Freedom Fighters: Alvin Wilkerson - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Alvin Wilkerson

By Joan Hallmark

Early in 2008, a brown envelope arrived at Alvin Wilkerson's East Texas home containing medals he had earned 62 years ago in World War Two. Ironically for the Silver Star he received only a ribbon. The letter accompanying it said they had "run out of silver."

Wilkerson had earned the Silver Star by shooting down a Japanese Zero with his M! rifle.

It was only one of Wilkerson's many acts of heroism and brushes with death. During the battle for the Phillippines, Wilkerson knocked out a Japanese machine gun nest after losing his best friend to its' fire.. Wilkerson also fought at Iwo Jima and Okinowa. In hand to hand combat in the jungle, he killed a Japanese soldier after being hit in the face with the butt of the soldier's rifle. Wilkerson had lost so much blood, he was almost left in the jungle for dead until the slight movement of his arm was detected. For this action he was presented the Purple Heart.

Wilkerson still has nightmares about war. The dreams aren't about his close brushes with death but about his fellow soldiers left behind.

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