Alvin Vogtle-THE American Great Escaper
Copyright 2015 by Katie Kirtley, All Rights Reserved.
Attorney and Spitfire pilot, 1LT Alvin W. Vogtle, was THE American Great Escaper. Captured in North Africa in January 1943, he spent 21 days at Dulag Luft and 2 months at Oflag XXI-B before entering Stalag Luft III in April 1943. He lived in the North Compound until September ’43 when the Americans were moved to the South Compound. He was a Code User and head of the procurement committee (scrounging escape materials) for the X Committee and an avid escaper himself.
Squadron Leader Roger Bushell helped Vogtle plan one of his escapes from Stalag Luft III (July 2, 1943) in which he left camp buried in a trash truck and made it to Czechoslovakia in search of the underground network. He was at large for 10 days and then recaptured. He spent 23 days in a Czech prison before being returned to Stalag Luft III. He ultimately made it to Switzerland (after a number of escape attempts/recaptures) after escaping from Stalag VII-A with Harold “Shorty” Spire in February 1945.
For his heroism, 1LT Alvin Vogtle was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
After the war, Alvin Vogtle practiced law and became CEO of Southern Company from 1970-1983 in Atlanta,Georgia. His bio is here: