In Memory of
U.S. Army Private First Class Viborg, South Dakota
Turner County

September 14, 1929 – May 24, 1952
Died in Car Accident south of Viborg, South Dakota


Willard “Billy” Platte was born in Viborg, South Dakota, on September 14, 1929, to Alice (Walsh) and Howard Platte. Willard had two sisters, Lois Elaine and Ruth. Willard graduated from Viborg High School in 1947. He first entered the service on January 8, 1947, but was discharged because of health problems. After traveling and regaining his health, Willard reenlisted in the service on October 23, 1950, at Omaha, Nebraska.

Pfc. Willard Platte was trained at Fort Riley in Kansas and then was stationed at Fort Benning in Georgia, and Camp Kilmer in New Jersey. On June 5, 1951, Pfc. Platte went overseas for duty in Wildfleeken, Germany. Because he then volunteered for duty in Korea, Platte returned to the United States on May 17, 1952, for a seven-day leave. He was due to ship out to Fort Lawton, Washington, on May 25, and from there leave for duty in Korea.

Private First Class Willard Platte was fatally injured when he was a passenger in a two-car accident on May 24, 1952, south of Viborg. He died on the way to the hospital. Three others were killed in the same accident.

Willard “Billy” Platte was buried with military honors at the First Baptist Church Cemetery close to Viborg. This entry was respectfully submitted by Miranda Reed, 8th grade, Spearfish Middles School, Spearfish, South Dakota, May 21, 2004. Information for this entry was provided by the South Dakota National Guard Museum, an application for a SD veteran’s bonus, and the Viborg Enterprise, 5/29/52 and 6/5/52 issues. Profile approval by Karen Spomer, niece.