|Sgt. Alfred Brockel was in the 143rd Infantry Regiment with the soldiers in this photo.|
Alfred Otto Brockel never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on July 6, 1917 in Pennsylvania. He was raised by his grandparents. I don't know anything about his father. His mother married someone else after Alfred was born. Alfred had three half-sisters. Prior to the war he completed four years of high school and worked for a company making glass products.
He enlisted in the army on May 18, 1942. He rose to the rank of sergeant in Company A, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. The 36th Infantry Division arrived in French North Africa in April 1943. It spearheaded the landing at Salerno, Italy in September 1943. A week after the landing the 1st Battalion was attached to the 1st Ranger Battalion tasked with advancing through mountainous terrain toward Naples.
By early October the 1st Battalion was northwest of Naples. At 12:30 pm on October 3, Company A was given the assignment of taking Guigliano. The attack had to deal with well positioned enemy machine-gun nests and snipers in the walnut trees. They were pinned down for much of the day. Sgt. Brocket was one of several men lost in this attack. The 1st Battalion was replaced on the line the next day.
His grave is at Fairview Cemetery in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania.
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To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY
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