The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PFC Alvin R. Denis, 36802758, who died in the service of his country on March 28th, 1945 in Luzon, The Philippines. The cause of death was listed as KIA, Balete Pass. At the time of his death Alvin was 22 years of age. He was from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The decorations earned by PFC Alvin R. Denis include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
In addition to the medals listed above; Alvin also received the Good Conduct Medal. the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the Honor Service Lapel Button.
Alvin is buried at Allouez Catholic Cemetery, Green Bay, WI. His body was returned and re-buried August 2, 1948.
Alvin was born in the township of Luxemburg, WI and the family later moved to the township of Humboldt, a suburb of Green Bay, WI. Alvin was raised on a farm.
(Below is an article from the 02/27/2012 edition of the Green Bay Press-Gazette)
BELLEVUE Nearly 67 years after his death, an area World War II soldier was awarded posthumously the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service.
Pfc. Alvin Denis brother, Elmer Denis, who also served during WWII, received the medals from Sen. Herb Kohl on his brothers behalf last week at VFW Post 9677 in Bellevue.
"It still gets emotional," Elmer Denis said as he wiped away tears. The brothers, who were less than two years apart in age, grew up with nine other siblings on a farm in Humboldt.
Alvin Denis was killed in action on March 28, 1945, in the Philippines. He was buried in 1948 in Allouez Catholic Cemetery.
Alvin was drafted into the service, and Elmer followed four months later. Elmer saw his brother for the last time the day before he went to the Philippines.
"I remember the last time I saw him in Louisiana -- never thinking that would be the last time," he said.
"We wished each other well and that was about all we could do. He went his own way, and I went mine."
Alvin and Elmers nephew received Alvins uniform years after Alvins death. Their nephews wife, Bonnie Van Pay, researched Alvins history. She learned that he had been awarded multiple medals, but that the family had never received them.
"I was very surprised," she said.
Elmer then filed paperwork with the help of the Kewaunee County Veterans Services office and Kohls office to get the medals.
Kohl said the delay was due to clerical errors and a "bureaucratic kind of snafu," but he said his office continued working on the medals because it was important for the Denis family to be honored.
"Back in the second world war, when our country was in the greatest peril, both brothers stepped forward, and both brothers fought," Kohl said.
"Its no exaggeration that the brothers and their generation was the greatest generation."
Elmer said he didnt know his brother was awarded medals until Van Pay discovered it online. He said receiving the medals late is better than nothing.
"Better late now than (if) we never got them," he said. "At least theres somebody here left to see them."
Van Pay says the medals bring closure for Elmer and the rest of the family because it means Alvins mission is complete.