Thomas Francis Casserly, III

NO. 17376  •  16 June 1928 – 1 October 1952

Killed in Action October 1, 1952 in Korea, aged 24 Years.

LIEUTENANT THOMAS FRANCIS CASSERLY, III, was born June 16, 1928, in Englewood, New Jersey, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Casserly, Jr.

Tom entered the United States Military Academy In 1946 with many future friends and classmates. His ability to project his sincere understanding to others was felt even in Beast Barracks, where we first had the honor of knowing him. Through four years of diligent work and training, Tom not only bettered himself but also helped to better others. On many occasions he offered his time and assistance to classmates who were having difficulty in various subjects. He wore academic honor stars during his plebe year, but because he was helping so many other cadets, his own standing fell slightly the last three years. He often told us that honor and achievement did not always have to be visible; what mattered most was what one's heart and soul felt. This was Tom, a true, loyal and sincere friend to all, and loved by all. 0n graduation, Tom took a commision in the Air Force and in his training he again excelled.

On August 9, 1951, he married Elizabeth Fissell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Fissell of Montclair, New Jersey, at Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, New Jersey. By January 1952, Tom was off to Korea where he fought his last and greatest battle. The following are extracts from two letters written to Libby after Tom’s death - we know a man by what his friends say:

From a classmate: "There was something magnetic about Tom; I've known many people better than I knew him, but never have I formed such an admiration or affection on actually, a casual acquaintance. He had ability plus - I knew that from the Point. Yet he was so friendly and well-adjusted that to talk to him was pleasant as well as stimulating. I don't think I've ever known a man with more self-respect that came from within. He didn't talk about his ideals, but from his way of living and working they were apparent. On the other hand, his confidence was as far from egotism as black is from white; his conscientiousness was not the eager type by any means. He didn't butter up the right people to get ahead. He just did a better job than anyone and let the record stand quietly".

From his Squadron Commander: "His sheer capacity for work and thoroughness in performance of duty were far beyond that ordinarily found in an officer of his experience. . . I feel that you should know that prior to his accident, he was recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Silver Star, the latter for uncommon bravery in action against the enemy while attempting the rescue of another downed pilot. It is the consensus of all of us who have served with Tom that he represented the highest ideals of the service he so genuinely loved".

Tom was killed on October 1, 1952 in Korea, as the result of a plane crash while returning from a combat training mission. He had been indoctrinating a new officer in the type of formation being flown in Korea when his ship developed a mechanical failure.

Tom was a true Christian, whose sole ambition in life was to help others. Towards this end he dedicated his short but full life.

Tom has a daughter Susan, born on June 29, 1952 whom he never saw, and it is she to whom we would like to dedicate this article. Like your father, Susan, may you always be able to place your ideals ahead of personal achievement and consider your greatest reward personal satisfaction from helping others.

- Five Company Classmates

Charles L. Butler

NO. 17764  •  3 September 1927 – 21 June 1972

Killed in Action June 21, 1972 in An Loc, Viet Nam, aged 44 Years.

THE DAILY BULLETIN of 3 July 1972: Headquarters, USMA, announced that funeral services for LTC Charles Lewis Butler '50 would be conducted in the Old Cadet Chapel on 5 July. Interment in the Post Cemetery would follow. It came as no surprise to any classmate that West Point would be Chuck’s final resting place - much as he revered the Academy. Yet we realize, too, that when killed in action in Viet Nam on 21 Jun 1972, Chuck was only 44 years old, never destined to grow older, and never to tread on the Plain again. No more seeing the family to which he had grown so devoted.

Chuck was born in 1927, a product of Grand Rapids, MI, where he attended grammar school. Grand Rapids Central High School, and even a junior college. As soon as Chuck entered USMA on 1 Jul 1946 as a member of the Class of '50, it was obvious that he had attained a long-sought goal. Though it would perhaps be an exaggeration to claim Chuck was fond of Beast Barracks, he willingly embraced all that was in store - much to the amazement of his classmates!

On the quiet side as a cadet, Chuck worked diligently and mainly enjoyed swimming and water polo. A member of the camera club for several years, he was active in the production of The Pointer and, in First Class year, was an associate editor.

It is interesting to note that the '50 Howitzer predicted Chuck would truly be an asset to the Army. How time proved the accuracy of that foresight! To be sure, the military career of this private and intense cadet undermines any notion that heroism is the only province of the bombastic.

Upon graduation, Chuck married Joan "Jo" Haskell at West Point on 11 Jun 1950. Commissioned into the Infantry, he initially was assigned to Ft. Devens, MA. Like so many of his classmates, however, Chuck soon found himself in Korea serving as a platoon leader in the 7th Infantry Division. His fledgling days in combat were few; after only a couple of weeks, Chuck was wounded in action and evacuated to Japan. In that brief period of time, however, Chuck distinguished himself with monumental valor. As a combat infantryman, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as well as the Bronze Star. Few can rival that recognition at all, much less in so short a period of time.

Once recovered from his wounds, Chuck returned to the Infantry School at Ft. Benning as a student and then was retained on the school staff and faculty. Later assignments included company command in the 37th Armored Infantry Battalion in Germany and the 3rd Armored Division.

Following a tour at the University of Mississippi, Chuck found his way back to combat duty, this time in Viet Nam. On 21 Jun 1972, Chuck was killed in action while serving with the forward-most regiment seeking to relieve the siege of An Loc, Viet Nam - surely, one small war in the overall history of the human race, but in no way insignificant for this classmate.

