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LTC Vincent A. Dagort

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“VINCENT DAGORT AND FAMILY, our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of great loss. Jeremiah 29:11,12. Marguerite Hyde Toledo, Ohio. ”
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LTC Vincent A. Dagort died of age related causes on November 10, 2015; he was 97.

An only child, Mr. Dagort was born on April 25, 1918 and raised in San Francisco. In 1936, after graduating high school, he and his mother moved to Honolulu, Hawaii joining his father who took a job as maitre d' at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Vincent worked for his dad at the resort while attending the University of Hawaii. There he honed his musical skills as drum major for the marching band. In 1937, he returned to the mainland to attend UCLA, where he earned a Masters Degree in Music Education.

With the breakout of WWII in Europe, Vincent began his Army service first playing in an army band. With the USA's entry into the war, he chose to serve his country as an infantryman. He completed his basic training at Camp Roberts, California, and his officer training in Georgia. As a 2nd Lt. of Infantry, he was assigned to the 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment Anti-Tank Company. After a total of nine months training Vince was shipped out to the European Theater of War in October 1943.

He spent another six months in Wales with his company, awaiting the rumored invasion of Europe by the Allied forces. In July 1944, one month after D-day, Vincent and his anti-tank company came through the Normandy beaches and made their way to the outskirts of Paris. They had a brief break from combat to participate in the city's liberation parade on August 29, 1944.

On December 20, 1944, Vincent was captured in Luxembourg at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. He spent another five months as a POW in several camps in Poland. Later, the prisoners were forced to march back toward Berlin as the Germans retreated from the advancing Russian Army. Eventually, Vince and the men were rescued by the Russians and were transferred to Odessa.

After the war, Vincent returned to Los Angeles and married Aida Mulieri-Dagort, a professional harpist and member of the Warner Brothers and Paramount Studio orchestras. He pursued his career as an educator, first at Burbank High School right after the war. In the 1950's he began working for the Santa Monica School district as a teacher and councilor at Lincoln Jr. High School (now Lincoln Middle School), remaining there for 30 years. At first he taught history and led the school band and orchestra. He eventually became a head counselor at the school.

During most of his teaching career, he continued serving his country as a member of the United States Army Reserve.

In 1978, he and Aida retired to Rancho Mirage, California where they enjoyed a good life that included golf and international travel.

During his retirement in the Coachella Valley, Vincent continued to serve the public for another 19 years, this time volunteering with the American Red Cross on disaster relief missions in Tennessee, Florida, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and in New York City after the 911 attacks.

He also instructed emergency preparedness training classes for the organization's local chapter. He credited the Red Cross as having saved his life and those of the other POWs
because the organization registered the men while they were still in the German prison camps. As the war was drawing to a close this assured the enemy's adherence to the Geneva Convention.

Aida and Vince were married 55 years until her death in June 2000. He is survived by their son, film and television art director, Philip Dagort, and Philip's husband, John Kelly.

Services will be held on Tuesday, December 1st 2015 at 11 a.m. at the National Cemetery in Riverside, California, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Mission Inn, also in Riverside.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The American Red Cross.

FitzHenry-Wiefels Palm Desert has been entrusted with arrangements.