Alvin G. Padilla, Jr.
Alvin G. Padilla, Jr. enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in March of 1949. From 2 July through 16 July, 1949, Al participated in active duty training in and around San Diego, California.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War, in June of 1950, he was transported to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. In late summer/early fall of 1950 the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment was called to action. Al, along with his fellow Marines, boarded troop transport ships bound for South Korea.
While on the Korean Peninsula, Al served as an infantryman, 0311, in Able Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. Most notably, he participated in operations against enemy forces in the Wonsan-Hungnam-Chosin campaign from 9 November through 7 December, 1950.
Subsequent to his military service, Al owned and operated Quality Products Mfg. Co. in San Antonio, Texas. His machine shop serviced the United States by fulfilling a variety of military contracts. Al also participated in politics in San Antonio. He was elected to the San Antonio City Council and served as Mayor Pro Tem for San Antonio while on the City Council.
In the mid-1970s, Al pursued a McDonald’s franchise and moved his family to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Over the course of his tenure with McDonald’s, Al and his wife, Lupe, owned and operated 17 McDonald’s restaurants spread across the Rio Grande Valley. During the 1990s, Al became McDonald’s most successful Hispanic owner/operator.
Al’s involvement with the Marine Corps and veteran’s associations continued after his honorable discharge in March of 1952. This includes the Korean War Veteran’s Association as well as the Chosin Few (an organization reserved for those who served in The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir).
Al was a benefactor, and the only former Marine Corps enlisted man, on the Board of Trustees of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas. Al maintained lifelong relationships with many of the men with whom he served. These included fellow US Marine infantrymen, like Juan Balleza and Dan Garcia. In addition, he developed and maintained a lifelong friendship with his former Battalion Commander, LtCol Raymond G. Davis. LtCol Davis, later General Davis, served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1970-1971 and was a fellow member of the Marine Military Academy Board of Trustees.
At Model of Lincoln Memorial
Alvin G. Padilla ,Jr. and General Raymond G. Davis
General Raymond G. Davis, Former Battalion Commander of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Korea with Sgt. Alvin G. Padilla, Jr.
Pictures related to San Antonio business and city council.
Korean War - Key Events
January 12, 1950
In a speech to the National Press Club, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson outlines a U.S. Pacific defense posture that includes Japan and the Philippines but does not explicitly include Korea. In fact, he states that, “so far as the military security of other areas in the Pacific is concerned, it must be clear that no person can guarantee these areas against military attack.”
These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica