Alvin C. Cockrell
Alvin Chester Cockrell, Jr.
|Born||September 18, 1918|
|Died||September 24, 1942 (aged 24)|
Guadalcanal, south of Lunga Point
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps Reserve|
|Years of service||1937–1942|
|Unit||1st Battalion, 7th Marines|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Navy Cross (posthumous)|
Alvin Chester Cockrell Jr. (September 18, 1918 – September 24, 1942), was enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 1, 1937.
Cockrell served as an enlisted man until accepting an appointment as 2d lieutenant, USMCR, on June 25, 1940. Over the next two years, Cockrell served at Marine barracks at Quantico, Guantanamo Bay, Parris Island, and New River.
He was appointed a 1st lieutenant on December 2, 1941. Ultimately assigned to Company "B", 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Fleet Marine Force, he landed with the 7th Marines on Guadalcanal on his 24th birthday, September 18, 1942.
Within a week, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, was to conduct a reconnaissance in force of the region between the Matanikau River and the village of Kokumbona, led by Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC, and departed the perimeter of the marine defenses on September 23.
The point of Puller's battalion surprised elements of the Japanese Oka Detachment as they were sitting down cooking rice on the slopes of Mount Austen (Mambulo), late the following afternoon, September 24, south of Lunga Point. The sound of firing having alerted the enemy's main body, a brisk battle ensued; as it developed, 1st Lt. Cockrell led his platoon in assaulting a strongly held Japanese position against heavy machine gun and rifle fire. He was killed in the ensuing action, one of seven marines who died in the engagement.
Cockrell was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
USS Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366) was named in his honor. She was laid down on May 1, 1944, at Orange, Texas, by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on June 27, 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Jim Alice Perkins, the sister of the late 1st Lt. Cockrell; and commissioned on August 7, 1944, at her builder's yard, Lt. Comdr. Merrill M. Sanford, USNR, in command.
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- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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