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1LT Alexander Ramsey Nininger, Jr

1LT Alexander Ramsey Nininger, Jr

Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia, USA
Death 12 Jan 1942 (aged 23)
Cenotaph Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section MK-139
Memorial ID 30361248 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Alexander Ramsey Nininger, Jr. was born in Gainesville, Georgia and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where his father owned two movie theatres. Nicknamed "Sandy", as a youth he spoke French fluently, loved classical music, and wrote poetry in secret. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in June 1941. Journalist Malcolm Gladwell later noted that Nininger "had no feelings of hate, and did not think he could ever kill anyone out of hatred. He had none of the swagger of the natural warrior. He worked hard and had a strong sense of duty." At the start of the war he served as a Second Lieutenant in the Philippine Scouts, Company A, 1st Battalion, 57th Infantry, US Army, and was killed in action at Bataan. His citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Abucay, Bataan, Philippine Islands, on 12 January 1942. This officer, though assigned to another company not then engaged in combat, voluntarily attached himself to Company K, same regiment, while that unit was being attacked by enemy force superior in firepower. Enemy snipers in trees and foxholes had stopped a counterattack to regain part of position. In hand-to-hand fighting which followed, 2d Lt. Nininger repeatedly forced his way to and into the hostile position. Though exposed to heavy enemy fire, he continued to attack with rifle and handgrenades and succeeded in destroying several enemy groups in foxholes and enemy snipers. Although wounded 3 times, he continued his attacks until he was killed after pushing alone far within the enemy position. When his body was found after recapture of the position, 1 enemy officer and 2 enemy soldiers lay dead around him". He was buried at the Church Cemetery in Abucay. General Douglas MacArthur recommended him for the CMOH and it was posthumously awarded by President Roosevelt on January 29, 1942. He was the first US soldier to receive this honor for actions in World War II. After the war Nininger's name was mistakenly inscribed on the Wall of the Missing at Manila's ABMC Cemetery; there is also a cenotaph for him at Arlington National Cemetery. Today the First Division of Cadet Barracks at West Point is named in his honor, and the Alexander R. Nininger Award is presented to West Point graduates who have displayed valor in combat.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards







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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 5 Oct 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 30361248
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT Alexander Ramsey Nininger, Jr (30 Oct 1918–12 Jan 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 30361248, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .