Alvin Vogtle

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Alvin Ward Vogtle (October 21, 1918 – April 10, 1994) was an American lawyer, business executive and World War II fighter pilot born in Birmingham, Alabama. He was nicknamed "Sammy from Alabamy" in reference to his home state.

In May 1939, he was awarded a bachelor's degree in science and literature from Auburn University and studied law at the University of Alabama and the University of Virginia.[1]

Immediately after graduating from the University of Alabama Law School, he enlisted in the United States Army.[1] A Spitfire fighter pilot in World War II, Vogtle flew over 30 mission before he was in a squadron that ran out of fuel over Algeria.[1] He was captured, then moved to prison camps in Germany. He spent three years at camps such as Stalag Luft III, Dulag Luft, Offlag XXI-B, Sagan, Nuremberg and Moosburg. He made four unsuccessful escape attempts and on the fifth try made it out to Switzerland in March 1945.[1] Vogtle was the inspiration for the POW character portrayed by Steve McQueen in the movie The Great Escape.[2]

After the war, he was employed at Alabama Power as a legal counsel and rose through the ranks to become President and Chairman of the Board of Southern Company, one of the largest electric utility holding companies in the nation. Southern Company named a nuclear power plant in eastern Georgia the "Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant" in his honor.

Vogtle retired to Florida in 1983. He died April 10, 1994 of heart failure.[1] He was survived by his wife Rachel Giles Vogtle and their seven children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Saxon, Wolfgang. "Alvin Ward Vogtle Jr., 75, Dies; Led Big Power Supplier in South". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Richard Munson (1985), The power makers, p. 31