By Brandt Heatherington Reginald Alexander was born in Gardnerville, Nevada, in 1924 to Scottish émigré parents who were originally from Westcolvin, Scotland. His father was a soldier in the Black Watch Highlanders in World War I, a unit the Germans nicknamed “The Ladies from Hell” because of their kilts. Interestingly enough, the 101st Airborne Division soldiers were nicknamed “Baggy Pants from Hell” by the Germans in World War II. Alexander’s family later moved to California, first to Monterey then to Carmel, then just outside San Francisco, and finally settled in Eureka. His father went into business for himself as a baker. When Reginald’s mother died, the business took a turn for the worse and the family moved back to San Francisco where he finished high school. The outbreak of World War II set in motion a series of events for Reginald Alexander that resulted in life-changing events during his service in uniform. Brandt Heatherington: What made you decide to enlist? Reginald Alexander: As this was 1942, we knew about the fighting in the Pacific, but I really didn’t know much about the war in Europe other than we had heard about the Battle of Britain, of course. Mainly, I was just a young guy—17 and a half —looking for adventure and some extra money. BH: What kind of training did you receive? RA: When I enlisted they sent me to Monterey, and then we


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