Wilbur Moore Warren II

NO. 17731  •  29 October 1926 – 13 January 1988

Died 13 January 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 61 years
Interment:  Arlington Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia


WILBUR MOORE WARREN II was born in Savannah, Georgia on 29 October 1926. He was the only child of Madeline Low Warren and Wilbur Moore Warren.

Will spent his early years in Atlanta, Georgia and Wilmington, North Carolina, graduating from New Hanover High School in Wilmington in 1944. As a boy, he spent many afternoons listening to an elderly Wilmington neighbor, Mrs. Bellamy, de­scribe her Civil War experiences. This fascination with the Civil War, and warfare in general, manifested itself in later life as he became a Civil War scholar and a soldier in his own right. His classmates recall that, when Will arrived at West Point, he was an expert on Civil War incidents that most of them never knew occured.

Will also was shaped by his experiences in scouting, Not only did he achieve the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, but he went on as a man to become a scoutmaster and a lover of the outdoors, especially when it involved camping and hiking. Even after his retirement, his Sunday afternoons in Atlanta regularly included a trek up Stone Mountain. Another strong influence in his life was his aunt, with whom he spent much of his time. She assisted him in obtaining an appointment to the Military Academy and, after a short stint in the Air Corps and the USMA Preparatory School, Will en­tered USMA on a hot July day in 1946.

Will is remembered by his classmates with affection. They describe him as "One of those genuinely nice people that we meet so seldom in this world." They also recall that he seemed to enjoy the rigors of cadet life and maintained his good humor and positive attitude even when, "There was no earthly reason to be optimistic." He also is fondly remembered as the only cadet in Company D2 who enjoyed small talk at reveille formation. In June 1950, Will successfully completed his life as a cadet and graduated into the Infantry. For his first assignment, he picked the 7th Infantry. Almost immediately, for Will and many of his classmates, war emerged from the his­tory books to become a harsh reality. He served as an Infantry lieutenant in Korea. His Combat Infantry Badge was always a source of pride to him.

His subsequent assignments included The Infantry School and a tour as aide‑de­camp at Fort MacPherson in Atlanta. While serving there, he met and courted Dorothy Dale (DeDe) Johnson. They were married in Columbia, Mississippi in May of 1953. Soon after, the couple found themselves in Bamberg, Germany, where Will was as­signed to the 26th Infantry Regiment as a company commander. While there, son Wallace Hugh and daughter Amanda Low were born.

In the mid‑50s, the Warrens returned with the regiment to Fort Riley. A year at The Infantry School followed and, after graduation, the Warrens moved to Charles­ton, South Carolina where Will served as an ROTC instructor at the Citadel. While in Charleston, a second daughter, Patricia Johnson, was born.

After The Citadel, Will was assigned to XII Corps in Atlanta, followed by a tour with one of the early advisory groups in Vietnam (1960 ‑ 61). Then came a period of relative stability for the Warrens at Fort Leavenworth where Will was first a stu­dent and, later, an instructor at the C&GSC. In the late 60s, Will served a tour in Hawaii at CINPAC, where he was known to his boss, ADM McCain, as Mr. "Korea."

Will's active duty military service ended in 1970 when he retired and he and DeDe returned to Atlanta. For his service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

In Atlanta, Will approached civilian life with all of the resolve that he had exercised on active duty. Soon after he retired, he took a position as general manager of a large shopping mall, and he surely enjoyed his job as much as any he had ever held. When the mall was sold, Will worked for a while with the former owner and, in addi­tion to some private consulting, was asso­ciated with a local camera store.

In addition to his love of family and the military, Will had a fascination with pho­tography. In retirement he pursued his hobby. With his 1938 Leica, he photo­graphed the Atlanta skyline, the yellow daisies on Stone Mountain and the lions in the Atlanta Zoo. All of it was done with the precision and attention to detail that was so typical of his approach to life.

On 13 January 1988, Will died follow­ing a heart attack and stroke resulting from complications of the diabetes he had battled in later years. We remember Will as a good friend and classmate and as a loving father and husband. In addition to his family, he loved the ocean, zoos, cooking out, pho­tography, history and iced tea. We called him "Will," a name that suited him well. He was a quiet but powerful man who shunned trivialities; a cheerful Southern gentleman who believed that we must all forge our own happiness.

Herbert Patton Underwood

NO. 17666  •  8 February 1927 – 28 February 1987

Died 28 February 1987 in Sylacauga, Alabama, aged 60 years.
Inurnment: Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

HERBERT PATTON UNDERWOOD was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on 8 February 1927, the son of the late Clarence Woody Underwood and Mrs. Tapley Lee (Patton) Klein. He was valedictorian of the Class of 1945 at Columbia Military Academy, Columbia, Tennessee, and was appointed to the United States Military Academy in June 1946. He was the first appointee from Franklin County, Alabama to graduate from West Point.

The October following graduation he married the former Florence Bernadette Swinyard of New York, New York (divorced in 1981). By the fall of 1955 he was the loving father of four.

Twenty‑one years were spent in the service of his country. He saw military action in Korea and Vietnam, and was the recipient of the Bronze Star in 1951 and 1968 and the Army Commendation Medal in 1951. His military assignments included tactical officer with the Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia; both Infantry and Engineering School Basic Courses at Fort Benning and Fort Belvoir, Virginia; instructor at the Engineer School, Murnau, West Germany; company commander, 35th Engineer Battalion, Kitzingen, West Germany; Infantry Advanced Class, Fort Benning; the Infantry Board, Fort Benning; S4, Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Wurzburg, West Germany; executive officer and commanding officer, 15th Infantry Battalion, Kitzingen, West Germany; Research and Development, Infantry Weapons, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois; professor of Military Science, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; and his final assignment prior to retirement in 1971 with the Department of Research & Development at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.

He became an authority on the M‑16 rifle. Initially involved with the original testing of this weapon during his tour of duty with the Infantry Board in 1958, later assignments saw him involved with the writing of contracts awarded for its manufacture. He was twice sent on temporary duty to Vietnam to follow up on its performance in battle.

Following retirement, he pursued a hobby that intrigued him all his life, the building and flying of radio controlled model airplanes. Always a perfectionist, his handmade airplanes were works of art which he proudly displayed and competed with in meets all over the country.

In the later years of his life, his interests in combating illiteracy led him to the Reading Reform Foundation. He intended to work with the underprivileged and the penal systems. However, he chose to begin his efforts closer to home. It gave him such satisfaction to work as a volunteer phonics instructor for his granddaughter Nicole's Summer Day Camp Program, and also for the Oregon, Ohio, Summer School Remedial Reading Program. Once the school year began, he also assisted the first grade teachers (in Nicole's school) in their reading classes. Today Nicole is an above average reader, implementing the disciplines permanently instilled by her "Grandpa Woody.”

Diagnosed in December 1986 with terminal cancer, his battle was over just 3 short months later. He is inurned in the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery.

Surviving are his mother; two sons, Keith and Herbert, Jr.; two daughters, Diane and Karen; two grandsons, Kevin and Herbert III; and four granddaughters, Nicole, Michelle, Mallory and Amy.

From his eulogy delivered by his daughter Karen, "He will live in our hearts for infinity, as there will still be things our memories will keep; some things known to each other only."

Ernest C. Thomas

No. 17465  •  7 Feb 1927 – 27 Dec 1983

Died in Fort Walton Beach, FL
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Ernest Collins Thomas grew up in Leavenworth, KS, and entered West Point through the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. If anyone ever made the demands of the Academy look easy, Ernie was that person. Eternally optimistic, handsome, bright, and charismatic to boot, he could not help but impress his fellow cadets and the faculty and charm the ladies. His social skills were borne out by his selection as company hop representative for four years, culminating in his elevation to chairman of the Corps Hop Committee in his first class year. Ernie was a gifted athlete in all pursuits save swimming. In this endeavor, Ernie, a product of the Great Plains, demonstrated a marked talent for sinking to the bottom of the pool. This was so even during his senior year, after four years of remedial swimming instruction.

As a new plebe, Ernie promptly recognized all of the benefits of dining at ease on steak at a Corps Squad training table. He tried out for football, qualified as a quarterback, won his numerals, and enjoyed his meals. Ernie could sing, a talent he amply demonstrated in the mandatory tryouts for the Chapel Choir. His Vaughan Monroe like crooning gained him immediate acceptance to his second "Corps Squad team.' Ernie breezed through the academic program; indeed, he was unfazed even when Russian was thrust on him as his foreign language study "of choice."

Where Ernie really excelled, however, was in any and all matters pertaining to leadership. Every rating he received remarked that he was destined for a position of high prestige and responsibility in the cadet chain of command as a First Classman. This was so until his "cow' year, when, during an exchange trip at the Naval Academy, his freespirited sense of adventure took over and he joined his midshipmen roommates in going "over the wall" after Taps. He was caught and "slugged" for his offense. Consequently, he had to settle for the rank of cadet lieutenant and battalion adjutant. He took this setback in his typically good spirit. As a parting gesture, Ernie's classmates elected him class treasurer. Despite his cool demeanor, Ernie could be deadly serious when it was called for, especially when embracing and championing West Points ideals. Upon graduation, he entered the Air Force, eager to apply all that he had learned at his alma mater in a career that promised high adventure and the opportunity to serve his country.

