Gottier, Alvin D

Alvin David Gottier was born on March 13, 1922 to Anna and Frank Gottier who lived on a small farm in Upper Uwchland, Pennsylvania. Alvin was one of 17 children. 

The Daily Republican news story, “There is no electricity in the home, nor modern conveniences of any sort. Yet the children have been reared in a manner which might serve as a model to parents with far greater advantages.” Mr. Gottier was quoted: “I never earned more than $23 a week, often less. But we have been fortunate. There has been little sickness in the family.” When the girls were old enough they helped with housework, and the boys helped in the garden and the fields of the small farm.

Alvin graduated from Downingtown High School in 1940. His school yearbook records him as: “Ever faithful, never resisting, and always ready to be assisting".

Alvin worked at the Downingtown Manufacturing Company - the same company where Heroes Morton Talley, Joseph Cozzone, Tony Duca, and James Marinelli worked. .

Alvin entered service in the Army on October 16, 1942. He received training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi then transferred to Shreveport, Louisiana, and then Arizona for further training. He was sent overseas to North Africa and then Italy. He served in Company B, 310th Engineering Corps, of the 85th Infantry Division.

Corporal Alvin David Gottier was Killed In Action on May 26, 1944 in Italy. Alvin was buried at a local military cemetery in Carano, Italy.  The citation follows:

Cpl. Alvin D. Gottier, Corps of Engineers

For heroic achievement in action on 14 May, 1944 in Italy. When infantry elements were halted by an extensive minefield in which 20 soldiers had already been killed and six others lay wounded, Cpl. Gottier, member of a mine-clearing detail, courageously worked under frequent small arms and mortar fire clearing a path which enabled the infantry to continue its advance. Then under direct enemy observation, he voluntarily ventured further into the mined area to clear paths to the wounded infantrymen and assisted in successfully removing the casualties to a point where they could be evacuated in safety.
Although the officer and two other members of the party were killed by exploding mines in their attempt to aid the wounded, Cpl Gottier worked under great strain, sniper and mortar fire for ten hours assisting the others in clearing over two hundred mines from the area. His courage and unselfish action without regard of his own personal safety made possible the complete evacuation of the dead and wounded and enabled the infantry to continue its assault upon the objective, reflecting the highest credit upon himself, his unit and the military service.

A memorial service was held at the Windsor Baptist Church on June 18, 1944. After the war, Alvin was returned home for burial. On March 1, 1949, a military service was conducted by the Charles F. Moran American Legion Post and the Brandywine VFW.  Religious services followed at the Windsor Baptist Church. Interment was at the church’s cemetery.

Alvin was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Besides Alvin, six of his brothers also served: Technical Sergeant Maurice served in the Army Air Forces (90 Bomb missions, and shot down over the Mediterranean and survived) during WWII. Corporal Alvin served in the Army engineers, and Seaman First Class Theodore served in the Navy on the USS Markab AR-23 in the South Pacific. Private Ernest served in the Army just after the war. Sergeant Forrest served in Korea, as did Corporal Thomas Norman, and Private First Class Richard served in Germany.

Alvin's sister, Ruby married Theodore Ziegler in 1955, the brother of hero Harold Ziegler.

Gottier Family - 1953



Don Wambold, WCMSC