If anyone exemplified that "Duty, Honor, Country" has been - and will continue to be - the noblest calling, it was Chuck Butler. Some solace comes from the knowledge that, to the end of time, Chuck will remain at peace where he most wanted to be - at West Point. And in the everlasting annals of the Infantry, this is one officer with an outstanding combat record who deserves special recognition and profound appreciation. He has mine.

Howard Gallaway Brown

NO. 17942  •  12 January 1928 – 22 September 1950

Killed in Action September 22, 1950 in Korea, aged 23 Years.


HOWARD GALLAWAY BROWN was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on the 12th of January 1927, the third of four sons of Dr. and Mrs. George L. Brown. The days of his boyhood and youth were lived in his hometown, where he acquired the qualities of character and personality that made it a pleasure to know him as a man.

His high school days were spent at Tupelo in preparation for entrance to West Point. In High School he was an outstanding guard on the football team and played in the school band.

After high school he attended Mississippi State College for a year prior to entering the Military Academy in 1945.

He entered West Point determined to carry on the military tradition of his family. His grandfather fought with the Confederacy in the "War Between the States". His father fought in the Spanish American War and served as a medical officer in World War I. An uncle and two cousins are graduates of his Alma Mater.

Howard entered the Academy with the Class of 1949. His plebe days were interrupted when he received a knee injury playing football which resulted in his being awarded a large star to wear on his bathrobe. After a few months at home he joined the Class of 1950 as a member of Company L-2 In January 1947.

It was not long after his arrival in the company that Howard was tagged with the nicknames "Tupe" and "Brownie", both of which received equal usage. His sincere unselfness and friendliness, his sense of humor, and his winning smile immediately won the friendship of everyone in the company. Although those were the most apparent of his attributes, close association with him as a roommate for three years revealed his wholehearted application of effort to attain his goal of becoming a thoroughly competent officer.

His attitude was always wholesome, and he possesssed well-rounded capabilities of leadership. These attributes were bolstered by his steady personality and his knack for influencing others with good judgment and common sense. He never aspired to stars on his collar as a cadet, but he never lost sight of his goal of being the best officer possible, which might easily have resulted in his wearing stars on his shoulders as an officer.

The lighter side of his cadet days was devoted to frequent waving of the Confederate flag during discussions of whether or not the South would rise again. He played the harmonica both well and loud. He participated In intramural athletics, and was a sprinter on the Corps swimming team during his First Class year.

When graduation rolled around "Tupe" was commissioned in the Infantry.

His graduation leave was divided between home, a fishing trip to Canada, and a trip to Louisiana, before reporting to Camp Stoneman for shipment to Okinawa.

Instead of a boat to Okinawa, he took a plane to Japan and reached the front lines of Korea on September 3, 1950. He was assigned as 1st platoon leader of Company "A", 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division. He joined his unit in the midst of a North Korean break-through during some of the roughest touch-and-go fighting of the Korean War. He weathered the last few days of the Pusan Perimeter, in which the enemy launched numerous attacks. In the allied offensive after the Inchon landing, he was killed by small arms fire on September 22 while attacking a heavily fortified enemy hill. Colonel Michaelis, his regimental commander, wrote his parents:

"As a member of this command your son was liked by all his associates. He was an excellent soldier performing all tasks assigned him in a cheerful and efficient manner, winning the commendation of his immediate superiors and the respect of his comrades. News of his death came as a real shock to all who knew him, and his loss will be felt keenly in the organization".

Details of his death were received in a letter from his Battalion Chaplain:

"You have every reason to be proud of your son. He died a hero's death. As platoon leader of the 1st platoon, Company "A", he gallantly led his men into action on the assigned mission of attacking a heavily fortified enemy hill. By his courageous personal example and the display of qualities of leadership in the finest traditions of the United States Army, the mission was successfully accomplished. Howard was instantly killed by enemy small arms fire. The few men left in Company "A" who were with him at the time still remember Howard as an exceptionally able officer and a very fine person. In the few days that he was a member of the company he succeeded in winning a warm place in the hearts of his comrades.

"Howard's body was brought by litter jeep to the regimental station where it was noted that his face had a reposed and peaceful appearance."

When his personal effects were sent home his class ring was not among his belongings. Months later his ring was found on the person of a dead North Korean and turned over to a classmate who sent it to his parents.

Howard now rests in the Tupelo Memorial Park Cemetery. In dedication to the memory of a gallant soldier, a chapel of the First Presbyterian Church in Tupelo has been named the Howard Gallaway Brown Memorial Chapel. Many of us who knew him may not have an opportunity to visit his memorial, but his friendship, his character, and his ability will be a living memorial in our hearts.

A fitting tribute to his memory is contained in something which Shakespeare wrote about another military leader:

"His life was gentle, and the elements
So mIx'd in him that nature might stand up
And say to all the world, This was a man".


- Alfred L. Griebling, First Lieut., C.E.

Thomas Wesley Boydston

NO. 17480  •  26 April 1928 – 26 April 1951

Killed in Action April 26, 1951 in Korea, aged 23 Years.


THOMAS WESLEY BOYDSTON was born April 26, 1928 at Marquette, Kansas. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray T. Boydston and moved with his family to McPherson, Kansas at the age of six. He received his elementary education in the McPherson Public Schools, graduating from McPherson High School in May 1946. He received his appointment to West Point in July of that year.

McPherson was proud that July morning when word went around that he had received his appointment. The discussion on Main Street was not of the wheat which was being harvested, but of the honor Tom had brought to his town and himself in receiving the appointment to the United States Military Academy. That evening the local paper carried a front page story of the event. Just four months before, Tom, as captain of his high school basketball team, had led that team to the finals of the State Tournament, where, with practically the entire town witnessing or listening by radio, his team lost by only one point in an overtime game.