Ernie's Air Force career followed two separate paths; the early path focused on flying, the other on research and development. After receiving his pilot wings at Enid AFB, OK, he reported for B 29 combat training at Randolph AFB, TX, and Lake Charles AFB, LA, followed by assignment to the 19th Bombardment Group on Okinawa during the Korean War. Flying assignments in California and Texas were next, prior to transition training in the B 47 Stratojet then the Air Force's primary jet bomber and eventual B 47 duty with Strategic Air Command at Mountain Home AFB, ID.
The shift to the second phase of his career was by triggered by attendance at the University of Washington, where he earned a master's degree in Aerospace Science in 1960. This degree led to a most welcome assignment as an instructor in the Ordnance Department at West Point during 1960 63. In 1964 Ernie' s life and career path then shifted further with his marriage to Judy, and multiple assignments that focused on research and development in the Washington, DC area. These assignments centered on duty with the Air Force Systems Command. Ernie and Judy's prolonged stay in Washington provided welcome stability, in a city of vitality and interest, and put them in contact with old friends. In 1968, this bliss was interrupted for a year when Ernie served in Viet Nam at Headquarters, Seventh Air Force, Saigon, where he was engaged in establishing requirements for and evaluating weapons systems. To add zest to this work, the assignment was preceded by a stint at the jungle survival school in the Philippines.

In 1972, the Thomas family departed the Washington area for Patrick AFB, FL, where Ernie became involved in the B 1/cruise missile business. Still later, at Eglin AFB, FL, he returned to an earlier pursuit: development of conventional munitions. During this stay, Ernie and Judy acquired a beautiful waterfront home at Fort Walton Beach, where they enjoyed the varied Gulf Coast activities, and Judy opened a successful real estate business. In 1979, upon his retirement as a colonel, Ernie accepted a position with a small firm engaged in consulting and representing several area companies.
Unfortunately, this idyllic retirement life was cut short for Judy and Ernie when he became ill and passed away in 1983. Ernie is missed, not only by his wife but also by his many friends and classmates. We will always remember him with fondness and regret that he left us so soon.

-- Classmates

Harry Raymond Steffensen

NO. 17852  •  

Died 19 September 1981 in Vienna, Virginia, aged 57 years. Interment: Fort Myer, Virginia.


OVER 30 YEARS have passed since my USMA roommate, Harry Steffensen, asked me to write his biographical sketch for the Howitzer. By rights, that job should have fallen to the third who shared that room tucked away in a cozy corner of South Area over Grant Hall. Howie Mitchell, after all, had been Harry's roommate throughout the entire four  years of our cadetship. I joined them at the beginning of yearling academic year. I got the job, then, based not on closer familiarity and friendship but more probably because of my only academic distinction: I could write passing English themes with the same ease that I regularly blew recitations in math, acknowledged by my roommates in the following traditional skit performed often for my benefit:

Mitch: "How many math sections are there, Steff?"

Steff: "I dunno, Mitch. Wait, I'll find out.... What section you in Pablo?

Such ragging was utterly devoid of malice: Harry hadn't a mean bone in his body. It was his subtle, mirthful way of telling his goatie roommate, "We'd hate to lose you ‑ get cracking on your homework." There's no law against being compassionate and funny at the same time, and the Moose (as he was affectionately known) was both.

Howie Mitchell cannot remember how Harry earned his nickname and neither can I, although I have two theories. The first is that when enraged at The Systern and some of the personalities within it, as he frequently was during those four years, you could hear him bellowing defiance like a wounded bull moose throughout the division of barracks. The other, and more likely, is that his sighs and groans were akin to those of a lovesick moose ‑ and the truth was that our Moose was hopelessly smitten from plebe year on and so remained forever.

At first glance, they seemed ill‑met by moonlight, this soft‑spoken, demure girl from the urban East and the exuberant young man raised on a midwestern farm. But Harry would have revered his alma mater if for no other reason than it bridged the distance between Lynn, Massachusetts and Forest City, Iowa and brought him Lois. They were married 2 July 1950 and lived happily ever after.

Harry's good fortune continued with the birth of three children: Janet (now Mrs. James Johnson), Carol (now Mrs. David Huff), and Jim, and culminated in the birth in 1981 of his first grandchild - a son Eric, born to Janet. Eric now has a sister Laura, born in June 1983; Carol and Dave produced another granddaughter, Julie, in July 1985. They are as eloquent a testament to the value of Harry's life as any man could wish, but there is more.

In his professional career, Harry established an enviable record of service to his fellow citizens, both in uniform and out. By the time he elected early retirement, he was an Air Force command pilot who had served his country nobly and well through two wars, Korea and Vietnam, in a series of important command and staff positions. Somehow during those 23 years, he managed to earn two more degrees ‑ a Bachelor's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma and a Master's Degree in Business Administration at the University of Connecticut. The latter was put to good use when he gave up the warrior's role for that of public servant in one of this country's most populous and affluent counties. At the time of his death, Harry was serving Fairfax County as its assistant director of finance.

Harry possessed all of the virtues customarily associated with a boyhood spent on the farm. He was direct, honest, hardworking, and as comfortable to be with as an old pair of shoes. One could, as we did because our career paths diverged, lose contact for years at a time, and pick up on the same warm familiar chord when paths crossed again as if hardly a day had passed. These traits, coupled with his staunch loyalty to his friends, made him one of the most popular members of the Class of 1950 in the Washington area where, incidentally, he was one of the "sparkplugs" behind the monthly class luncheons.

Except for a lack of both height and heft, Harry might well have become one of the class's most noted athletes. Among us runts, at any rate, he was admired for his fierce competitiveness and physical coordination. He had the momentum, but not the mass, to become a star forward on the West Point hockey team, settling instead for a manager's slot just to be near the game he particularly enjoyed ‑ and pitching his company to an “intramurder" softball championship along the way to help vent some of the frustration.

Not surprisingly, Harry remained an active sports buff for the rest of his life. It somehow seems appropriate, then, that the end came on a particularly lovely Indian Summer's day in Northern Virginia ‑ on a golf course. Among the friends and classmates who thronged his wake a few nights later, one was heard exclaiming softly, "What a beautiful way to go!"  Scant solace for the heavy loss we were suffering together, but understood and appreciated nonetheless.

In addition to Lois and the children, Harry is survived by his father, Mr. Harry N. Steffensen, and his sister, Mrs. Helen Wooge. From the privileged intimacy of our cadet days, I can attest to Harry's special respect and love for them both and, on behalf of the class, thank all of them for their unique influences that helped shape the qualities of character of the man and so the more endeared him to the rest of us. The pleasure of his company is sorely missed.

George Bernard Shaffer

NO. 17466  •  

Died 5 September 1985 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, aged 57 years.
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.


George Bernard Shaffer - soldier, professional, competitor, athlete, student, leader, friend, husband, father, gentleman, gentle man - in short, a man of "character."

There are few things in the totality of a person's life more significant or revealing than "character" - ­character in the sense of integrity, courage, morality, principle, sense of humor, diligence, perseverance, hunger to learn, and the ability to love and to be loved. George Shaffer epitomized all these traits and set a lofty example for others. We loved him, we liked him, we respected him, we remember him, and we miss him very much.

One of four brothers, George knew firsthand the mills and farms of western Pennsylvania. He entered the Naval Aviation V-5 program at Princeton University, then won a competitive appointment to the Academy. While at West Point, his interests and successes were broad and varied. West Point is where he developed loyal friends, honed professional skills, increased his love of learning, learned how to play golf, and perhaps most important - met Bev Carlson.

His military service as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers spanned over 20 years. During that time, he commanded engineer troop units from platoon to battalion, served three tours of duty in Korea (the Korean War, advisor to the ROK Army, and commander of the famous 44th Engineers, better known as the "Broken Heart Battalion"). He was most proud of civil service projects such as the construction of the bridge over the Han River in Korea and support for the Boy Scouts of America in Arkansas. He also served in Germany, the Louisville District, Chief of Engineers Office, and the Army school system through Command and General Staff College.

George retired from the Army with many decorations and citations, an outstanding professional reputation, and a lovely family on 6 August 1970, with the rank of colonel. After retirement, he added computer programming and electronic repair to his repertoire. Through a correspondence course, he built his own TV set - and it workedl

His love affair with beautiful, lively, intelligent, devoted Bev - a perfect Army wife -- lasted until 27 February 1980, when Bev died after a courageous and difficult fight with cancer. A devoted couple, they fought Bev's last battle together. Born to the marriage were Sue and Scott. Bev and George are also survived by Sue's husband, Steven Rosenfeld, Scott's wife Karen, and five grandchildren - Sue's Beverly, Jennifer, and Samantha, and Scott's Lindsay and Kelsey.

After retirement, George continued in the construction field which he learned so well during high school, the Academy, and, of course, in the Corps of Engineers. His master's degree in civil engineering from Texas A & M added to this impressive background. His construction accomplishments still stand today as a monument to this skilled professional engineer. These include the Beargrass Creek Pumping Plant in Louisville, Kentucky; a mammoth tank and artillery shop at Fort Knox, Kentucky; the Half-and-Half and Babicz Bridges near the Demilitarized Zone in Korea; family housing in Korea; and civilian housing he built in northern Virginia after his retirement from the Army.

Following the anguish of and difficult struggle with Bev's illness and death, George moved from Virginia to Fort Lauderdale to pick up the pieces and start a new life. Close Army friends (mostly classmates) in the area enjoyed his companionship during the all-too-short time in Fort Lauderdale. During these days of new challenge, rebuilding his life, and recovering from the devastating loss of his beloved Bev, George was fortunate to meet Ruby Wagner. Their dedication to one another never diminished Bev's memory in any way. The manner in which the entire family and close friends welcomed and loved Ruby while remembering Bev is a keen measure of George's character and Ruby's as well.

