Alphonzo A. Durnell was born on June 28, 1932 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Alphonzo enlisted in the Army on May 12, 1950 and served in Company B, Third Armored Division. Hewas killed in action in Korea on November 12, 1950 of wounds received in fighting on the front lines. He was only 18 years old. At the time of his death, Pvt. Durnell was serving with the 84th Tank Battalion of the Third Armored Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart, The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.
Pfc. First Class Durnell’s body arrived from Korea in a flag draped casket on May 1, 1951. Funeral services were held on May 4, 1951. Casket bearers represented the Nathan Holmes Post No. 32 American Legion and Color bearers represented the Bernard F. Schlegel Post American Legion. Interment was at the Rolling Green Memorial Park in West Chester. A full military ceremony was performed at the grave, including the firing of three volleys and the playing of Taps. The Firing squad was from Company I, 111 Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard.
Two of Alphonzo's brothers, Carl and Donald, also served in the armed forces in Korea.