Class Notes - July 2016

I don’t know how this will work out. Will be trying out the new Windows 10 and probably Word 2016. Have not mastered either of them yet, but we will see how it does.

Thanks to the quick work of Paul Ache and June Elliott (Charlie’s widow) and the generosity of classmates and widows, there is now a bronze plaque commemorating our participation in the Korean War. The plaque is mounted on the Korean War Memorial in the San Francisco Presidio.

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Jim Tormey's History Book

Clyde Spence  (along with a packed audience) attended a presentation by Jim Tormey in Hampton’s History Museum on July 18, about his just-released book, “The Virginia Navy in the Revolution- Hampton’s Commodore James Barron and His Fleet”.

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Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Governors

The chairman convened the meeting at about 11:55 hours.

1. Bill opened the meeting with remarks on what the class has done and will continue to do. A copy is in enclosure 1.

2. The BOG was reorganized after Win Skelton moved back south. Roy Lounsbury was appointed as Vice-Chair and Sandy Sanderson was added as a Communications Specialist, working on the Class Web Page and other projects. And it was noted that those now with access to the Class Account include Bill, Roy, and Joan.

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Things We Have Done Over The Years

Here are a few of the things we have done over the years:

- Established a strong Board of Governors. We have about 12 members, most of whom have been on the board now for 30 to 35 years.

- Have had reunions at West Point every 5-year mark since graduation.

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Tasks for the Class of 1950

For the period 2015 to 2020

- Maintain an accurate roster of living classmates and widows, including address, phone, and email

- Maintain a listing of the names and dates of death of classmates, wives, and widows

- Publish an annual letter to the Class together with an up to date roster of those still alive

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Hawk Chapman's Founder's Day Talk at Leavenworth. Excellent Reading For All of Us

Oldest Graduate remarks, West Point Founders Day Dinner
Ft Leavenworth, KS. 1 April 2016.  
Col Hersch Chapman, Infantry (ret). Class of 1950.

Fellow Graduates, I bring greetings from the Class of 1950

70 Years ago, we walked up the hill from the train station to the Plain to take on Beast Barracks. We graduated 6 June 1950. 500 of us were commissioned in the Army and we went on a 60 day leave.

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Class Notes - January 2016

Here I sit with piles of snow all around. It is the aftermath of more than two days of snowing here in the DC area. We got about 15 inches, but my son Scot in WV had over 40. That should test the straw bale house he and his wife built.

Meanwhile it is time to get some of the Class news out, now that the 65th Reunion is in the history books. Here are a few items that you may have missed.

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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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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."