While in Fort Lauderdale, George was a member of the well-known Inverrary Country Club, home of the Jackie Gleason Golf Tournament. George made his mark there also as an active, admired member of the Inverrary Men's Golf Association and winner of more than his share of local tournaments. After his death, the Association named an annual tournament in his honor. The Jackie Gleason tournament is no longer played at Inverrary, but the George Bernard Shaffer Memorial Tournament is.

George also was stricken with cancer early in 1985, and the illness progressed all too rapidly in spite of his monumental courage and fight. Throughout this agonizing period, he managed to maintain his keen, quiet, droll sense of humor. I remember all too well asking him a few days before he died as he lay in a hospital bed in terrible pain, "How do you feel?" The grimace of pain on his face was momentarily replaced by his characteristic smirk and the twinkle of mischief in his eyes as he replied, "I'd have to feel lots better to feel lousy!" George's valiant struggle ended on 5 September 1985, with Sue, Scott, Ruby, other family, and several devoted classmates on hand.

An ancient philosophy book poses the question, "Who is rich?" and then offers answers such as:

He who has a good name. 
He who helps his fellow man.
He who has a good woman.
He who is content with his lot.

Our dear friend, George Bernard Shaffer, was indeed the richest of men.

- E. C. West, his friend

John David Scandling

NO. 17887  •  3 December 1925 – 8 January 1982

Died 8 January 1982 in Alexandria, Virginia, aged 56 years.
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

AS CADETS we remember Jack's ever-present big smile and laughing eyes that seemed to mark his view of life. While outwardly he appeared to be quiet and unassuming, he was often part of some practical joke in his company to bedevil the upperclassman as a plebe and some plebe as he became an upperclassman. As a member of the Catholic Squad participating as a Missal Reader and Acolyte he and his fellow mass servers were frequently admonished by Father Moore or Father McCormick for mumbling rather than clearly enunciating the Latin responses. He was also active in the French and Handball Clubs.

Jack was born on 3 December 1925 in Rochester, New York and attended Brighton High School, Fairport High School and Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, New York graduating in 1943. He had aspired to enter West Point at an earlier age and enrolled in the Braden School in Cornwall‑on‑Hudson, for three months before entering the service in September 1943. To further his preparation for West point he was assigned to the ASTRP unit at Princeton University in October 1943; and then to the USMAP unit at Lafayette College in October 1944; and then to the USMAP unit at Amherst College from December 1945 to March 1946 finally to enter the Academy on 1 July 1946.

Upon graduation he was commissioned in the Infantry and assigned to the 356th Infantry Regiment and then to the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Dix, New Jersey. It was during that assignment, on 16 June 1951 that he married Joan McHugh, a Student at Fordham University, where he had dated during his second and first class years. They then went on to Fort Benning where Jack attended the Basic Infantry Officers Course and from there he was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division in Korea where he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, as a combat Infantry platoon leader. Upon his return to the U. S. He was assigned to the 164th Infantry at Camp Rucker; then to Fort Benning; ROTC duty at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; C&GSC at Fort Leavenworth; then with the 35th Infantry in Hawaii and the 27th Infantry in Thailand; then to Syracuse University where he earned a master’s degree in personnel management, followed by a tour of duty in the Pentagon with the Office of the Comptroller of the Army. In 1967 he was assigned as a Senior Province Advisor in VietNam where he won a second Combat Infantry Badge and an Air Medal and returned to the States for duty with the Strategy and Tactical Analysis Group in Bethesda, Maryland, until his retirement in 1970.

During his career Jack and Joan assembled a beautiful family of six children – John, Joanne, Mark, Laura, Timothy, and Daniel ‑ all of whose lives reflect the personal discipline and family values learned from the examples set by Jack and Joan. Their fondest memories are of the family dinner  when all joined in lively conversations expressing freely their different views on any and all subjects of the day. John, Jr., now a medical doctor in California, recalls his father’s “interest in our  extracurricular activities, scouting in particular, and our family vacations to his hometown, Canandaigua, New York. Canandaigua always was a special spot for my father, and it has become a special spot for all us kids.”

Upon retirement Jack worked as an administrative officer for the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department. Tragically, during that time Jack began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease and a debilitating kidney disease, both of which led to long ­term suffering and, ultimately, to his death.

During those years of suffering, Jack accepted his burden stoically and prayerfully and remained, as he did throughout his life, a true and loyal son of West Point and an outstanding example of our motto, "Duty, Honor, Country."

- Family and Classmate

Nelson Fred Ritter

NO. 17959  •  11 Novernber 1926 – 16 December, 1987

Died 16 December, 1987 in Arlington, Virginia, aged 61 years
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

AS WE WOUND through Arlington National Cemetery following the caisson carrying Nels "Tex" Ritter, we thought, "Wish we could have spent more time with him." Husband, father, classmate, and friend, he made everyone feel that way.

Nelson Fred Ritter was born 11 Novernber 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Minna and Fred Ritter. As a young child, he was certain that the flags and parades that attended Armistice Day were in his honor. And, when he established a home of his own, the flag flew in front on every national holiday.

Influenced by his father in the Army Reserves, Nels dreamed of serving in the Army as long as he could  remember. Until he graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1944, he was a member of the Victory Corps, becoming Commandant in his senior year. In 1945 he enlisted in the Army, serving a year as an enlisted man at Fort McClelIan, Alabama. Failing in his first bid for an appointment to West Point, he persisted to win a principal appointment from the late Senator Tydings of Maryland. He was assigned to the USMA Preparatory

School at Amherst, Massachusetts, where he became "Tex" to many of us (after the cowboy star of the time - Tex Ritter).

Of Nels, as a cadet, one classmate, said, Tex was always the solid citizen, cool under fire, very practical, and one whom we could always count on both at the Academy and during our military careers." From that proud day we shared on 6 June 1950, he took with him the first of his life's goals,a commission in the United States Army, and the affection and respect of us who graduated with him.

Shortly, he achieved the second major goal, a beloved partner. He had met Marjorie Jean Corke in 1944. After a six-year courtship, during which Marge completed nurses training, they were married in Baltimore on 10 June 1950.

The newlyweds reported to Fort Knox for their first station, the first of 14 moves, After Iess than a year as a training officer, however, Nels was sent to the Basic Officers Course at Fort Benning en route to Korea.

In Korea, Nels  commanded an agent line-crossing unit in the 8240 Army Unit, where he handled Korean scouts and patrols, briefing and debriefing them and coordinating their movements through United Nations units. A classmate describes how he performed his duties: "I went with Tex once as he took a patrol out to the release point  far beyond our forward units. As they disappeared into the gloom, I said, 'Okay, let's get out of here while we still can. Tex just knelt there waiting for nearly 30 minutes to make sure that the job was done right, then slowly led us back to our lines. That was typical of  him."  Similar­ly, Nels extended to support a special operation, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

After 16 months in Korea he reported to Fort Benning with Marge and his two young daughters: Carol Jean, who was born in June 1951,and Elise Dawn, born in August 1952, while Nels was in Korea. At Fort Benning, after attending the Associate Infantry Officer Course , in 1953 he was selected to be aide-de-camp to General Aubrey Newman, commanding general of the Infantry School, and subsequently, to General Ernest A. Barlow, his successor.

ln 1956 Nels reported to Loyola ColIege, Baltimore, Maryland, as assistant professor ­of military science. Also, in 1956, Nels started his long fight as an insulin-dependent diabetic. The Army's immediate reaction was to retire him medically. Nels, however, waged a determined battle of letters, interviews, and medical reviews to convince the medical board that there were many jobs he could fill. He won.

In 1959, he directed his career toward fiscal management, starting with the master of business administration program at the United States Army Comptroller School at Syracuse University. When he graduated in 1960, he and his family moved to Fort Monroe, Virginia, where Nels was named post comptroller.

Here, as in all new homes, Nels nourished his family with excitement, tolerance, curiosity, and devotion. Expeditions to local sights and scenes erased the strangeness and strengthened family bonds. Doting on his daughters, he included all their friends and enjoyed extended discussions with them around the dinner table. Later, be openly basked in the special position as grandparent to Evan Ritter Thorn, Christopher Ritter Gibson, and Julia Marjorie Thorn.

In 1963, Nels was selected for CGSC at Fort Leavenworth. His common sense and    practical approach made him a valuable member of study groups, and his warm loyalty cemented strong bonds with his associates.

At the end of the year, the Ritters flew to Europe, where Nels became budget officer, Headquarters Seventh Army, and, after two years as action officer in the comptroller's office, USAREUR. After three years in Germany, he returned to Fort Leavenworth, where he became administrative officer and instructor at the CGSC. In 1969, despite his diabetes, he volunteered for Vietnam and served with distinction as deputy comptroller, USMACV at the height of United States operations.

Returning to CONUS, he spent the year 1974-71 as deputy comptroller, Headquarters Fifth Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. Then he and his family returned to the East and Fort Belvoir,  Virginia where he became comptroller, then chief of staff of the United States Army Computer Systems Command.

By this time, the diabetes which he had held off by will and courage began to sap Nels' stamina, but not his drive. In 1974 he retired from the Army he loved. The Ritters bought their first home in 1974 in Arlington. For the next 12 years, Nels worked for Northrop, Computer Sciences, and National Systems Management Corporations. In addition to a heavy full-time workload, he served for more than 11 years as a director of the Fort Belvoir Credit Union.

Finally, in 1986 his failing health forced him to retire completely. The Ritters had settled in 1981 into their final home in Arlington, Virginia, where Nels died 16 December 1987, ending his struggle with the many complications of diabetes. Throughout his career and during his struggle with diabetes, Nels drew support, encouragement, and strength from his beloved one and only, Marge.