As a boy in high school, Tom was everything a parent might dream his boy would be. In Junior High he received the American Legion Honor Award as the outstanding student. In Senior High he earned letters each year in football and basketball, and yet found time to devote to his studies so that he graduated us Valedictorian of his class. In his senior year his classmates elected him "Prince Charming", during the biggest event in the local community, the annual May Day celebration.

In his younger days Scouting was one of Tom's first loves. His Scoutmaster writes: "Tom entered into his scouting in a way that gave the leader a wealth of compensation for his service. He especially enjoyed "the full fellowship and comradeship that a boy finds in a good troop. Tom was the troop's first song leader, and I clearly recall the joy he had in singing the songs learned in camp, always wearing that infectious grin that we cannot, nor ever will forget. On October 4th, 1944, Tom was awarded the Eagle Badge by his wonderful mother who was ever his inspiration. Among his classmates, friends and townspeople it was the unanimous opinion that Eagle Scout Tom Boydston typified the ideal in American boyhood. Tall, handsome, and friendly, with all of the fine qualities in the out-of-doors or on the Athletic Field. He lived a clean, Christian life".

Concerning his life at West Point, Colonel John K. Waters, Commandant of Cadets, wrote Tom's parents: "Tom demonstrated from the early days of his plebe year, 1946 - 47, his ability to be outstanding among the select group of young cadets who were his contemporaries. He was neat and soldierly appearing; he was capable in practical matters such as drill, physical education and administration; he was well equipped intellectually for the academic work; and he was of good moral fiber and character to base a career as a military leader. Tom's approach to cadet life was balanced and mature.He was serious about his studies and he took an active interest in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. His graduation standing of 134 out of 670 speaks well for his academic and military efforts. In sports he won the Academy athletic monogram playing soccer in his third class year. He was an outstanding forward on the Army Basketball team, earning a monogram his third class year and a major "A" award in his second and first class year".

John Mauer, Tom's basketball coach, a man Tom greatly admired, wrote: "In my twenty-five years that I have coached, I have never had a boy who did as much to improve himself or work harder than Tom did while playing for me. He had every characteristic that a coach wants in a boy along with fine morale and warm spirit".

After graduation from West Point, Tom reported to Fort Riley on August 1, 1950 for his first assignment - the 91st Reconnaissance Squadron - where he was stationed until he received his overseas orders. He reported to Fort Lawton, Wash. on October 11th and was flown to Japan on the l4th, arriving in Korea in the latter part of October. Almost immediately he was at the front line, serving for a few weeks in an Infantry Division until he received his permanent assignment with Company A of the 70th Tank Battalion. He was promoted to First Lieutenant early in January 1951. On April 26th, 1951 - just one day after Tom had passed his twenty-third birthday, he was killed in action.

Captain O'Neal, Tom's immediate superior, wrote to his parents: "Tom's death was a blow to all of us here. He was a friend and ideal to the men of his platoon. They would, and have, followed him any place. Tom was one of the most promising young officers I have met in fourteen years of Army service. I have two sons and I hope they will be as good men and soldiers as your son. . . I can tell you a little of the action when Tom was killed. Our company, with the Infantry Regiment we are attached to, was ordered to Kapyong to plug a gap in the lines made by the Chinese in their spring push. On this particular day we had pushed several miles out in front of the Infantry, shooting up the enemy rear areas. We were moving up a valley, tank platoon leading, when we came under fire from about three hundred Chinese at close range. Tom's tank was hit by several bazooka rounds and a fragment hit him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. We withdrew shortly afterward and Tom's body was turned over to the Medics".

The news of Tom's death came as a terrible shock to his family and friends. He leaves his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Ray T. Boydston of McPherson, Kansas, and his sister, Mrs. E. B. Sundahl with her husband and two small sons, Thomas and Kevin. We are grateful for the privilege of having known such a fine personality. We know that we are better for having had his fellowship. I sincerely believe he met the ideal of the poet who wrote:

"Four things a man must learn to do if he would make his record true:

To think without confusion clearly;

To love his fellow men sincerely;

To act from honest motives purely;

To trust in God and Heaven securely."

- Rice Brown, Jr.

Warner Turner Bonfoey, Jr.

NO. 17677  •  21 December 1927 – 29 October 1951

Killed in Action October 29, 1951 in Korea, aged 23 Years.


The tense, anxious days of waiting for Bud's next letter were over. The dreadful message came twenty four days from the date he had last written, October 17th.

Bud had been so faithful writing to us every week since his arrival in Korea, the first week of June 1951. He had written three or four letters each week. He treated the dangers of his being a forward observer very casually, and stressed the amusing little incidents that occurred among the men, and the beauty of a Korean sunset. . . Our local newspaper carried his picture with an account of his life and activities at school, on Monday, November 12. Then on Thursday, December 13, the following appeared in the newspaper: "Lt. W. T. Bonfoey Rites Tuesday. Memorial services for First Lt. Warner T. Bonfoey, Jr., 23, killed in action in Korea October 29th will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Summit and Avon.

