Class Notes - May 2015

I know I am late with the notes this time, but your whole Board of Governors has been very busy organizing and preparing for the 65th Reunion. The DC bus leaves at 0930 tomorrow to join with the others at Wood Cliff Hilton and a busy three days. 

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Class of 1950 Story

For, our 65th reunion, our classmate John Vanston has written a wonderful tribute to the Class of 1950. 


We arrived in Nineteen Forty-Six

          On the first Tuesday in July.

We didn’t know what lay ahead,

            But we decided to give the trip a try.

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Seeking Information on Charles K. Farabaugh

We recently received an email from a relative of Charles Farabaugh. Tim Brennan, Charles Farabaugh's nephew, is looking to know more about his uncle. If you have anything to share with Tim, please email him at

He wrote: My uncle, my mother's brother, Charles Farabaugh, was killed in Korea and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. There is a stained glass window light which bears his name and references his award in the Catholic chapel at West Point. I would like to know more about him. My father, Col Herbert O. Brennan, Class of '47, married Mary Farabaugh, Chuck's sister. Dad was a TAC officer in the early 50s and was MIA as an F-4 pilot in Vietnam. My grandfather, Charles L. Farabaugh and grandmother Marie lived in Cornwall and would host cadets on weekends. Any leads would be much appreciated.

January 2015 Class Notes

Another new year is rolling by fast. This is the year of our 65th  Reunion come May. We have a good group coming up with lots of family and friends. Win Skelton, with a lot of help from the other Board members, has done a wonderful job of organizing all the events.

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Class Memorial Chair Report 2014

The AOG recently sent us the following annual report of the Class Memorial Chair. 

"On behalf of the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG), I am pleased to present you with the 2013-2014 Annual Report for the S200S Class of 1950 Chair of Advanced Technology Endowment. This report includes narratives on the activities and events supported by this endowment during the 2013-2014 Academic Year. For the 2013-2014 Academic Year, your endowment provided 104,944.88 for West Point."  

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October 2014 Class Notes

Another summer gone. The trees will be turning their bright colors here shortly and Army football is on the way to beating Navy. Must have been a quiet summer for I have not gotten much news from you.

In August to celebrate his ninetieth birthday Dick Trefry had a big bash at his home in Burke, VA. There must have been a hundred people, including a number of classmates and wives, milling about on their lawn or sitting on their porches. A lot of familiar faces from years in the Military

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July 2014 Class Notes

Here it is the Fourth of July, another Happy Birthday for our great Nation. Hope all of you have a grand holiday!

Win Skelton and I and the rest of your Board of Governors are deep into the planning for our 65th Reunion next May. Actually we have been planning since 2011, but we are getting down to the point where we need your inputs. A class letter will be out shortly asking your intent and requesting a deposit so we have funds to use in planning.

We recently added a new member to our Board: Dick Newton's son Dick III, a recent AF LTG retiree and a graduate of the Air Force Academy. He will be representing our children and grandchildren.

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1950 Cosmopolitan Magazine article "I Married West Point"

Here is the original article by by Will Coates' widow Nancy that appeared in a 1950 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

"I Married West Point"

To those who never knew Willard Coates but who, with me and his parents, now share the shock of his untimely end in a command post in the bleak hills of Korea, I feel it important that I tell his story, our story... BY NANCY NOLAN COATES as told to JEAN LIBMAN BLOCK

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Distinguished Graduate Bill DeGraf

Bill and his Family

Congratulations to Bill DeGraf for receiving the well-deserved Distinguished Graduate Award. 

His citation reads:

"William B. DeGraf '50 - First to graduate in the Class of 1950, a class that produced 64 general officers (including 7 four-star generals), Colonel DeGraf (Retired) has been its acknowledged and unchallenged leader for decades. He has led class gift programs, organized class reunions, and served as class scribe for 33 of the past 39 years. His leadership might stem from the fact that he was already a first lieutenant before coming to West Point (battlefield commission during World War II). After graduating he fought in Korea, received a master's in nuclear physics, taught at USMA (Department of Electrical Engineering), and commanded the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam (earning a third Combat Infantryman Badge during that conflict, a rare feat). After retirement, DeGraf contributions to the Army went even further: As the Assistant Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation, he led the design, development, and activation of the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA, which is thought to be the crown jewel of the Army training system."

NASA Magazine Interview of Chuck Friedlander

Chuck Friedlander (Class of 1950) got to experience the American space program of the 1960s in a way that few could.  As Chief of the Astronaut Support Office at Kennedy Space Center during the Gemini and early Apollo programs, he worked behind-the-scenes with the astronauts that flew the vehicles and who eventually walked on the Moon.  His story, along with some personal, behind-the-scenes remembrances of the space program, were recently featured in the Volume 21 #1 issue of “Quest: The History of Spaceflight."