|An M-36 from the 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion where Alvin Waggoner was a staff sergeant.|
Alvin Waggoner never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 10, 1917 in Missouri. His parents were also both born in Missouri. His father was a farm laborer and later an auto garage mechanic. Alvin had a younger sister and two younger brothers. One of his brothers, Allen, was a private in the army during the war and actually enlisted before Alvin. His other brother Samuel joined the army after Alvin. Both survived the war. By 1940 Alvin's parents were divorced.
Alvin enlisted in the US Army in March 1942 and advanced to the rank of staff sergeant in Company A, 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion, 63rd Infantry Division. The 776th saw action in Tunisia, Naples, Rome, and the Rhineland.
On March 19, 1945 the 63rd Division was advancing on the Siegfried Line near Ensheim, Germany. The infantry troops in his sector were pinned down by the enemy so Sgt. Waggoner left his M-36 tank destroyer and ran through intense enemy fire to secure information from the pinned down troops as to where to fire his guns. While directing the fire of his tank destroyers, Sgt. Waggoner was wounded by enemy artillery fire and died of his wounds the same day. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for a gallant sacrifice that no doubt saved the lives of many others. During the war 39 other 776th Tank Destroyer Battalion soldiers were also killed
His remains were returned to be buried at Fillmore Cemetery in Missouri.
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