Alvin LaRue

Alvin LaRue_web

Alvin Larue a native of Louisville, Kentucky was a student at the University of Pittsburgh when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943.

Upon completing basic training at Kesseler Field in Biloxi, Mississippi, Alvin was assigned to attend Navigation school in Florida. When he completed the training the military did not have an assignment available for him. He was sent home on furlough to await orders. On his trip home he would have to ride on the L&N Railroad from Florida to Louisville. When boarding the train he could not find an available seat because of “Jim Crow” laws in the south. The conductor took his ticket and told him he would have to ride in the baggage car. Alvin rode on top of a “coffin” all the way back to Louisville. In spite of the legacy of discrimination, he will tell anyone if he had it to do again, he would not hesitate one bit.

After his furlough ended he was assigned to the 617th Bombardment Group located at Godman Field, Kentucky where he served as a Flight Officer on the B-25’s as a Bombardier and Navigator. During his tenure at Godman Field, he served with a pilot by the name of 1st Lieutenant Daniel “Chappie” James who would later become a General in the integrated U.S. Air Force.

After his military service, Alvin returned to college and attended Indiana University. He would later go to work for the Army Corps of Engineers where he would remain 20 years leading up to his retirement.