"Born December 21, 1927 in St. Louis, Lt. Bonfoey came to St. Paul as a child with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Warner T. Bonfoey, 2146 Sargent Avenue. He was the only child. Lt. Bonfoey was graduuted from St. Paul Academy in 1946. He played on the academy football, hockey and baseball teams. He entered West Point, played hockey for four years, received three letters on the varsity squad, and stood above average in scholastic work. He was graduated with a bachelor of science degree. Assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, he was ordered to Korea in April 1951, and was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, 61st Field Artillery Battalion as forward observer and for patrol work with the Infantry. He also had duty with the Republic of Korea troops and a company of U.S. armored tanks. He was wounded by an enemy grenade while on outpost duty for his own battalion and died before aid could reach him."

Bud's childhood was an unusually happy one. Our home movies show a lively, joyous little golden haired boy with laughing blue eyes. He was so loved - the joy and delight not only of his parents but of his grandparents, who adored him.

Of the many, many letters of tribute to Bud, the following seem to express the overwhelming grief and shock his loss meant. . .

"Of all the boys that I have had in the last forty-five years, Bud was one of the very rarest. His young friends and all of us older people felt just the same way about him - we loved him. It seemed as if when he was around, the sun was shining."

-John de Quedville Briggs, Rtd. Headmaster, St. Paul Academy.


"On Monday I announced it to the school as best I could, telling them that the flag would fly at half-mast In Bud's memory. The burden of my brief remarks was that Bud was one of the finest boys ever to graduate from this school - or any school. If there is any comfort to be had, perhaps it comes from our good fortune in havlng known and lived with, however briefly, a boy of Bud’s disposition and calibre. Certainly the Academy is a better school for his having been here."

-Edward M. Read, Headmaster, St. Paul Academy.


"My heart is at half-mast, just like the flag at the Academy. You have lost your dearest hope. We have lost the boy of whom we have been most proud for all those qualities that make a charming boy, a young man of true nobility.

Wherever the boys today and tomorrow are trying to do their best in all humility, with an untaltering step in spite of trials and difficulties, the spirit of Bud Bonfoey will be walking right along beside them to cheer them on and lend a helping hand."

-Bob Blampied, Master of French, St. Paul Academy.


The following appeared in the December issue of the St. Paul Academy paper, the Now and Then:

"Warner T. Bonfoey, Jr.

'Buddy' Bonfoey came up through the Junior School, graduated with the versatile and talented Class of 1946, and entered West Point. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1950, a Second Lieutenant, and was promoted to First Lieutenant this fall. The shocking news has come to us that he was killed in action in Korea on October 29th.

"In the Academy, Buddy made a fine scholastic record, and played on all three major teams; he played Plebe and Varsity Hockey at West Point. But it was neither his high scholarship nor his athletic prowess that made him one of the best loved boys ever to attend the Academy. When he was in the Prep Form, one of his small classmates was heard to remark that Buddy 'had the best disposition of anyone in the class'. He might truthfully have said 'anyone in the world'. He took everything in stride, unperturbed, with a smile. and did his job, as he must have done it to the end. When I visited him at West Point, on a miserable, cold, dark winter day, most of the cadets there looked strained, unhappy and depressed, When Buddy appeared to have dinner with me at the Hotel Thayer, it was as if the sun had burst through the clouds. Just to know him made the grim world a happier place. That combination of strength with sweetness and gentleness is a rare and precious thing.

"The English poet Henry Newbolt, in a poem 'Clifton Chapel', refers to a memorial tablet on the chapel wall, in that old English school:

"'Qui procul hine' the legend's writ- The frontier grave is far away

"Qui ante diem perlit: Sed miles, sed pro Patria"

'Who died In a far off land, before his time, but as a soldier should, in the service of his Country.' No brass tablet Is needed to keep alive the memory of Buddy Bonfoey. He will live and be loved forever in the hearts of those whose lives he touched."

-John de Quedville Briggs.


There has been a scholarship set up at the St. Paul Academy in memory of Bud, and an Inter-city Hockey trophy, called "The Bonfoey Hockey Trophy".

From the boys he had grown up with:

"I cannot express to you how I share your grief. Bud was such a grand friend and such a wonderful boy, and I always admired him to the utmost. His loss is a shock that will stay with me as long as I live."

-Dick Quinn.


"It was with a great feeling of shock that I just heard of the loss of Buddy. He had always been one of the best friends that I ever made at school and on all counts was certainly one of the finest and most respected boys that St. Paul Academy ever turned out. You can take great pride In Buddy's entire life, as I and his friends can feel proud that we just knew such an outstanding person."

-Jay Levine.


"The news about Bud left me with a feeling I shall never forget. It’s still difficult for me to believe that it's all actually true.

"Bud was one of the finest men I have ever known. We spent some wonderful times together; from guarding the defensive left flank of the Academy (St. Paul) team to double dating on Saturday nights. I shall always consider him among the very best of my friends. He was liked by everyone. Bud was just that kind of a guy. His pleasant personality, his good natured disposition, his conscientious way of accomplishing every task, are just a few of the many qualities about him which appealed to everyone with whom he came in contact. His memory will dwell in all of our hearts forever."

-Arnie Bockstruck.


From West Point classmates:

"Most of my contacts with Bud were with the hockey team. I shall never forget them. The assist he made in scoring the winning goal over Yale in 1948-49, the winning goal over Royal Military College in '49. Every now and then he would stop in the room for hockey business or to see Mike. Believe me, it was fun, every minute of it. It was a pleasure to have known Bud. We shall all miss him very much."

-(Lt.) Richard Trefry.


