Alvin C. Cockrell

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Alvin Chester Cockrell, Jr.
Born(1918-09-18)September 18, 1918
Hazlehurst, Mississippi
DiedSeptember 24, 1942(1942-09-24) (aged 24)
Guadalcanal, south of Lunga Point
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps United States Marine Corps Reserve
Years of service1937–1942
RankSecond Lieutenant
Unit1st Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsNavy Cross (posthumous)

Alvin Chester Cockrell Jr. (September 18, 1918 – September 24, 1942), was enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 1, 1937.

Navy career[edit]

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.

Guadalcanal service[edit]

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.

Awarded the Navy Cross[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topics Biography AND World War II : Jaime Sabater Sr., Chester Thomas O'Brien, Edwin William Hurst, Clarence Lee Evans, Woodrow Wilson Barr, Grady A. Dugas, M.D., Doyle Clayton Barnes

Other articles of the topic Biography : Nova Firoze, Kristie Jane Pearson, Brandon October, R. Vasudevan (entrepreneur), Diana Hopper, Doug Underhill, Saurabh Malik

Other articles of the topic World War II : John Michael Bermingham, Grady A. Dugas, M.D., Lewis Nixon (United States Army officer), Edward E. Gyatt, Lawrence Coburn Taylor, Joseph Lesniewski, John C. England
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This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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