NO. 17502 • 15 February 1928 – 15 September 1950
Died September 15, 1950, of Wounds Received in Action, in Korea. Aged 22 Years.
I am happy to write this informal memorial to Lieutenant Warren C. Littlefield, U.S.A., who died September 15, 1950, of wounds received in action in Korea, at the age of 22 years, approximately three months after his graduation from West Point, and less than one month after entering combat duty in the Korean war.
I have known Warren Littlefield since the time of his birth in Des Moines, Iowa on February 15, 1928. I have been intimately acquainted with his father and mother and have observed Warren during the progress of his life. There have been no finer people than his parents. They possessed the sterling qualities of character, industry, and vision that have made this country a great nation. They were most loyal American Citizens and typified the best qualities of Americans. Warren's father, Ora W. LIttlefield, served as a sergeant in World War I and was engaged in active duty at the front during that service. When World War II came upon us, he again volunteered his services and died in the Service on March 6, 1944, while stationed at Santa Ana Army Air Base, serving as a Major at Headquarters Squadron Preflight School as Commanding Officer, 2nd Wing. He was survived by his son and only child, Warren, and his wife, Victoria Carr Littlefield. Warren and his mother remained in California although still retaining their Iowa residence.
Warren, from his earliest youth until his final acts of service for his country, was outstanding in all that he did. His schooling commenced in Hubbell School in Des Moines. In 1934 his parents moved to Carroll, Iowa, and he attended the public schools there until his family moved to Lake City in 1937. In June 1942 he completed his junior high school work at Lake City, receiving the highest of grades and many honors. He was a member of the debating club and represented his school in competition with other schools. He excelled scholastically. He was also interested in music and played the cornet in the school band, which won several state contests.
In June 1942 the Littlefield family moved to California, at the time Ora Littlefield again entered the Service as an officer in World War II. During Major Littlefield's military service, Warren attended the public schools in Santa Ana, California. He participated in many activities. He belonged to the Spanish club, sang in the glee club and the Presbyterian Church choir. He played the cornet in a small dance band. His father and mother were very proud of his work as a trumpeter, as his father had played the bugle in his World War I service.
His Parents took great pride in his achievements and he was very devoted to his parents. Upon graduation from high school he entered the University of California at Los Angeles, where he studied for a period of two years, when he received an appointment to West Point from United States Senator from Iowa, Honorable Bourke B. Hickenlooper. In the University he was an active member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and greatly enjoyed association with his fellow students. He was employed part-time in the Wilshire Art Gallery so as to aid in defraying expenses. During this period he gave much of his attention to his mother and there was a fine companionship between them which helped both in recovering from the loss of Major Littlefield.
He entered West Point in July 1946, where he continued until graduation in June 1950. He found his work at West Point difficult but interesting, and at the end of the first year he was in good scholastic standing. Each year his standing improved and he ranked high in his graduating class. When it came to choose the type of service in which he would serve in the Army, he found many branches were of interest to him, but he wrote to me that he had chosen service in the Armored Cavalry because he thought that was the place in which he could do the most good. This good became his supreme sacrifice, as it was in this service in Korea that he lost his life.
Lieutenant Littlefield visited me in my home in Iowa City in June following his graduation. He told me of his contemplated marriage to Betty Zoe Rhame of Sumter, South Carolina, and that the plans for a formal wedding were set for August 5th. Many events had been planned and he hoped to arrive there early to join the festivities. He became acquainted with Miss Rhame in June 1948, while the Cadets were on their Air Force tour. However, he received his orders for active duty in the Pacific and the wedding was advanced, and the marriage took place on July 13, 1950 in New Albany, Indiana. Lieutenant Littlefield and his wife then went to Santa Ana, California, so that he could be with both his wife and his mother before departing west. A close association and the warmest of friendship developed between Betty and Warren's mother, and Betty stayed in California so that they were together after Warren left.
It was with great sadness that the news of Warren's death was received and yet it was faced with the same courage that Warren Littlefield demonstrated in his action in Korea. It created a severe test of mental and moral stamina. Warren's mother faced the loss of her husband in World War II and her only son shortly after in the Korean battlefields. The life which looked so bright to Warren Littlefield and his bride came to a sudden ending.
It was the sacrifice of war which is suffered most by those who remain. In this memorial, in which we honor Lieutenant Warren C. Littlefield for his courage and devoted service to his country, we honor his good mother and his fine wife who survive him. It is the cost of war, yet necessary if freedom is to be preserved and our country is to survive. It is the sacrifice of Lieutenant Warren C. Littlefield and the suffering of his mother, Victoria Carr Littlefield, and of his wife, Betty Rhame Littlefield, and of the other noble citizens of the United States, who have also carried the burden of wars, that have enabled this country and the people within it to be free. They have paid the price for us to live as we live, and for us to have the many blessings of democracy.
I am sure that Warren C. Littlefield lived up to the full traditions and training he received at West Point and that his service brings honor to that institution. I am happy to place this statement in memory of Lieutenant Warren C. Littlefield, to remain with the records of the many graduates of that worthy institution which have meant so much in the protection of the life of America.
Dean, College of Law
State University of Iowa