"I was very close to Bud from the time we both reported for duty at Ft. Bliss in August 1950 until April 1951 when he left for Korea. We were roommates from the time Tony (Lt.) de Jenuary married until April when Bud left. I realize that nothing I can say will help to ease your grief of losing him. Bud was undoubtedly the most clean-cut boy I've ever known in my life and as devoted a friend as anyone could ask for. His whole outlook on life was so wholesome, and he saw so little evil in both people and environment around him, that I often felt that I and others were cheating ourselves inasmuch as we couldn't appreciate life as completely as he did. So I hope and pray that, despite the fact that his life was cut so short, he gained something from life that I shall never be able to gain as long as I may live.

"If I told you I felt some of your grief, it would probably sound like a meaningless platitude, but I can assure you I feel his death deeply. I only wish I could make you understand how much he was loved by all who came in contact with him."

- (Lt.) Bill Jones. (Lt. Jones (Wm. R. D.) was Bud's Military Escort when Bud was laid to rest at West Point.)


"It was a great shock to me to read in the Army-Navy Journal of Bud’s death. Although my association with Bud lasted only a few months, we were very close friends and I was anxiously looking forward to the day when I might be stationed with him again.

"Bud, with his happy outlook on life, was the type who made friends easily and then kept them due to his cheerful spirit, kindness, unselfishness and other desirable traits of character. It is these things and many other attributes that are hard to describe which cause myself and his other associates to feel that we have lost a fine friend.

"While my connections with Bud have always been on an off-duty status, I do know that he established an outstanding record as an officer at Fort Bliss and that, although only a second lieutenant, was highly respected by the other officers and men of his battalion. With Bud's courage and devotion to duty I am confident that his superior record was continued in Korea. He definitely had a promising career ahead of him, and the Army has suffered an irreplaceable loss.

"It seems such a short time ago that I received a letter from Bud saying that he had received his overseas orders that very day. It is hard to believe that he is gone. Knowing how much Bud thought of his parents, I know that his loss is quite a blow to you. Yet I do want you to know that your loss is shared by many people upon whom Bud made a lasting Impression."

-Richard C. Tuck (Capt.), U.S.M.A. '46


"I enjoyed so much my last visit with Bud at El Paso. I shall always remember the sparkle in his bright eyes, his winning smile and the feeling I had while I was with him and since, that here was a young man destined for great things if he could be spared the scars of war. I am sure I knew Bud much better than he realized. I was deeply interested in him and his future. I admired his intellect, his courage and his manliness. I have often thought how happy I would have been had I the good fortune to have had a son like your Bud.

I know how proud both of you have been of him, and with such right to have been proud. He has now given his life on the battlefield for us all. May I be so bold to hope that in the knowledge that you have of his devotion to his country in making the supreme sacrifice, will in some measure allay your grief on his passing."

-James E. Kelley.


The usual letters of sympathy came from the General, and Bud's Commanding Officer;

"I cannot begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am to hear of Bud's death. It was a shock to me, as well as to my classmates. General Ridgway has asked me to convey to you as much information as I can concerning Bud.

"Here is the exact account of Bud's death extracted from the Adjutant General Casualty Branch here In Tokyo, Japan, as received from Bud's outfit:

"Bud was forward observer on hill of unnown number near Yanjimal, when an incoming rifle grenade landed ten feet from Bud; flying shrapnel hit him in the lower legs, and from loss of blood and shock Bud died.

"I believe Bud was the most congenial, affable person I have ever come in contact with. Never once did Bud pass a disparagIng remark to or of anyone. I know that consolation or sympathy could never bring Bud back, but I do want you to know that I thought a great deal of him."

-Arnold A. Galiffa (1st Lt.)


From Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D. C., came the following:

"I learned a few days ago, of the loss of your son. It came as a terrible shock. Bud and I met that first day of July, 1946, as we were about the same height. We were close friends for the following four years. This past October we met unexpectedly in Korea. Our forward observer had broken down with battlefield fatigue. Bud had volunteered to take his place. He joined us one evening and aided us considerably in saving another company and a part of our company with covering artillery fire. This job was typical of Bud’s fine work while he worked with my company.

"On October l7th I was hit, with our objective in sight. I was happy to think that Bud had come through all right. He had the respect of all of us who worked with him. Then I read the bad news in Assembly.

"I saw your son when the going was tough - and he had in his constitution what you will find in the makings of a fine officer and gentleman. I know I speak for all his classmates when I say we are proud to have known him."

-Joseph T. Griffin, Jr. (Lt.).


A letter from young Sgt. Steve Kolstad, who was constantly and closely associated with Bud during June through part of October, on observation duty, states; "I have recelved a letter from Paul Welsh (radio operator on duty near the front the day Bud was killed). As you can see Bud was liked by everyone. I am proud to say that I served with him in Korea".

At the Memorial Service, our minister. Dr. Irving West, spoke simply and factually of Bud's life.

"Bud was one of the first acolytes of this church. He was always the finest example of young Christian manhood in the life of the church and community. Bud graduated from the St. Paul Academy in 1946, then he went into West Point, where he received his commission in 1950. Always his Christian faith shone from his life. This was very evident during his service in the Armed Forces. Words, always so feeble at best, can never convey the grace and strength and beauty of his life. Like Cyrano de Bergerac, he has crossed over with his 'white plume unsullied'.

"'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."'

A few days after the bright cold day of the Memorial Service, came the following:

"I can think of no surer evidence that no life is incomplete than that great church filled with people who came - both to share your sorrow and to show reverence to the glory of your son's sacrifice. So I shall never again hear 'Glory, Glory, Hallelujiah' that I do not think of that beautiful boy of yours and be grateful to him."

-Elizabeth Kennedy (Mrs. Walter) and Walter Kennedy.