After a funeral service in Fort Myer Chapel on 22 December 1987, he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery overlooking his beloved Washington and the revolving tower in Crystal City, where Nels and Marge had made their final decision in 1971 to retire nearby.

His West Point ring remained on his finger every day of his life. Classmates knew that they could count on him to stand firm with high standards and strong convictions and lend assistance whenever he saw need. He will always remain in the hearts of his family as a devoted and loving husband and father.

We regret he could not stay a while longer, but we understand and are grateful for the richness he added  to our lives.

-His Family and Classmates

Douglas West Poage, Jr.

NO. 17602  •  18 July 1927 – 7 September 1955

Died 8 May 1985 in El Paso, Texas, aged 59 years
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

DOUG POAGE WAS born in Alcoa, Tennessee on 10 February 1926. His parents were Douglas W. Poage, Sr., and Agnes Rosensteel Poage. Doug's father, who was personnel manager for the Aluminum Company of America in Alcoa, had the active avocation of helping General Bob Neyland run the University of Tennessee football team. With his two sisters, Doug grew up in the shadows of the Great Smokies with a warm, closeknit family coupled with a lot of athletic and outdoor interests. This combination of traditional southern upbringing and environment left an everlasting mark. Doug was a gentle individual with a great sense of purpose, integrity and honor from the outset.

Doug completed grammar and high schools in Maryville and then attended Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee, before entering the Navy where he served as a chaplain's assistant. After discharge, he completed a freshman year at the University of Tennessee before entering the Military Academy in July of 1946. West Point was the place where he said he "just always wanted to be."

Doug was a friendly and easygoing cadet. Academic subjects posed no problem for him, but he never let them dominate his life. He found a major escape from Academy routine by acting as manager of the basketball team. Upon graduation, Doug chose to be commissioned in the Infantry.

He selected his first assignment without hesitation ‑ Infantry duty in the Free Territory of Trieste. At the time this was one of the hot spots in the world, for the Korean war had not yet broken out. He began as platoon leader with the 351st Infantry. He asked to be transferred to Korea, but his request was denied. Fortunately, the experience he gained with this elite regiment under the guidance of commanders such as Paul Caraway and Earle Wheeler gave him a solid foundation for his future success.

The next event that had a major impact on Doug was his marriage to Mary D. Allen, the daughter of General Frank A. Allen, Jr. Mary and Doug met in Trieste and married there in November 1951. This provided an instant West Point family connection as one new brother‑in‑law was an Academy graduate (1945) and another soon would be (1952). Mary and Doug had three children: Douglas III, born in Trieste in 1952; Ellen, born in Washington, DC in 1953; and Peter, born in Rome, Italy, in 1955. The children now live in Alaska, Burma, and Virginia, respectively. During the remaining years of their marriage Doug and Mary shared their love for life, intellectual curiosity, and instant readiness to start a new adventure wherever in the world it was to be offered.

Upon his return from Trieste, Doug attended the Infantry School at Fort Benning and then completed the Airborne and Ranger schools. A classmate related an episode during the Ranger course that typified Doug's spirit and determination. One of the critical tests for completion of the course was to swim a river, fully clothed, with him and his buddy pushing a raft in front of them. His buddy, a poor swimmer, was having great difficulty. So Doug told him just to hang on and managed to successfully pull both his buddy and the raft across the remaining portion of the river. Doug, who risked his own graduation to help a friend, was like that. Easygoing and low key most of the time, he was always able to do what was needed in a pinch.

Fort Campbell and the 11th Airborne Division came next. Then fortune shined with a tour from 1954 to 1956 in his beloved Italy. He served as aide‑de-camp to the chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Rome. During that tour, Doug gave another glimpse of his strength and will. Not previously a skier at all, he successfully completed an arduous month‑long ski course designed to qualify Italian officers to join elite Alpini units.

After a year as a student in the Infantry Officer's Advanced Course back at Fort Benning, and another year on the staff and faculty at the Infantry School (for which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal), Doug was chosen to attend graduate school at Georgia Tech. There he earned a master's degree in electrical engineering and electronics in 1961. From there, Doug went to the Air Defense School at Fort Bliss for three years where he headed the Missile Science Course for which he was awarded a second Commendation Medal. This tour established a continuing relationship with El Paso, for it was there that the Poages later retired.

 In 1963, Doug went to the Republic of Vietnam where he served for a year as province advisor in Tuy Hoa. There he earned the Combat Infantryman Badge. On return to the States, Doug completed the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and was then assigned as commander of a basic training battalion at Fort Polk, Louisiana. For those who know Fort Polk, and to quote Doug, that was "a place where you had to make your own fun."

Doug volunteered to return to Vietnam in 1967 where, after six months in Saigon, he got a prized battalion command with the 199th Infantry Brigade. In this position, he earned the Bronze Star Medal and six Air Medals. To Doug, this combat assignment culminated a lot of years of training and hard work.

On Doug's return to the United States, the Poages began what was to be nearly five years in the Washington, DC area. Doug was first assigned to the Combat Developments Command where he was promoted to colonel in 1970 and earned the Legion of Merit, and then to the office of the Chief of Research and Development. After Washington, there was a four ­year tour in the Canal Zone where Doug was first the commander of the Atlantic Area Command and later the inspector general of the US Army Southern Command.

Starting in 1976, Doug's final military assignment was as senior advisor to the 76th Infantry Division, US Army Reserve, with headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. Upon retirement in 1978, Doug was awarded a second Legion of Merit and returned with Mary to El Paso.

There were some peaceful and happy years there. Unfortunately, medical factors thwarted his intent to take up a teaching career. Later, after a long final illness which failed to stem his courage and optimism, Doug died on 8 May 1985. Mary later moved to Virginia.

Doug gave a lot of himself to the Army and to those who knew him well. As he reflected on his life near the end, he certainly had every reason to be content with the full, varied and rewarding life he had lived. After all, he achieved what he set out to do when he was a boy back in Tennessee. He is greatly missed by his family and by his classmates and friends.

-WFB, LER, Class of 1950

Owen S. Nibley

NO. 17716  •  30 January 1928 – 10 May 1982

Died in Bethesda, MD
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Owen Smoot Nibley was born and raised in Washington, D.C. His mother was the daughter of the first senator from Utah, Reed Smoot, and her father was also a native of Utah. Owen was named after a relative, but his mother nicknamed him “Pete”, which was how he would forever be known.

As a youth, Pete spent summers in rural Virginia raising hunting dogs. He also earned many badges and honors as an Eagle Scout. It was in the fifth grade that he met his future wife, Frances Elizabeth “Betty” Browder.  In 1941, however,  Betty moved with her family to Honolulu, where her father, a Naval Officer, had been transferred. Pete and Betty would not see each other again until Christmas, 1949. Pete meanwhile continued his education, graduating in 1946 from Columbia Preparatory School in Washington. He obtained an appointment to West Point from Senator Thomas of Utah and entered the Academy in 1946 as a member of the Class of 1950.

During his cadet days, Pete was well-liked for his keen wit and his easygoing manner. His extracurricular activities included fencing, membership in the Skeet and Fishing Clubs, and serving on the Howitzer  and  Pointer staffs.

Upon graduation, Pete was commissioned in the Air Force. Before reporting for primary flight training at Perrin Air Force Base, TX, he married Betty on 2 August 1950. In 1951, the Nibleys were off to Craig AFB in Selma, AL, for advanced flight training. There, their first son, Andrew Matthews, was born.  Pete completed that training and was awarded the silver wings of an Air Force pilot. After gunnery school in 1952, he departed for Korea to join the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing.  He flew 70 combat sorties in the P-51 Mustang and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with an oak leaf cluster. During one sortie, he experienced a near catastrophic mishap. His aircraft caught fire on take off, but Pete managed to belly land on a sandbar in a dry riverbed without suffering injury. During another sortie, his canopy was shot off. With help from his wingman, Pete brought the aircraft back to base safely.  He was awarded the Purple Heart for the wound he received on that mission.

In 1952, Pete returned to the States to fly support missions for ground control teams and taught in the All-Weather Interceptor Program at Tyndall AFB, FL.  At Tyndall, two more sons were born. Stuart Browder in 1953 and Peter Smoot in 1956. The Nibley family moved to Arlington, VA in 1958, for Pete to earn a Master’s Degree in International relations at George Washington University. In 1958, the Family moved to Colorado Springs, CO, where Pete joined the Political Science Department of the newly-established Air Force Academy.  Pete also flew training missions for cadets undergoing navigation training, and was proud to be a member of the faculty when the first class graduated in 1959.

In 1962, Pete pursued a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois. Two years later, after receiving that degree, the family moved to the DC area, where Pete served on the Air Staff in the Office of the Director of Plans at the Pentagon. He also earned his command pilot wings.

As the conflict in Viet Nam heated up, Pete decided to volunteer for combat duty there. In 1967, Pete trained to fly C123’s at Hurlburt Field near Eglin AFB and left for Viet Nam in August 1967 to join the 311th Air Commando Squadron. Unfortunately, that tour was curtailed because of his medical problems. In January 1968, he underwent treatment at the hospital at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Pete retired from active duty in May 1968 as a lieutenant colonel with 100 percent disability.

Pete received a second oak leaf cluster to the Air Medal for his service in Viet Nam. His other military awards included the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Viet Nam Service Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Pete then began the most trying phase of his life – a battle with depression and blindness as a result of his participation in the Viet Nam war. Recuperation and training followed at the Veterans Administration Blind Rehabilitation Center in Hines, IL. He attended other VA programs and completed graduate seminars in public administration at American University in Washington, D.C.

