October 19, 1948 (Norwalk, CT) – May 26, 1967; 18 years old
Last known local address: Scofield Place, East Norwalk
Enlisted on November 9, 1965, at 17 years, and 21 days old
MOS: 0351, Anti-tank Assaultman
Tour Start Date: unknown
Service number: 2182182
Unit: III MAF, 1st Marine Division, 5th Marines, 3rd Battalion, I Company
Born to Alexander Marlow (1923-1989) and Mary Webb Wainio (1926-2001). Mary had PFC Wainio when she was 18. Mary married Edwin Wainio (1931-1987) on June 19, 1956, and then Alexander Marlow on July 5, 1988. There are also half-siblings by his father Alexander.
Casualty Location: Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal
In late April 1967, the 1st Mardiv initiated Operation Union to search and destroy the 21st NVA regiment and other enemy forces in the Quang Nam / Quang Tin area. They were in heavy fighting through the middle of May.
On May 26 the unit made air assaults into the Que Son Valley to finish off the NVA units. They ran into the 3rd NVA Regiment that was dug in near Vinh Huy. When the unit finally overran the NVA positions, the unit had 37 killed and 82 wounded. During the fighting, PFC Wainio was shot in the head and killed. He was an only child.
Al had just arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines which was engaged in heavy fighting with the NVA in Operation Union II in Que Son Valley. When he was shot in the head by small arms fire during the battle, his mother, my Aunt Mary, saw it happen in a dream that woke her up in the middle of the night back in New Hampshire. He was her only child. He’s buried next to her and his step-father, Ed Wainio, who was also in the Marines and was a survivor of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. His grandparents George and Grace Webb are also beside him, along with my parents Phil and Helen Scribner. My father was Uncle Ed’s Sergeant in the Marines and Aunt Mary was my mother’s older sister. Al was born Alexander Maruchi. He liked fishing, Elvis and the Beetles, Tennessee Ernie Ford’s song “16 Tons”, the Incredible Hulk in Marvel Comics, “McHale’s Navy”, making clay models of the German Battleship Bismark, and monster movies like “King Kong vs. Godzilla”. He had a pet snake and a pet alligator. He took me to see a Chubby Checker performance once at the Norwalk Theater. His blood father Al Maruchi (possibly spelled Marucci, it’s an Italian name) later changed his name to Marlow and had children by another marriage in another part of Connecticut. I enlisted in the Army in ’72 on Al’s birthday. Semper Fi, Marine. – Cousin Jim
Posted on thewall-usa.org on August 22, 2022, by George Hazzard
During Operation Union I we came under heavy machine gun and mortar fire. Someone was hit and was calling for the corpsman. Alexander Wainio, with total disregard for his own life, ran out and began dragging the wounded man to safety when he was killed by a sniper.
Al was born Alexander Maruchi. His blood father, Al Maruchi (possibly spelled Marucci) later changed his name to Marlow and had children by another marriage in another part of Connecticut. His step-father, Ed Wainio, who was also in the Marines, was a survivor of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.
From The Norwalk Hour June 2, 1967
Marine Private Alexander Wainio, 18, a Norwalk native who until two years ago lived on Scofield Place, was killed in Action in South Vietnam earlier this week, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Wainio of Troy, New Hampshire, were informed on Thursday. The Marine was shot in the head during an engagement with an enemy force, a Marine officer told his mother. He was a weapons specialist with the First Marine Division and left this country for Vietnam about six months ago. He had been hospitalized for a week with skin poisoning caused by foliage and was killed the day he rejoined his outfit, his mother said. Other details were not immediately available. The Wainios moved to Troy in 1965. Private Wainio was born in Norwalk and attended local schools prior to his enlistment. The young Marine was an avid fisherman and hunter and won several fishing contests shortly after moving to Troy. He is the fifth Norwalk serviceman killed in Vietnam, and of those, the fourth Marine.
Private Wainio is buried in Branchville Cemetery, 2 Brook Lane, Ridgefield, Connecticut. Photos by webmaster.