Alfonso "Al" Villa

I was able to spend time with Alfonso "Al" Villa. Alfonso Villa, born and raised in Firestone, served with the 237th Combat Engineers Battalion and was in the 4th wave to hit Utah Beach on D-Day. As soon as he arrived he began clearing obstructions, building little bridges and helping get armor and men inland. He made it through that day, but as the fighting moved inland, he was hit with sharpnel from a mortar. He had a head injury and was evacuated back to England. After recovering in a hospital but still bandaged, he was returned to the front, serving this time with the 554th Engineers Heavy Pontoon Battalion. With the 554th, Al went through the Battle of the Bulge and all the way to the outskirts of Berlin when the war ended. He was awarded the Bronze Star and received the Purple Heart.