Willie LeRoy Engelman was born in Rockwell City, Iowa, on December 12, 1905,son of David and Clara Elizabeth (Miller) Engelman, He was graduated from Fort Dodge Junior College in 1926, the University of Iowa in 1927, and received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from that University; s Medical College in 1931. Commissioned Lieutenant (junior grade) in the Medical Crops of the US Navy on June 8,1931, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from March 25, 1945.
After serving his internship at the US Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, from June 1931 until 1932, he had nine months there as a junior Medical Officer, and in March 1933 joined USS Raleigh, for sea duty. He was detached in December 1934 and thereafter, until September 1937 served as Assistant Ward Medical Officer, Out- Patient Department, at the Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California. He again had duty afloat as Medical Officer of USS Gold Star, station ship at Guam, and after four months on board, served from January 1938 until 1939 as Ward Medical Officer at the US Naval Hospital, Guam.
A year’s instruction in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, proceed duty from July 1940 until September 1941 as Medical Officer in the Out-Patient Department, and later of the Traumatic Surgery Department, at the Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California. He assigned in filling out USS Casco (AVP-12) at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, and was Medical Officer of that seaplane tender from commissioning on December 27, 1941, until May 1943, during the early period of World War II. Part of that the Casco operated in the Aleutians Area.
Captain Engelman, then a Commander, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal four wounds received in the engagement of the Casco with a Jap submarine in August 1942; and a Letter of Commendation, with Ribbon, from Commander Task Force EIGHT for his participation in the landings at Adak and Attu, in the Aleutian Islands.
He was under instruction in General Surgery at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Philadelphia, from June to October 1943, then served as Chief of Surgery at the Naval Hospital, Treasure Island, California, until May 1944. For two months thereafter he was Assistant to the Medical Officer at the Yard Dispensary, Mare Island Navy Yard, and in July 1944 reported as Executive Officer of the US Medical Supply Depot, Oakland, California, where he remained during the remaining period of hostilities of World War II.
From September 1945 until July 1946 he served as Medical Officer in Command of the Naval Medical Supply Depot at Guam, Marianas Islands. Upon his return to the United States, he reported as a student at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, DC, and after graduation served from July 1947 until November 1948 as Deputy Director, Material Division, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, with offices in Brooklyn, New York. Additionally, from its establishment on March 30,1948, he served as Executive Officer of the Naval Medical Material Officer at Brooklyn.
Remaining in Brooklyn, he served for the next four years as Director, Material Division, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, and Medical Officer in Command, Naval Medical Material Office. On July 22, 1952, he was designed Chief of the Field Branch, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, his office at Sands and Pearl Streets, Brooklyn. On April 24,1953 he was ordered detached for duty in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Nay Department, Washington, DC, and on May 28,1954, was designed Comptroller and Director of the Comptroller Division of the Bureau. In April 1957 he was ordered to the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, to serve as Professional Assistant to the Commanding Officer. He is now under orders to assume command on April 1,1960 of the Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition to the Purple Heart Medal, Captain Engelman has the China Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one operation star; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
He died October 31, 1971.