On Monday morning, March third, Bud was laid to rest In the cemetery at West Point. Chaplain Pulley read the simple sermon, as cadets from Bud's Company L-2 acted as guards of honor, and Lt. Wm. R. D. Jones was present as Bud's Military Escort. The dark gray day and the sad tones of the muffled drums seemed to reflect the deep grief In our hearts.

We are thankful to have had Bud with us for the twenty-three years, and we shall think of him as just "being away."

- His Parents

Medon Armin Bitzer

NO. 17778  •  5 June 1927 – 8 January 1952

Killed in Action January 8, 1952 in Korea, aged 24 Years.


For those of us who knew Don, there is nothing that might be said which could tell us more; and for those who did not know him, these words can never express our sorrow at his passing nor give any measure to the depth of his friendship.

Don was born 5 June 1927, in New York City. His childhood and elementary school days were spent in Johnson City, Tennessee; then for high school, Don first put on a military uniform at Tennessee Military Institute. In 1945 he graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy and became a member of the Army Air Force. When he received his appointment to the Military Academy, Don was transferred to the USMA Preparatory School, then at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. On 1 July 1946, Don put on his grays and was sworn in at Battle Monument with the Class of 1950.

The military aspects of his life as a cadet were nothing new to Don - and he fast became a friend in need and in deed to those of us who found the rigid beast barracks life difficult. Plebe Russian and the other academic pitfalls gave Don his share of late Iights--but, somehow he managed to find time for trips with the varsity boxing team - as its lightest contender. For four years Don represented West Point in the Eastern Inter-Collegiates only to be out-pointed late in the eliminations on each occasion. In his "cow" year, he was a corporal; and in his First Class year Don carried the Supply Sergeant's saber and shouldered the additional job of being the Duty Committee Representative for Company E-2.

We had a fine company when Don was a First Classman, and it was due in no small measure to Don's hard work, level head, friendly smile, and common sense. Don's exemplary character and devotion to duty left a lasting mark on his classmates, upperclassmen, and underclassmen. In four years of close association at school, during times when nerves were especially on edge, never was there ever anything said of Don which was less than complimentary . . . Don was a standard of fine American manhood.

Upon graduation Don chose the Air Force and was assigned to Goodfellow Air Force Buse, San Angelo, Texas, for basic flying school. Basic was completed in January of 1951, and Don elected to become a conventional engine fighter pilot. For the next six months flying the F-51 Mustang, and hazing our classmates in the multi-engine and jet aircraft were Don's primary considerations. On 4 August 1951, at Craig Air Force Base, Selina, Alabama, Don received his wings and orders to Korea. There was a pleasant leave at home in Johnson City; then a happy three months in Combat Crew Training School at Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix, Arizona. Another visit at home preceded the trip to Camp Stoneman, Hawaii, Wake Island, Tokyo, and Korea.

Once in the Far East Air Force, Don was assigned to the famed 18th Fighter Bomber Group ... the last operational fighter group flying F-51's. He was among friends in Korea, for seventeen of his USMA classmates and most of his flying school classmates were also assigned to the Mustang group at WonJu, Korea. Combat check-out and missions came slowly because of the lack of airplanes and the presence of bad weather.

The 67th Fighter Bomber Squadron, to which Don was assigned, had a streak of heavy losses; and prior to his fifteenth mission Don saw two of his classmates and four of his friends from flying school killed or taken prisoner by the Communists. On 8 January 1952, Don was on his 15th mission, a dual purpose, two target, fighter strike in North Korea. Don dropped his bombs on the railroad deep in enemy territory; then on the return trip to his base, hit an important secondary target of supplies and personnel near the front lines, with his rockets and machine gun fire. As he broke away from the target after firing his first rocket, he and his aircraft were hit by enemy automatic weapons antiaircraft fire. Because he was hit personally and was at a low altitude, he was unable to abandon his burning aircraft and crashed into the target area.

Don, like his older brother, Conrad, who was killed in World War II in Germany, in 1945, found a "soldier's resting place beneath a soldier's blow" . . . part of the heavy price we have paid for our participation in two recent wars. As a soldier, Don would have been the last to expect combat without casualties; and as a Christian, he would be the last to have us mourn his death . No finer soldier has graduated from West Point; and Don was as fine a Christian as a soldier. He was never one to parade his beliefs, but no one was ever more sincere or devout. To know him was to realize that he was a sound Christian with the deepest kind of practical religion.

Medon Armin Bitzer, First Lieutenant, United States Air Force, Purple Heart, Air Medal, is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Bitzer of Johnson City, Tennessee; his sister, Edith; and brother, Carl Wilfrid.

No words can express how deep is our sorrow or how great our loss at the death of this young soldier - airman . . . a soldier by even Kipling's rugged standards; but our personal loss cannot compare with the loss to the United States and to the Christian world of so promising a leader and citizen as Don.

- W.H.B and R.W.S.

Thurston Richard Baxter

NO. 17722  •  9 December 1928 - 31 December 1952

Missing in action. Changed to: killed in action 31 December 1952, aged 24 years.


DICK BAXTER was born 9 December 1928 at Fort Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. His parents, Lieutenant Thurston H. Baxter and Mina O'Bryan Baxter were stationed at Brooks Field, Texas where his father was assigned as a flying instructor. Dick's childhood was spent at various Army Air Corps stations until, in 1939, his father was assigned to the office of the chief of the Air Corps, and Dick became a Washingtonian. There he reached the senior rank in scouting, Eagle Scout, in only two years, and in 1946 he graduated from St. Alban's School.

