“We Wanted A Man Of Utmost Integrity”: Success In The Military And In Civilian Life

Charles F. Alfano


COL(R) Charles F. Alfano was born in 1917 and grew up on Long Island, the son of Italian immigrants. After high school, he attended Columbia College, where he studied engineering for two years before entering West Point. Because of World War II, the course of study was accelerated, and he graduated in January of 1943. He commissioned as a Signal Corps Officer focusing on intelligence training, and at various times served on a Counterintelligence Staff and as a liaison to the British Army of the Rhine. As a senior officer, he worked to improve signals capabilities, and after leaving the military, he led procurement programs for several aircraft companies. In this interview, he describes how the Corps of Cadets reacted to news of World War II, and the discussions he had with his fellow cadets. He recalls his training before deploying to Europe and his experiences in France and Germany. He addresses his post-war activities working with counterintelligence, cooperating with the British, and eliminating the last vestiges of Nazism in Germany. Finally, he talks about developing Signals equipment in the 1950s and 60s and transitioning into the civilian sphere, where he put to use many of the leadership skills he learned at West Point and during his commissioned service.


conflicts World War II
topics West Point History Nazi Germany Life After Military
interviewer David Siry
date 31 March 2016


name Charles F. Alfano
institution USMA
graduation year 1943 January
service Signal Corps
unit 95th Infantry Division, 51st Signal Battalion, 7774th Signal Battalion
service dates 1943 1966