Deceased World War II hero from Pleasant Hills honored
A World War II hero who spent decades bringing labor and management together was memorialized Tuesday on the U.S. House floor.
“Wayne Alderson always put his country first,” U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said. “Now it is time for Private First Class Alderson's country to recognize his bravery, and place him among the first rank of those Americans who helped liberate Europe.”
Alderson, 86, of Pleasant Hills, died Friday. A funeral service was on Tuesday at Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church, followed by burial with military honors at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
Alderson earned the Purple Heart, Silver Star and other honors after being the first American soldier to cross into Germany in 1944.
After the war, Alderson worked for Pittron Steel in Glassport and helped resolve a bitter labor dispute in 1972.
“Then and now I am so grateful for all of the support and encouragement I received from the workers, as well as their families, throughout the Mon Valley,” Alderson said in a 2007 interview.
Alderson wrote about his experiences in “Stronger Than Steel,” then left Pittron Steel to do consulting work.
“Value of the person grew out of Wayne Alderson's unique theory of management,” Murphy said, “stressing the importance of respect and responsibility between management and workers — common sense ideas that too often can become lost in the hum of modern life.”
Alderson is survived by his wife Nancy, their daughter Nancy Jean McDonnell and grandson Patrick Wayne McDonnell.
Staff writer Stacy Lee contributed to this story. Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.