This background had several effects on Dick's future life. First of all, not yet 18 when he entered, lie was one of the youngest members of the Class of 1950, a class that had a large number of older and experienced veterans. If, in the competitive environment of cadet life, this put him at some disadvantage, his background also gave him two offsetting advantages. One was an excellent academic preparation, so that was never a serious problem to him. The second, and more important, advantage was his driving determination that he would fly as an officer in the Air Force.

An intensely private person, only his roommates really came close to knowing him. They recall his keenly competitive nature, a puckish sense of humor, and a determination to be himself. One roommate recalls his competitive nature in a situation which arose as to who should have the right to pursue the affections of a blonde model who had attracted their attention. The matter was settled by a race over the obstacle course in the gym. Dick won by a few seconds, but it soon turned out that Dick hadn't been that interested in the young lady to begin with.

Then there was the time he returned from leave with a stuffed teddy bear, which he decreed would be displayed on the mantlepiece as his mascot. The Tac, however, on an inspection when Dick was not room orderly, made it clear that there was a penalty associated with this display of individuality. His roommates, especially the one who had absorbed the gig, negotiated a treaty with him that the mascot would occupy its place of honor only when Dick was room orderly. Thereafter, with some circumspection as to when the Tac was likely to be around, the mascot continued to hold its post during Dick's turns as room orderly.

After graduation, Dick achieved his lifetime ambition, entering the Air Force, completing basic flight training, and going on to advanced training in F-51 Mustangs at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama. While at Craig, he met and married Anne Jo Ross. After only a month of married life he left for Korea and duty with the 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 18th Fighter Wing. There, on 21 December 1951, on a dive­bombing mission, his aircraft impacted the ground, presumably as a result of ground fire, in a crash that he was unlikely to have survived. No report of him as a prisoner of war was ever received, and no remains were returned. He was declared dead on 31 December 1952.

His memorial is a plaque in the Chapel of St. Alban's School. Its inscription reads:

"They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old.

"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

"We will remember them."

The thought that can be added to that is that Dick Baxter died in the achievement of his life's ambition.

- Frank King

John Olin Bates, Jr.

NO. 17690  •  11 August 1926 – 12 June 1952

Killed in Action June 12, 1952, in Korea, Aged 25 Years.


On the plaque by J.O. Bates, Jr.'s crypt In the Hillcrest Mausoleum at Dallas, Texas, is inscribed, "ln grateful memory of 1st Lt. John Olin Bates, Jr., killed in action in Korea on 12 June 1952, while in command of Company "A", 180th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division in the assault of T-Bone Hill." These words express well the quiet dignified nature of the man himself. The strength of his conviction in dedicating himself to the service of his country was unrelenting and there was no moment in his manhood when J.O. doubted the magnificence of the goal he had set before himself.

Born 11 August 1926, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Bates, J.O. attended public school in Fort Worth, Texas. During those years he played on the high school golf team and was twice winner of the Texas Junior Trapshooting Championship. J.O. had a great love for his home and family and it was through close association with his father, on fishing and hunting trips together, and in their mutual interests in trapshooting and gun collecting, that J.O. developed his enthusiasm for numerous sports and his excellent skill in the use of firearms.

J.O. was descended from a Southern family which was very proud of its affiliation with the Confederacy. It was only natural upon graduation from High School that J.O. entered the Virginia Military Institute. While there, he joined the Army Air Forces, leaving V.M.I. in October 1944 when called into the Service. Shortly thereafter he transferred to the Infantry and attended the Infantry Officers' Candidate School, graduating in 1945. His convictions concerning the Army, and particularly the Infantry, were confirmed during that time.

In July 1946, J.O. joined the ranks of the Corps of Cadets at West Point. His calm assured manner in the face of the challenges of Plebe year marked him even then as a man who entertained no doubts concerning his dedication to the service of his country. His athletic ability soon evidenced itself in the countless sports that he engaged in at the Academy, but most particularly, he established himself us a skeet shooting enthusiast, with golf following close behind. As a tribute to both his shooting ability and to his fine character he was elected Captain of the Skeet team that won the Eastern Collegiate Skeet Championship in 1960. Only a year before he had won the Eastern Collegiate Individual Skeet Championship match. He won 3 varsity letters in golf, in addition to intramural awards in soccer and volley ball. The sportsmanship he displayed in every competition won him the highest esteem of his friends and acquaintances: His success In athletics, and his magnificent attributes of leadership while at the Academy were indicative of the tremendous potential of this man. He, perhaps more than any I have known, was destined for the top in the career he had chosen. J.O. was soft spoken but confident, quiet but aggressive, and he had the wonderful sense of humor so essential to a successful troop leader. All who knew J.O. admired him for his strength of character and the friendly disposition which he displayed in his relationship with everyone.

So it was with the mark of success implanted upon J.O. that we watched him graduate from the Military Academy. He had chosen the Airborne School as his first assignment and it was with a great deal of enthusiasm that he looked forward to this tour of duty. It was this enthusiastic attitude and natural quality of leadership that caused many in his cadet company at West Point to accompany him in this stern test of determination. During his tour with the Airborne, he qualified for his senior paratrooper wings, making a total of 34 jumps, further demonstrating the spirit of determination inherent in his attitude toward his career.

On 2 February 1952, J.O. married Nell Jane Sosebee of Fort Worth, a graduate of Mary Washington, University of Virginia. Although J.O. had initially been assigned to Germany shortly before his marriage, he requested duty in Korea, and had only a short period of a few months with Nell prior to leaving for Korea. The same spirit of determination and devotion to the service of his country that he had displayed at West Point once again forbade his accepting the easy path.

