Technician Fifth Grade Alfred L. Wilson, USA (November 8, 1944)

Alfred Leonard Wilson was born in Fairchance, Pennsylvania on September 18, 1919. He lived his whole life there, and was employed as a miner when he was drafted into the United States Army on February 15, 1943 for World War II service. Wilson was trained as a combat medic and assigned to the medical detachment of the 328th Infantry Regiment of the 26th Infantry Division.

The 26th Infantry Division arrived in France for combat during September 1944 and went into action as a whole unit during October. By November 8, 1944 Wilson had reached the rank of Technician Fifth Grade (Corporal) and was in combat near Bezange la Petite, France.

On that day, Wilson’s refusal to receive aid for his own wounds suffered during his care for others saved the lives of at least ten of his comrades, but at the cost of his own life. His selflessness was later posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (T-Z):

Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Medal of Honor ribbon (foreground); World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon (background)
Photo: Military Times’ Hall of Valor


Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 328th Infantry, 26th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Bezange la Petite, France, 8 November 1944. Entered service at: Fairchance, Pa. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945

Citation: He volunteered to assist as an aid man a company other than his own, which was suffering casualties from constant artillery fire. He administered to the wounded and returned to his own company when a shellburst injured a number of its men. While treating his comrades he was seriously wounded, but refused to be evacuated by litter bearers sent to relieve him. In spite of great pain and loss of blood, he continued to administer first aid until he was too weak to stand. Crawling from 1 patient to another, he continued his work until excessive loss of blood prevented him from moving. He then verbally directed unskilled enlisted men in continuing the first aid for the wounded. Still refusing assistance himself, he remained to instruct others in dressing the wounds of his comrades until he was unable to speak above a whisper and finally lapsed into unconsciousness. The effects of his injury later caused his death. By steadfastly remaining at the scene without regard for his own safety, Cpl. Wilson through distinguished devotion to duty and personal sacrifice helped to save the lives of at least 10 wounded men.

Wilson’s remains were repatriated to the United States and laid to rest in his home town of Fairchance in the Maple Grove Cemetery.


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