During rehabilitation, he also worked as a volunteer labor management specialist for the DC Department of Human Services. For his service, the Mayor of Washington presented him with the Distinguished Service Award in October 1974. Because of his outstanding record, Pete was hired as a labor-management relations specialist in the DC Department of Human Resources and, in 1980, the U.S. Customs Service hired Pete to serve in the same capacity. He served there until his death.

Pete’s death ended a courageous 14-year battle with blindness and occasional depression. He always will be remembered as a devoted father, husband, brother, and son. Academy classmates and those who served with Pete will forever remember him. He loved his family and his country, and was proud of his service in the USAF and Civil Service.

- His loving wife, Elizabeth B. Nibley, and classmates

William R. McDowell

NO. 17497  •  26 July 1927 - 9 April 1987

Interred in Bay Pines National Cemetery, Bay Pines, FL


WILLIAM ROBERT MCDOWELL was born in Ft. Worth, TX.  His mother, a teacher, raised Bill and his sister Nadine in Ada, OK, where Bill was an excellent student, particularly in math. In high school, he lettered in basketball and tennis. He also demonstrated a faculty that his classmates well remember as a very effective style of speaking. While only a sophomore at Ada High School, Bill got a job as an announcer at radio station KADA, broadcasting not only sports, but general news as well. He also was very active in the school debate program.

After graduating from high school, Bill enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he served for eleven months before joining the West Point Class of '50. As a cadet, Bill played squash and tennis. He again capitalized on his rich Oklahoma voice by broadcasting athletic events, coaching other cadets in public speaking, and leading the debate teams for four years. In debate, he was the "closer," the man who summed up and drove the arguments home. He had hundreds of friends and was known for being able to talk himself into ‑ or out of ‑ anything. He also had a wry sense of humor. Reacting to a roommate's admiration for the poet Robert Frost, he turned in a review of Frost's Mending Wall entitled "Frost Heaves." He was a cadet lieutenant, second in command of his company.

Upon graduation, Bill was assigned to the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, patroling the border with East Germany. A carefree bachelor, Bill led an active social life until he renewed his interest in tennis in 1951 and, on the court, met Esther Juhaz, a Hungarian emigre whom he married in Milan in 1952. He and Esther had two daughters.

The next significant step for Bill was flight school in 1956, followed by a tour with the XVIII Airborne Corps Aviation Detachment at Ft. Bragg during the heady days when the Army was beginning to experiment with air assault and air‑mobile concepts. He went to Korea in 1959, as executive officer of the Eighth Army Aviation Detachment.

Back in Europe in 1963, after finishing CGSC, Bill became aide‑de‑camp to GEN Creighton Abrams, then commanding V Corps, and moved to Washington, DC, in 1964 as Assistant Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. His next assignment, in 1966, was as commanding officer of the 4th Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. Bill joined the unit at Ft. Lewis and, shortly thereafter, the Division moved to Viet Nam. In combat in Viet Nam, he was awarded the Bronze Star, three Air Medals, and the Commendation Medal.

Bill was next assigned to the Pentagon. He and Esther had divorced by this time, and in 1968 Bill met Carol "Callie" Allen at the Bolling AFB Officers' Club. Although a Navy Department employee, Callie came from an Army family and, as she puts it, "I took one look and knew I had met the man I would always love." For the next year, Bill and Callie carried on a long‑distance romance during his assignment as a student at the Naval War College.

Upon graduation, Bill was again assigned to Viet Nam, this time as commanding officer of the 17th Aviation Group at Nha Trang. Again, he excelled in his command. Viet Nam was a war in which senior commanders often were personally involved, and Bill was no exception. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing two wounded U.S. advisors under enemy fire. He also was honored with two Legions of Merit and six Air Medals. Perhaps most importantly, while on R&R in Hawaii in March 1970, Bill McDowell married Callie Allen.

Next came three glorious years in Hawaii, with Bill in PACOM Headquarters. With five teenagers (Bill's two and Callie's three) in the house for visits and vacations, the McDowell household was a booming place! The Pentagon was next for Bill, and he continued his specialty of joint plans with three years in JCS J‑5 and one in OSD International Security Affairs. Bill's last Active Duty assignment was at USREDCOM at Tampa, where he was Chief of the Plans Division. He retired as a colonel in 1980.

In 1980, Bill and Callie took a long‑anticipated three-month trip to Europe, made all the more pleasant by Esther's family showing them many things they would never have seen on their own. But the U.S. was the only place for the McDowells, and they settled in Tampa. Bill played a lot of golf and worked on his classic cars, especially a 1952 right‑hand drive MG. He also became involved with an effort to build a military retirement community in the area. Unfortunately, just as this project was almost ready for action in 1985, Bill developed a lingering sore throat that all too soon was diagnosed as cancer. Bill was always convinced that he would lick his illness, but he died in April 1987 at McDill AFB.

Bill's classmates remember him with admiration and affection, as evident in the following excerpts. "The very model of a gentleman and someone you admire;" "a controlled, assured, confident man, ambitious but not overly so, smart;" "always the most gracious of hosts, the welcome mat was always out;" "knew that if I needed help, he would be there;" "quiet, reserved and of even disposition and considerable intellect."

But Callie McDowell sums Bill up best, saying, "Besides being a kind and loving husband, Bill was a wonderful father to his two girls and my three children. A day never passes that we don’t think of him and miss him. As the years pass, I thought it would get easier, but it never seems to."

We agree.

- Roommate Philo Hutcheson, family and classmates

Robert H. McCandlish

NO. 17552  •  4 May 1928 – 8 November 1982

Died 8 November 1982 in Centerbrook, CT
Interred in Resurrection Cemetery, Westbrook, CT

ROBERT HAYS McCANDLISH, born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, arrived at West Point on 1 July 1946. His earlier preparation at Bullis Preparatory School served him well at the Academy, both in an academic as well as a social sense. While always a serious student, Bob's pragmatic approach to life in general, flavored with a keen sense of humor, allowed him to complete his cadet years with relative ease. On the academic side, Bob graduated in the upper third of his class. On the social side, Bob always enjoyed the moment to its fullest. The purchase of a brand new chartreuse Ford convertible during his First Class year must have rated as one of the highlights of his life as a cadet. Certainly, the number one highlight was the courtship of his future wife! As Bob himself remarked in our reunion book, "I had the foresight and fantastic good fortune to marry my best drag, Jean Lewis, soon after graduation."

Upon graduation, the McCandlishes headed for a three-year tour with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Europe. In 1955, Bob traded his "armored plating" for the silver wings of Army Aviation. The next nine years involved many assignments and moves, including Ft. Lewis, Ft. Knox, Ft. Rucker, and the Monterey Language School to learn French, followed by a hardship tour in Cambodia, then the Aviation Detachment at West Point, followed by a second tour in Germany. By 1964, Jean and Bob were the proud parents of five children - two girls and three boys – the focal points of their lives!

It was at this point that Jean and Bob, after much thought, made the decision for Bob to resign his commission and accept a vice presidency with Home Equity, Inc., in Connecticut. They missed the close fellowship of good friends and neighbors that their Army life offered; however, this was counterbalanced by the opportunity to establish their children in one common school system as well as the warm feeling that comes with being able to "put down roots" in their own home after years of moving. In 1977, Jean and Bob again changed course by assuming a partnership in a small company that manufactured wire in Centerbrook, CT.  The factory had once been powered by water. As Jean put it, "Bob was thrilled to do away with his three-piece suit and take a step back into the previous century."

During the civilian years, the McCandlishes enjoyed experiencing the growth and maturing of their five children, with all the milestones along the way, to include laughter, tears, graduations, marriage, and finally great sorrow. On 8 Nov 1982, a heart attack proved fatal to Bob at the young age of 52. Like a good Army wife, Jean coped with the terrible loss and today boasts of "five wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren.” No doubt, Bob would share that pride and derive great satisfaction from the legacy that he has left behind.

"And when our work is done, Our course on earth is run, May it be said, "Well done; Be thou at peace."   "Alma Mater." - P.S. Reinecke’11

Well done Bob, be thou at peace!

-Bud Pritchette, classmate

Burke Whitehurst Lee, Jr.

NO. 17363  •  11 September 1927 – 25 December 1982

Died 25 December 1982 in Charlotte, North Carolina, aged 55 years.
Interment: Fairlawn East, Matthews, North Carolina.

BURKE WHITEHURST LEE, JR. was born on 11 September 1927, in Montgomery, Alabama, the son of Burke Whitehurst and Ethel Mallox Lee. When Burke was two months old, his family moved to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, where he attended grammar and high schools. After graduation, he attended Marion Institute while seeking an appointment to West Point. He entered the Academy in July 1946, appointed by Senator Claude Pepper.

Throughout his cadet days, Burke was a member of Company E‑2. He established his academic credentials early by earning the stars of a distinguished cadet while a plebe and then repeated this achievement each year he was a cadet. In addition to holding academic and military rank, he was a member of the Cadet Chapel Choir.

While a cadet, Burke courted Elizabeth Dunn of Jacksonville, whom he had met at church just prior to leaving for the Academy. They were married on 1 July 1950, three weeks after graduation.

Their idyllic honeymoon was marred by news of the invasion of South Korea by Communist forces. At the conclusion of graduation leave, Lish drove with Burke to Camp Stoneman, California, where he embarked for duty in the Far East.

