|Birth: ||Jun. 14, 1919|
|Death: ||Mar. 25, 1981|
First, extending heart felt gratitude to the Wendt family for taking the photos of Alvin's headstone. This has allowed relatives to see his final resting place that otherwise would not be able to. And it seems so appropriate that the Wendt family comes from Missouri, the state of our ancestors.
During Alvin's childhood, he may have been classified as poor, if the entire populace was not going through the depression together.
For varied reasons not worth expounding on, his Poppa left home when he was very young, and we believe it was his Momma's Poppa that stepped in and raised the household. Alvin had good things to say of his situation, and was ever quick to mind us not to meddle in others business and tend to our own happiness under our roof.
Being raised in Arkansas he had many good stories of his childhood. One job was tendng to the family hawgs. His heart stopped when he went to check on the hawgs and every last one was down on the ground and unable to get up for any length of time.
Seeing the famly future dying before his eyes, he raced home to his Granpa and said the hawgs were sick in an awful way.
Once on scene, the granpa laughed and said it was ok..if anything, the meat would be exceptional in flavor. Some one up stream was running a still and was dumping the corn mash in the creek to get rid of it, and the hawgs found the corn tasty if not inebriating.
At 16 years old, he joined the Youth Conservation Corps working on roads and planting vegetation. He was able to send money home and enjoyed the life style that offered stability and security.
When old enough to enlist in the Army, he signed up in the Infantry. They still wore Dough Boy helemts and Smokey the Bear hats, leggings, horses and fired the 03 springfield as the basic weapon of issue.
He was aboard a troop ship headed for the invasion of Afrika when a new weapon was introduced for training. Called the bazooka, they threw wood crates off the fantail, and practiced firing the 3.5" rocket at the crates.
He was assigned to the 34th Infantry during the African Campaign. After Kasserine pass, remnants of the unit were used to round out the 4th Infantry Division, which he was then assigned to, for the invasion of Italy at Anzio.
Alvin loved Italy and always wanted to go back before he died. He did admit, fighting in the mountains during the winter was tough, using mules to haul equipment.
At the battle for Monte Cassino, he remembered clearing the rubble from the bombings as tedious careful work, as it was occupied by the German 5th Fallshirmjager Regiment, who appearently seemed determined to keep it as their own.
He married Edith M. Long upon return stateside, raising three children in Burns, Oregon. Edith's family had fought for the Union during the war, and Alvin's ancestors were Confederate Soldiers in the attempt to stop Northern Aggression. Both sides were of Irish descent and from Missouri.
Of note were his Grandfather who fought with the MO 8th CAV Confederate and his Great Grandfather who joined the MO 5th Infantry Confederate at the Age of 52, leaving his occupation as a tailor.
Poppa worked as a mechanic and attended schools for Cadillac and Pontiac. He was adept at fabricating needed parts to make machinery work.
He bought a franchise for Flying "A" gas stations from the Tidewater Corporation and worked there, until failing health effected his ability to keep the business.
Moving to Wrangell, Alaska in 1968, I remember getting off the ferry to a cold wet day. Parts of main street were dirt, and someone had left their black buick stuck off to the side and board sidewalks.
Leaving Wrangell about 1970, we moved to Juneau, Alaska where he remained until his death. He became active in his church, the old men's coffee clatch at the bakery about 10 AM and ham radio once more. I am not sure what it is called, but the goal was to get one confirmation card from every location on the globe as having made contact.
His demise came two months before his scheduled retirement and his last needed card of confirmation arrived shortly there after.
He started out building transciever radios from kits sold by heathkit. Towards the end he simply salvaged parts from abandoned equipment and made equipment from scratch.
My Mother left her not working transistor radio on his bench so he could have a look at it... not understanding her intent, he stripped it instead.
I remember being in my first tour in the Army, and always having money left at the end of the month. One night on the phone, I asked him if we had been poor. There was a brief silence and slightly angered he stated, "no, we always had food to eat, a place to stay and enough to share with those less fortunate."
So was his simple stand and philosophy on life.
Edith Mary Hoecker (1921 - 1996)
Tec 5 US Army World War II
Note: The 333rd Memorial added to this cemetery. A small single flat stone in very good condition and very easy to read as of May 2012...
Alaskan Memorial Park
Maintained by: yrrehierde
Originally Created by: Judy Wendt
Record added: Jun 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91820662