ALBRIGHT, W.Va. – A bridge locally known as the Albright Bridge was dedicated on June 11 to a paratrooper who died in 1945 during World War II.
The bridge that carries WV 26 over Cheat River in Preston County is now known as the US Army TSGT Harold William Schmidle Memorial Bridge.
Schmidle served 37 months in the Pacific and fought against the Japanese. On February 19, 1945 he was killed in the battle of Banzai Point. For his actions on the day he died, TSGT Schmidle received a Silver Star for Gallantry in Action.
“And it’s really important to our family that this is dedicated to him, and every time we drive across this bridge now and see his name we will honor his sacrifice, a lot of our family here, some of the family come as far as South Carolina, so it was really important,” said Randy Schmidle, Harold William Schmidle’s nephew.
This request to the Division of Highways has been three years in the making for the Schmidle family.