Burke's first troop assignment was with the 72nd Combat Engineer Company, assigned to the 5th Regimental Combat Team. He was involved in a variety of combat engineer assignments in support of the infantry regiment as it engaged in offensive and defensive operations in all types of terrain on the Korean Peninsula. Upon returning from Korea, he served as a tactical officer in the Engineer Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Burke's abilities were recognized in a number of troop assignments, including command of an engineer company in Germany and duty with the Tactical Department at USMA from 1959 to 1962. He brought the same keen intellect to his military assignments that had made him a top student. His seriousness was tempered by a sense of humor and compassion that made him sensitive to the needs of his fellow soldiers.

Burke served in Vietnam as the Senior Military Advisor to the Vietnamese III Corps. Vietnamese combat and construction engineer units benefitted from his experience as they worked on bridge, road, and airfield construction assignments throughout the Corps area. Upon returning from Vietnam, his knowledge of field conditions was utilized in force development duty on the Army Staff. Assignments of increasing responsibility, which included Assistant Commandant of Cadets at USMA and Chief of Staff of the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany, followed.

Upon retirement from active duty in 1975, Burke was employed by the Charles T. Main engineering firm in Boston. Once again, his professional ability and character resulted in assignments of increasing responsibility. He became a Vice President of the firm in 1978 and, in 1980, was appointed Manager of the Southern District in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Burke's sudden death came as a shock to his friends in the military and civilian community as well as his family because he had enjoyed good health prior to a fatal heart attack on Christmas Day 1982.

In addition to work as an engineer, he had continued his lifelong practice of lay activities in his church. In every aspect of his life ‑ professional, religious, or familial, his ideals and contributions were substantial and devoted to others.

Burke and Lish were blessed with a loving family of four children. Patti (Mrs. Russell Richardson), Burke III, Peggy (Mrs. Stephen Maye), and Nancy (Mrs. Robb Chapin) were as devoted to their father as he was to them. Their five grandchildren are Katie Lee, Kelli, and Megan Richardson and Elizabeth and Carolyn Maye. An enduring memory is his commitment to their happiness.

His friends, too, were warmed by the affection which came from the heart of this true gentleman. In him we have an inspiring example of a soldier dedicated to the ideals of our Alma Mater. His country was blessed by his service. We were blessed by his friendship.

-A Classmate

George D. Klie

NO. 17680  •  12 Jul 1926 – 25 Jul 1988

Died in Salisbury, MD.
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

George Denys Klie was born in Hoboken, NJ, to George and Helen Klie. During his Army career, he became a veteran of WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam.

After graduating from high school in 1943, George spent a year at Stevens Institute of Technology and then entered the service in 1944. George was commissioned in August 1945 after completing Officer Candidate School at Camp Roberts, CA. He served in the Philippine Islands early in 1946 but returned to the States to enter West Point with the Class of 1950, resigning his OCS commission to become a cadet.

While at West Point, George's diligence and prior military experience set an example of maturity for the rest of us. There was never any doubt that his branch of choice would be the Infantry. From the earliest days of Plebe year, it was clear to us in B I that George was pure soldier. Strictly by the book and no nonsense, George loved the Army and West Point. His roommates recalled, "George was always up EARLY to dress leisurely before easily going to roll call." They added, "We struggled while George went directly to being a good cadet. He was very serious and almost perfect with brass, shoes, room, etc!” In addition to being an outstanding cadet, George was a member of the Honor and Duty Committees, worked as a section editor of the Howitzer, and was active in the Catholic Church.

Following graduation, George was assigned to Korea as a platoon leader in the 15th Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. While there, George was wounded in action during fighting around Hungnam and returned to the United States to recover. He then progressed through a typical Army career of staff and command.

Highlights of his career included serving as a highly respected assistant professor of military science and tactics at Valley Forge Military Academy, earning a master of science in management engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and serving on the Army staff in the Pentagon. From 1969 70, he completed a combat tour in Viet Nam as a plans officers for Headquarters, Military Assistance Command, Viet Nam.

In 1970 George received a disability retirement as a lieutenant colonel, with decorations and awards that included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

After retiring, George lived in Ocean City, MD, where he was active in volunteer community service. He was married to Joan Barrett of Philadelphia and was the father of three daughters: Barbara, Susan, and Elizabeth.
George typified the true professional, and he is appropriately interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

Neal Bert Kindig

NO. 17364  •  26 July 1928 – 7 October 1988

Died 7 October 1988 in Bath, Maine, aged 60 years.
Ashes were scattered in the Rocky Mountains.

  COLONEL KINDIG WAS HONORED with the Meritorious Service Award in recognition of honorable service in 1980, the same year he was transferred to the Retired Reserves. His contributions to the Army Reserves from 1955‑80 were in electronic technology, technical German translations and pulmonary physiology.

Neal Kindig was born 26 July 1928 in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, to Bruce and Hyacinth Kindig. He had a distinguished high school career, winning the Westinghouse Science Talent Search (1946) and the Bausch & Lomb National Science Award (1946).

After graduating as valedictorian from Medicine Lodge High School in 1946, he accepted an appointment to the West Point Military Academy. He had an academically and athletically distinguished career at the Point, earning the award as No. 1 in the subject of Ordnance in the graduating Class of 1950 and commissioned second lieutenant, Signal Corps.

Lieutenant Kindig was assigned to the European Command in 1950 and served in Germany in the 97th Signal Operation Battalion as radio operator and cryptographer. In 1954, Captain Kindig attended the Signal School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and was subsequently assigned to Fort Gordon as chief Engineer of the TV branch. He was honorably discharged in August 1955 and became a Reserve officer.

Now a civilian, Neal concentrated on studies in electrical engineering at the University of Colorado, earning a master's in 1957. This was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in teaching from 1957 until his retirement from the university in 1983, and in research from 1964‑‑88.

Neal started teaching electronics in 1957 at the University of Colorado and took a leave of absence for two years, 1962‑64, to study for a Ph.D in electrical engineering at Stanford University. His work on photoemission studies of the band structure of semiconductors resulted in eight published papers.

In 1969, Neal started consulting with the Pulonary Functions Lab at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He combined logic and mathematical respiration which resulted in a computer-­based system that measures the diffusion capacity of a single breath. This method continues to be used effectively at Fitzsimmons.

In 1979‑80, he was appointed a research fellow at the Webb‑Waring Lung Institute, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. His work with physicians focused on the critical problem of patients undergoing resuscitation from cardiac arrest or from battlefield injuries. He helped develop a buffer system, the medical patent which he shares, and which promises to revolutionize the care of the critically ill. He is the principal author or contributor to over 50 professional articles on medical research.

Dr. Kindig moved professionally across three fields ‑ solid state physics, digital electronics, and biomedical engineering­ - using knowledge gained in one and applied to the other.

Neal married Jean Matthews in 1960; their son David was born in 1963 at Stanford, and their daughter Susan was born in 1965 in Boulder. He was an ardent outdoor enthusiast who eagerly sought the challenges of the high Colorado peaks in the summers and the ski slopes in the winters.

He was a kind, gentle man, a respected professor, a dedicated researcher and loving family man whose friends, family and colleages will miss him.

John F. Irwin

NO. 17973  •  30 December 1926 -  19 July 1983

Died in Minneapolis, MN
Cremated, ashes scattered over the coast of Oregon.

"MOOSE!" THAT'S THE NICKNAME many classmates called John (Jack) Francis Irwin because of his size and love of water. Jack was born on Oahu in what was then the Territory of Hawaii. Not surprisingly, he learned to swim just as soon as he could walk, and learn he did! In 1950, the Moose won first place in the 50‑yard freestyle in the Eastern Intercollegiate Championship held at Annapolis.

His early schooling was in Waipahu, but at about the time of Pearl Harbor he was sent stateside and completed high school in San Luis Obispo, CA. Upon graduation in 1944, he enrolled at Stanford University and studied engineering until enlisting in the Army in 1946. He served until just before entering West Point as a member of the Class of '50. As a cadet, swimming and water polo occupied most of Jack’s time.

So, too, did Margaret, who was to become his wife soon after graduation. Margaret also had been a student at Stanford, and their meeting there in 1944 was a classic example of "love at first sight." Margaret remained at Stanford in 1947 to obtain her degree. Soon thereafter, she moved to Cornwall, NY, to be near Jack.

Commissioned in the Coast Artillery, Jack was ordered to Korea. While en route, his plane experienced engine trouble in Alaska, creating a delay that led ultimately to a changed assignment to Japan. Margaret and their young son joined him there in 1952. Later, Moose switched to Ordnance, and served at Ft. Lawton, Ft. Bliss, and Redstone Arsenal.

As time passed by, the family grew. By 1957, the Irwins counted seven children ‑ five girls and two boys. Deeming it more fitting to raise the family in the civilian sector, Moose left the Army he loved because it did not have "enough hat racks" to accommodate his clan.

For some 20 years, Jack worked for various aerospace companies on the west coast until retiring in 1977. There followed seven carefree years during which Jack and Margaret toured the United States, Mexico, and Canada in their own version of an RV. Jack died suddenly on 19 Jul 1983, in Minneapolis, MN.

Death, unlike so many swimming opponents, conquered Jack at age 56, but not before he gathered up so much in the net of that lifetime ‑ a distinguished military career, an engineering profession in civilian life, a large devoted family, and even some seven years of retirement. His family is gratefuI for the years he devoted to them. We wish he could have lived to be rewarded by the successes of his children, and the joy in knowing his grandchildren.

Robert Andrew Hetz, Jr.

NO. 17556  •  

Died 31 March 1980 in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, aged 52 years
Interment: Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale, Pennsylvania

BOB HETZ. A few classmates knew him by the nickname "Zeus" ‑ in mythology ‑ the god of social values. The notoriety which some in the illustrious Class of 1950 were to enjoy passed Bob and, indeed, most of us, by. But, assuredly, he was a distinguished and proud marcher in the long gray line of those who have now gone to peace. To be sure, there were never enough like him. Bob Hetz. A name that quickly revives many fond memories of a cadet who was academically outstanding and personally appealing.

