Mike Blanc and
Wilfred Bauknight was born in western South Carolina in 1910 and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina in 1932. He met his wife Virginia on a blind date. They moved to Pittsburgh in 1935. Wilfred became deeply involved with the Army Corps of Engineers, his local church and –especially– his family over the next twenty years.
The army would not accept his civilian status during the war, so he became a part of the active Reserves in the early 1940s. He was assigned to active duty in the Philippines in mid-1945. The war with Japan ended as he was on his way by ship in August 1945. He remained on duty and sent home many letters and self-made postcards during the six months he was stationed in Manila.
These letters capture not only a father’s desire to ease the fears felt by his wife and three children during his absence, but also the early post-war efforts to begin the reconstruction of a city devastated by nearly four years of war.
When Wilfred returned home in early 1946, he resumed his responsibilities as husband and father. In addition he continued to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers, retiring with the rank of Colonel.
Wilfred Bauknight died in March of 1979.