From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Alvin Wilderman '59

Date of birth: June 21, 1937

Date of death: November 30, 1973

Age: 36

Lucky Bag

From the 1959 Lucky Bag:


From Find A Grave:

Wilderman Hall at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA, was named in memory of Commander Alvin L. Wilderman, born in Bond County, Illinois in 1937, a 1959 graduate of the Naval Academy and a 1961 graduate of Submarine School. Commander Wilderman was washed overboard from the bridge of PLUNGER (SSN-595) on 30 November 1973 outside Golden Gate while the ship was enroute to routine post-overhaul sea trials. In spite of an intensive search by air and sea, his body was never recovered. He had cleared the bridge of all other personnel when the ship encountered extremely heavy seas and no one else was lost. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously. Commander Wilderman previously served in VON STEUBEN (SSBN-632), WOODROW WILSON (SSBN-624), and as Executive Officer of PARGO (SSN-650), before assuming command of PLUNGER.


From the June 1974 issue of Shipmate:

Cdr. Alvin LaDon Wilderman, USN, died on 30 November at sea near San Francisco. Born in Greenville, Ill., Cdr. Wilderman graduated from the Naval Academy in 1959. Upon graduation he served in USS Wilkinson. He also served in USS Von Steuben, USS Woodrow Wilson and USS Pargo in addition to USS Plunger, his last duty station. His schooling included tours at the U.S. Naval Submarine School, SuBase, New London, Conn.; the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit, Schenectady, N.Y.; Dir. Division of Naval Reactors, AEC; and ComSubPac PCO School.

His decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of a second award; the Navy Unit Commendation Medal from his cruise to the North Pole in USS Pargo; the National Defense Medal; and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Surviving are his vindow, Diane, 910 Balboa St., Coronado, CA 92123; his parents; and two sons, Steven and David.

Alvin has a memory marker in Illinois.

Note the differing dates of death; suspect it was late at night on November 30 when he was lost overboard.

Related Articles

William Cain '59 and James Leonard '59 were also in 12th Company.

Class of 1959

Alvin is one of 32 members of the Class of 1959 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.