Bob was fiercely loyal to friends and causes, and his days as a cadet revolved as much around his avid support of the New York Yankees and his skill as a bridge player as his official duties. Though not indifferent, he was not thirsty for pure academic knowledge. Bob Hetz. Yes, this is the same cadet who nodded off to sleep in class ‑ even while the P was giving a somewhat long‑winded answer to a question posed by Bob himself!

Who among his friends can forget Bob's frequent forays to the library and the many books he brought back to his room. Interestingly, it seemed as if these trips were more frequent around WGR time. Not, as you might believe, to bone up for exams, but simply to help Bob bide his time while others studied.

Bob's education did not stop upon graduation. In 1966 he was awarded an MS in personnel administration from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., and he earned an MS in education from Alfred University, Alfred, New York, in 1973. In addition Bob graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1964.

A keen student of military history, Bob often expressed deep pride in his Germanic heritage and was even combative in extolling the successes of the Prussians. Oh how he took great joy in needling his Southern friends by insisting Robert E. Lee was but a lieutenant colonel, his highest rank in the U.S. Army.

Born 19 November 1927 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Bob acquired an interest in West Point early in his childhood when his family vacationed nearby and annually visited the Plain. Bob's father was an officer in a savings and loan association in Scranton who delighted in taking his wife and four children to Orange Lake from which they often toured West Point.

His quest for a military career yielded him first an appointment to the Naval Academy, which he declined. The following year he obtained his coveted appointment to West Point and eagerly joined the Class of 1950. For Bob Hetz, then, what became his Alma Mater was ever near to his heart.

On 1 September 1951, Bob and his favorite drag at West Point, Rose, were married. Together they had six children, including a son who graduated from USMA in the Class of 1975. Other sons graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He has two daughters, one a school teacher and the other a registered nurse. Bob loved ‑ and thoroughly enjoyed ‑ his large family. Shortly before he died Bob fulfilled a longtime ambition of exploring Alaska. In the summer of 1979 he, his wife and two youngest sons motored from Pennsylvania to Homer, Alaska in a most memorable odyssey.

During his military career Bob saw service overseas in such areas as Japan, Korea, Germany, Iran and Vietnam. A proud paratrooper and infantryman, Bob had a career in the Army that spanned 26 years. In early days he was connected with combat units but later his duties were in the area of personnel administration and training. Notable among his interesting assignments was as action officer in Berlin for President Kennedy's celebrated visit to Europe and the Iron Curtain in the early 1960's.

Among his varied duties on behalf of the United States Army, Bob was operations officer ‑ Berlin Brigade; schools and training advisor to the Imperial Iranian General Forces; staff officer in an infantry brigade in Vietnam; and Professor of Military Science at Alfred University. He also served in the ROTC training unit at Rutgers University. Bob's final military assignment was as post commander, Fulda Military Post, West Germany.

Following his retirement in 1976, Bob was employed as area director, Eastem Area, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. In that role he was responsible for disaster planning and operations in a twenty county area.

It was on 31 March 1980 when Bob succumbed to a sudden heart attack. Easily could this memorial be ended now by merely quoting that nostalgic refrain that his work on earth is done. But not so, however, for Bob Hetz. His family counts as the great legacy; he bequeathed them his strength of character and his integrity. As classmates, that realization by his family comes as absolutely no surprise to us. For we are kindred legatees of those attributes in our memories of Bob Hetz.

Edward J. Reidy, Class of 1950

James German

NO. 17878  •  

Died 28 November 1981 in Little Rock, Arkansas, aged 54 years.
Interment: Veterans Administration Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.

JIM GERMAIN WAS BORN in Elkhorn, Indiana, to Wendall "Dutch" and Mary German. He lived there until attending Tri State College for one year in Angola, Indiana. He earned his appointment to West Point (at large) from Senator Raymond E. Willis in 1946.

No more telling description of this man and his devotion to Duty, Honor and Country can be found than in the 1950 Howitzer. The notation, "Jim is noted for being as fair as he is hard," paints a picture unchanged from the summer of 1950 until he died a short 31 years later. Even more compelling are the words this talented writer penned for the 2 June 1950 graduation issue of the Pointer. In this piece. printed in full below, one finds the line, "that which captures a man's heart is written in deed." And so it was that this graduate devoted his life to making a difference ... no matter the personal or professional sacrifice.

Commissioned in the Air Force at graduation, he successsfully, achieved his wings in August 1951 and in 25 years of military service flew and fought in Korea, Vietnam and other areas of the world.

Following Korea, test pilot duties at Hayes Aircraft Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, and two tours at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan led in 1964 to his "favorite" assignment with the 1st Air Commando Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida. With this unit Jim added substantially to the final total of 25 difierent types of aircraft he would fly in his career.

Originally formed to train foreign personnel in counterinsurgency air operations. the Air Commandos grew to an imposing force with more than 6,000 personnel, 550 aircraft and 19 squadrons. There are numerous stories illustrating how the Air Commandos and MAJ Jim German made a difference - perhaps none more unusual than a phone call years later from a Cambodian Refugee Center. A Cambodian Air Force officer and his family, having fled the Khmer Rouge, had made it to the United States with one hope -- Jim German. Today, Chhomdoeum Buon and his family live a free life in America because of Jim's commitment to make a difference.

Jim's final active duty assignments were with the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Lisbon, Portugal, and then as a C-130 pilot and maintenance officer in the 314th Military Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. He vowed not to retire until he had pinned his original silver wings on his son's chest, which he proudly did in 1975. Jim continued his love of flying in retirement, piloting with Central Flying Service, Little Rock until his death.

His oldest son, Steve, is Operations Group deputy commander in the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska: his youngest son, Scott, is a security policeman at Offutt Air Force Base. His son-in-law Jim and daughter Sarah, recently retired from the Air Force, reside in Kentucky. His widow, Cathy German, resides in Washington, D.C.

The Spirit of West Point
By Cadet James S. German, '50

Beautiful words and inspiring phrases are written by professional authors, but that which fills a man's heart is written by deed.

For over 100 years, the accomplishments of men who have gone forward from West Point have written on the pages of history the story of the "Spirit of West Point. "

A man who graduates from West Point feels that he must maintain a standard set by those who have gone before.

He has learned to apply himself to a task with the object of doing the job to the best of his ability.

He has learned the meaning of an integrity which he values as high as he does his Iife.

Be not mistaken, however. There is no automatic process by which all men become models of devotion to "Duty, Honor, and Country", merely by spending four years at the Military Academy.

When they leave Cadet life, they embark on their careers armed with those qualities which they have made an effort to develop in themselves.

Some men carry away that which West Point has given them every opportunity to gain by experience and study; others leave still lacking intangible qualities that they failed to grasp.

Those who have armed themselves well with the tools of their profession will have one weapon which only the men of the Corps are privileged to bear. It is a keen edged blade, forged by duty, sheathed in Honor, dedicated to the Service of Country.

It is borne by those who know the meaning of "The Spirit of West Point."

-By his son and a classmate

Garrett D. Buckner, Jr.

NO. 17907  •  14 September 1927 - 26 August 1985

Died in Lexington, KY
Interred in Lexington, KY


ALTHOUGH ONLY distantly related to the "Buckners" of Army fame, Garrett Davis Buckner, Jr. - also known as "Buddy," "Dave," or "Buck' -- entered West Point on 1 July 1946, with the dedication, enthusiasm and character such a lineage would be proud of. Buck's Army career of 28 years was marked by a continuation of such attributes, and still others, such as courage, sincerity, and loyalty.  Buck truly knew that to have friends, you needed first to be a friend.

A product of Kentucky and the son of Dr. and Mrs. G. D. Buckner, Buck was born in Lexington. At University High and Henry Clay High School in Lexington and, later, at Woodberry Forest in Virginia, Buck excelled in all sports. He attended the USMA Preparatory School at Amherst, where he diligently studied to qualify for an appointment to West Point. Determination got Buck into USMA, and his dedication - along with Ding Price's tutoring - kept him there until he was commissioned into the Infantry in 1950.

At West Point, Buck was very active in the Chess, Ski, French, and Skeet Clubs. However, his great love was leadership as a cadet lieutenant and running as a member of the "A" Squad in both cross-country and track & field. Maintaining his focus, however, Buck dropped his athletic endeavors in his First Class year to concentrate on his studies.

On 14 July 1950, 2LT G. D. Buckner, Jr. married Joan Cowen, his First Class OAO. They remained married for 22 years and continued a deep friendship until Buck’s death. Together, they had three children: G. D. Buckner III; Alice C. Buckner; and Claiborne C. Buckner.

Buck's Army career was one of breadth and depth, derived from his leadership and athletic prowess. From an initial assignment with the 4th Infantry in Alaska, and, in 1959. to the Air Force Academy as Chief of Instruction in Physical Education, Buck served around the world in various command positions, culminating as an Infantry battalion commander and deputy brigade commander in Viet Nam. Other stops along the way included Ft. Benning, Ft. Lee, Ft. Campbell, the Pentagon, Korea, and Germany.

Buck earned an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, DC.  Indeed, as a testimony to the totalness of Buck's service, one need look no farther than his many awards, including the four Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, nine Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry, Master Parachutist Wings, and the Combat Infantryman’s  badge.

Following his tour of duty in Vietnam, Buck spent nine years in Army advisory and planning activities, wherein his contributions to long-term strategy and planning were recognized by the award of two of his four Legions of Merit. Such responsibilities included Chief of the Long Range Division in the Combat Development Command and Chief of the Infantry Team in U. S. Army Readiness Region VI. Buck possessed remarkable analytical and planning abilities.

