Charles Alford - 128th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

Charles job was to find enemy targets and adjust artillery fires

Charles Alford was born on November 19 1921 in Davenport, Iowa but moved when he was 7 to live with his Dad in Chicago. His family life was not really easy, that is why “Everyday was a new deal” for him. On December 1941, he was hardly working in a factory when he heard on the radio that the war was declared against Japan because of the event on Pearl Harbor. Several months later, Charles decided to join the US army and quickly started his military basic training. He was offered the opportunity to start an officer school in the Field Artillery branch, and after this period, Charles was promoted 2nd Lieutenant.

When Charles arrived in Normandy during the summer 1944, he was first stationed in a replacement depot. Charles had to wait to be attached to an artillery unit which needed an officer replacement. The day arrived when the battery A of the 128th Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division needed a qualified forward observer. Therefore, Charles job was to find enemy targets and adjust artillery fires in order to support military troops. He performed his first mission between Nancy and Metz, France with a smoke shell fire.

On December 1944, the 6th Armored division was ordered to take part in the Battle of the Bulge. The unit was heavily engaged in the battle for Bastogne, Belgium and Charles remembered how they all suffered from the cold winter. During their advance in Germany, Charles was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action near Leipzig. He also participated to the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp.

When the war ended, the 6th Armored Division was split out and Charles was then assigned to the 2nd Armored Division. During his stay in Germany, he attended during a month to a War Crime Trial. When he later came back home, Charles stayed as a reserve officer at Camp Hood, Texas where he met a woman named Goldia. She was a telephone operator in the camp and they decided to get married in 1950.