Roy Grey Alford
|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. D. H. Alford
|DATE OF BIRTH:
10/28/1939 – 3/8/1947
|DATE OF DEATH:
|IWO JIMA||4th Amphibious Truck Co.||345||PFC|
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Roy Alford enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18, from Raleigh, NC. He attended boot camp at Parris Island, and upon graduation was assigned to Battery I, Third Defense Battalion. Alford trained as a machine gunner in his early days with the battalion, crossed the country with them, and in April boarded the troop transport USS Chaumont for transport to Pearl Harbor. Alford served in the defenses of the Territory of Hawaii through the end of 1940, obtaining a promotion to Private First Class in September. Alford spent the first three years of the war with the Third Defense Battalion, gradually moving up in rank to Corporal serving with 90mm antiaircraft guns.
Corporal Alford joined the First Separate Battalion in late 1942, and trained with them through the following year. That April, he had a brush with discipline and was sent before the battalion commander for “striking another person of the Naval service and creating a disturbance against the peace in the town of Fallbrook, California.” Alford was demoted to Private First Class, but it did little to curb his combative spirit; for starting another fight in May, he was thrown in the brig and saddled with a hefty fine. No sooner had Alford completed one sentence when he was slapped with another; he spent more time in hack than out of it during the summer of 1943.
In the fall, PFC Alford cleaned up his act. He even reenlisted when his four year hitch ended in November. However, he took an unauthorized liberty over Christmas 1943, and only the battalion’s imminent departure for combat saved him temporarily from another lengthy sentence in the brig.
Roy Alford served as a rifleman during the battle of Namur; how he fared in his first experience in combat is not recorded. Much to his chagrin, his commanders had long memories, and while his buddies explored the liberty options around Camp Maui, Alford cooled his heels in the Maui brig for his absence over the holidays. That was enough for Alford; after his release, he secured a transfer to the company headquarters as a messenger, and maintained a satisfactory record for the rest of his time in First Battalion. He was felled by sickness on Saipan, recovered sufficiently to rejoin his company and prepare for Tinian, but suffered a relapse and was hospitalized, missing the landing.
PFC Alford returned to Company A in the fall of 1944, but did not remain with them long. He took some additional training, and on November 13 was reassigned to the Fourth Amphibian Truck Company as a driver. He saw action on the beaches of Iwo Jima, then spent the remainder of 1945 driving DUKWs in California.
Alford had a final brush with discipline in January 1946 (for being out of uniform and in a restricted area) and had his one remaining stripe revoked. His final assignment was with Motor Transport at Camp Lejeune; he was discharged on March 8, 1947.
After his discharge, Alford returned to North Carolina. He died in 1982 and is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery #4 in Fayetteville.