According to his bio, Wilfred was born in China. He returned to the USA to attend college. He was a history professor at Ohio State University. He was recruited to HALPRO because of his Chinese experience. He joined HALPRO in February 1942.
When it became apparent that HALPRO would not be going to China, he left HALPRO to join General Chennault's 14th Air Force. He was ordered to join Chennault on Dec. 1, 1942.
Note: The spelling of Smith's first name often appears as Wilfred. However, he completed his "HALPRO Contact Report" as Wilford.