In 1978, Buck retired and returned to his beloved family home - Rose Hill - in Lexington, that, under his direction, was restored and designated a historical landmark. Lung cancer overtook Buck’s retirement, and he died in Lexington in 1985, just short of his 58th birthday. His survivors include his ex-wife, Joan Buckner; son, Clay Buckner: daughter, Alice Buckner Kennedy; sister and brother-in ­law, Sally and COL (Ret.) R. E. Morrison '44; and three grandchildren. A second son, Garrett Davis Buckner III, predeceased him in 1980 in an automobile accident.

Buck possessed a boyish grin, an enthusiastic smile, red hair, freckles, and prankish tendencies. He appeared as a "Huck Finn in a cadet uniform." However, beneath these loveable and youthful mannerisms was a very strong and genuine man. To many, particularily his West Point "wives," Buck was a sincere friend.

Well done, Buck. We expected no less. We miss you!

- Paul Ache and Ding Price, roommates

William Herbert Bloss, Jr.

NO. 18003  •  18 July 1928 - 12 May 1985

Died 12 May 1985 In San Antonio, Texas, aged 56 years.
Interment: Muncie, Indiana


READING "BE THOU AT PEACE" and "The Last Roll Call" in the ASSEMBLY is very hard, because we remember old friends, in the prime of their youth at West Point and later in the service of their country; finding Bill's name on that role of honor was a little different - heart‑breaking but accompanied with a warm feeling. Though many of us received those late night phone calls starting with, "This is your old buddy, Bill" and knew he was not well, it was hard to believe he was gone. Anyone who knew him, knows how hard he tried to do his best, for his family, for his friends, and for "Duty, Honor, and Country." What more can a man do? Yes, he was gone, but it was ‑ and is ‑ impossible not to smile.

Born on 18 July 1928 in Indiana, he was a baby‑faced, very old 17 on 1 July 1946. If anyone of the entering Class of' 1950 looked less like a future general than William Herbert Bloss, who could it have been? He said his nickname was "Slats," back in West Lafayette, Indiana (“Home of Purdue University, sir," he would quickly add to any firstie who asked where he was from.) At 142 pounds and six‑feet‑one, he was certainly not considered intimidating by the opposing football players of A‑I (nor M‑1 either, for that matter) during intramural football.

Nevertheless, he was called "The General" by all the upperclassmen during Beast Barracks and the rest of plebe year as well; our classmates even picked it up. Ed Reidy thinks our classmate, Leroy Shreve, was the first to use the affectionate term. But many of us can probably still remember Bud Vockel collaring Bill every day after lunch and running him back to First Company's piece of old South Area, all the while yelling, "Faster, General, faster; more yetl"

True, he didn't look like what we thought a budding general should look like (Jack Murphy, Bill Todd, Al Crawford, Bill Aman, George Vlisides, or Bill DeGraf maybe, but "Mr. Bloss" ‑ no way!)  But no one could deny his spirit, sense of humor, persistence, or good, old‑fashioned guts. He just would not give up. How many others remember watching, for what seemed an eternity, while he attacked that 10‑foot high wooden wall on the obstacle course? Bill was convinced that the prime ingredient of success was speed. With those long, thin legs and that unconquerable heart, he sailed into the wall; he was all horizontal with no vertical vector. He tried over and over again. Finally, a firstie took him by the shoulder and forcibly led him around and past the wall; the General was not about to quit.

Bad things seemed to happen to Bill in Beast Barracks; four of us (including Bill) couldn't seem to get him to formations on time and in the right uniform. His troubles didn't end with the plebe hike. Someone came racing by to tell him that inspection for guard duty was right now. He had his M‑1 in pieces on the blanket we used for a floor and was dutifully cleaning everything. We all grabbed parts, passed them to him quickly, while he snatched up others, fitted them all together, and took off running ‑ dragging the edge of the blanket, which he tore away from the chamber as he ran. He arrived at the formation late, but was prepared when his turn came to present his piece for inspection. He snapped the M‑1 up smartly, slammed the hammer back, and looked resolutely into the eyes of the inspecting officer ‑ as pieces of the M‑1's innards began to pop up into the air. The rifle fell apart in Bill's hands.

Plebe year was a little more relaxed for "the General," although at best, he was only an adequate scholar. He did collect more than his fair share of demerits, it's true, but walked the appropriate number of tours, insisting ‑  especially when the demerits were awarded for returning late from dates ‑ that the crime had been worth the punishment.

At intramural athletics, whatever the sport, he was in there working. Softball was probably his favorite, because, though he sometimes looked awkward, he was loose and really quite coordinated. He fielded and hit well. Opponents in intramural football smiled, shook their heads in disbelief at his eager, aggressive style, but came by after each game to shake his hand and compliment him for his efforts.

With graduation came marriage to a lovely young woman – Gretchen ‑ an assignment to the Infantry and Korea. Bill was assigned to the 2nd Infantry, and later awarded the Bronze Star. He went to war willingly, probably

enthusiastically, because he always fought for what he believed. One former roommate still bears a scar attesting to the depth of Bill's feelings, because, in yearling year the classmate failed once to show the proper respect for Bill's hero, Ted Williams, and got a split lip to show for it.

Assignments after Korea included Headquarters, 77th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, 1954‑56, the Infantry School from 1956-­57, and G‑3, Division Headquarters, Communications Zone (APO NY) in 1957.

In 1960 in San Antonio, Bill was assigned as Assistant Professor, Military Science and Tactics to Texas Military Institute, and he described his Korea combat, particularly the long, late night patrols in the narrow strip of land that separated the United Nations and North Korean forces. He had returned ‑ a 200 pound, no‑nonsense, combat infantry officer­ convinced that he had met the challenge of manhood well. He had volunteered to lead patrols at every opportunity and was confident that lie had "taken care of the troops." Unfortunately, the overseas assignment and separation had been too much for the young marriage. As usual, however, he picked up the pieces, forged ahead with his career, met a fine military nurse, married again and fathered two children‑a boy and a girl ‑ whom he loved very much.

His assignments, thereafter, were probably not unlike those of many of his Army peers. He received the Commendation Medal following a tour with the 1st Special Forces Group (1964), a second award after his 1968‑69 years with I Corps in Korea, and the Legion of Merit while at Headquarters Army Communications Command, Fort Huachuca, AZ 1970‑71.

Bill was retired in 1971 as a lieutenant colonel, with major disabilities, the result of a parachute jump in Vietnam. He had landed in a rice paddy, bordered with a brick wall, and was slammed against the wall when his chute caugh a heavy gust of air, just after he hit the water. His back was damaged severely and Bill's health became a major problem from that point on. For the next several years, he was in and out of hospitals, being near death more than once but always coming back for one more round. While he seemed to be in pain frequently, his greatest regret with the permanent disability was that he was unable to smash a golf ball as far as he could when he was healthy.

After retirement, Bill decided to live in Texas where he returned to school and earned a master of science degree in business administration at Trinity University. He finally settled in San Antonio where he pursued several business ventures, one in the solar energy field. He died at the Veterans Administration Hospital, not able to answer the bell in the last round.

Bill remained as close to his old friends and the Army as his infirmities, the telephone, great distances, and funds would allow. He journeyed to the Washington area frequently and headed west to California to see his old buddies – probably really to see the Dodgers play, because he didn’t miss a game in the 1977 playoffs.

What else can be said? Perhaps that our country and its Armed Forces call on many, that most answer that call with honor and distinction, and only a few reach the top and become generals, the envy of many  who tried and fell short. Bill was one of the many; nevertheless, he spoke often, with pride, of the classmates “who had made it”, of wonderful commanders he had served with and great admiration and respect, and of how much the Army had meant to him. Perhaps, without the dedication and courage of the many unsung heroes like Bill Bloss, “the General”, the path upward would have been much more difficult for those who did succeed.”

C. Edward Bell, Jr.

NO. 17950  •  10 June 1928 - 12 January 1988

Died 12 January 1988 In Norwalk, Connecticut, aged 59 years
Interment: Lakeview Cemetery, New Canaan, Connecticut

C. EDWARD BELL, JR. of New Canaan, a West Point graduate who founded his own investment firm, died 12 January 1988 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 59.

Mr. Bell was born 10 June 1928 in New York City, son of the late Charles Edward and Loretta Tagg Bell, Sr. He lived on Brookwood Lane and was a resident of New Canaan for 24 years.

Mr. Bell attended the All Hallows grammar and high schools in New York City. He attended Manhattan College and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point on 1 July 1946, and graduated in 1950. He was assigned to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, and then to Fort Benning, Georgia. He was later stationed as a first lieutenant in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 4th Division Signal Battalion.

He was first employed by New York Telephone, then Gulf Oil and then the Wall Street investment firm of Harriman & Ripley. He was then appointed manager of the investment department of Kidder Peabody, where he remained until 1966. He then was portfolio manager at Fairfield County Trust. He was an active member of the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1968, the C.E. Bell & Co. investment firm.

He was a member of the St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan. Prior to that he was a member of St. Boniface Parish in Sea Cliff, New York, where he was an active member of the Legion of Mary.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Bell of New Canaan; a son, Edward F. Bell of New Canaan; four daughters, Barbara Beaulieu of Brattleboro, Vermont, Ann Bell‑Cox of Yakima, Washington, Mary Saccary of Westport and Christine Bell of New Canaan.

A mass of Christian Burial was scheduled for 15 January at St. Aloysius Parish in New Canaan.