was federalized in February 1941.  It is probable that he stayed with his unit through all the training and missions they had before D-Day and participated with Headquarters Company 1st Battalion 116th Infantry in the landing.  He was promoted to SSG prior to the landing and to 1SG on 20 Jun 1944.  On 4 Sep 1944 he went to hospital as a non-battle casualty.  On 9 Sep 1944 he was returned to duty.  On 22 Nov 1944 he went to hospital with a serious wound (artillery?) and died of wounds on 23 Nov 1944. 

1SG Brightwell is buried in Fair View Cemetery in Roanoke, Virginia.

Henry's brother, Woodrow Carlyle Brightwell, also served begging the war at the rank of SSG of infantry in the local National Guard unit. 

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