In June 1952, J.O. was killed in an attack on an enemy-held hill. For conspicuous heroism, J.O. was awarded (posthumously) the Silver Star, his citation for which reads in part:

"First Lieutenant John Olin Bates, Jr. is cited for gallantry in action against an armed enemy near Karhyon-ni, Korea. Company "G" was counterattacking the bitterly contested Hills 191 and 183 and the company was being subjected to a bitter barrage of enemy artillery and mortar fire on the slopes of the hills. When the company commander was wounded, Lieutenant Bates reorganized the men and continued to the objective. While assaulting Hill 191 a severe barrage of enemy fire was placed on one of the advancing platoons, causing numerous casualties. Lieutenant Bates hurried to the platoon's position under heavy enemy fire and organized the evacuation of the wounded and the dead. He directed litter teams through the exploding shells to where the wounded lay, comforting and inspiring the men until they could be evacuated. While fearlessly moving from person to person, disregarding his safety to give aid and comfort to his men, Lieutenant Bates was hit by enemy fire and fatally wounded."

That was J.O. He was a Texan and proud of his State. He was an officer and proud of his Army. He gave his life in devotion to his country, and I offer these words to J.O. for his parents, his sister, his wife, and myself:


He fell today upon a hill in far Korea and he will not come again unto this land he loved so well, as he had planned.

He fought my fight and gave his all to stem the tide and to forestall the threat to freedoms that I prize.

Pray God that I may realize this sacrifice in this grim war and live life worth his dying for.
— By Julien C. Ilyer

And to Jane Olin, the daughter born after J.O.'s death, I want to say that your father was my greatest friend, and the finest person I shall ever know. He gave his life leading men in combat. And I feel strongly that if he had to die,he would not have had it happen any other way had he had a choice.

- Kenneth E. Murphy, Class of 1950

Courtenay Leonard Barrett, Jr.

NO. 17856  •  

Killed in Action September 27, 1950, in Korea, Aged 23 Years.


Bo has been gone almost four years now. Because of his death there will always be a certain emptiness in the lives of those who knew and loved him. He left behind many wonderful memories of a boy and a man full of fun and life, but with high ideals which he not only lived up to himself, but which he instilled into many other people.

As a boy Bo showed the qualities which were so evident all through his life. He was a leader with a great imagination and the ability to carry out his ideas. He organized our childhood gangs, as well as many other activities, ranging from a neighborhood newspaper to a lemonade stand In the summer. He liked sports and regularly attended meetings at the YMCA, as well as playing baseball and football at school. He was a good student and always enjoyed reading. As he grew up he collected books until he had a good-sized library of Poe, Shakespeare, De Maupassant, and other authors. Besides all his activItles, Bo had something he displayed throughout his life-a kind and loving personality. He enjoyed people-all people - and because he liked them he invariably brought out their good qualities. He seemed to gain something from each person he know, and in turn gave part of himself to them. He was completely unselfish and would do almost anything for a friend. When we were small he took it upon himself to be my guardian-Bo walked with me to and from school, and many times gave up his own play to see that I was safe. As we grew up he was more than just a big brothor-he was a confidante, adviser, teacher, and disciplinarian. Our grandparents, who raised us after our mother died, set an example for Bo by their unselfish devotion and generosity. He loved them deeply and always tried to live up to the bright dreams they had for him. There were times of course when he required a little discipline, for he was a normal boy with ideas and inventions, which once in a while were very impractical. On the whole, however, our family was very close-each enjoying and loving the others very much.

Bo went away to Kentucky Military Institute for high school, and for the first time our group was broken up. However, these school years were filled with many letters and wonderful summer vacations. During high school Bo found that the combination of his uniform and what he called his "charming personality" made him popular with the girls. So throughout these years there was a succession of love affairs -each one 'being "IT", but only for a short while. After his graduation from KMI, as a Cadet Captain, he was drafted and soon was sent to France as a member of the Army of Occupation. After serving a year in France and Germany, he received his appointment to West Point.

The following fall he passed his entrance examinations after a hard preparatory course at Amherst. His first year was the usual difficult one. He spent many hours on his first vacation astounding his friends and family, telling them of the hardship of a plebe. During this year however, a wonderful thing happened to Bo; he met Jacqueline Lowry, the daughter of Colonel Lowry, and this time he really fell in love. The next years went by swiftly and in his senior year he and Jackie became engaged. He made many good friends at the Point whom he regretted leaving, but at the same time he was anxious to be married and start his career. On the evening of his graduation, he and Jackie were married in the chapel at Fort Hamilton, New York where she lived. It was a lovely wedding and they were very very happy. They spent several weeks of their honeymoon with our family and several weeks with Jackie's family.

Just after graduation the Korean war broke out and orders came for Bo to leave immediately for Fort Lewis, Washington. When he left Bo was cheerful and determined. I'll always remember his telling us not to worry; that It was his job to help clear up the war quickly, and that he would be back soon. That was the middle of July. On September 27, 1950, he was killed in action. He spared us the terrible hardships in his letters, but we later learned that only two men from his company survived those battles.

After he was gone we were bitter for a long time. Why did he have to be killed when he had so much ahead of him- We asked ourselves this question a million times. We never received a direct answer but somehow we've come to know deeply that his death was not in vain. Sometimes only through the sacrifices of great and wonderful people in the name of freedom do we at home realize how precious our liberty is. God must have taken Bo because his job here was done. He instilled his leadership, his wisdom and his kindness into many people. To him we can give the greatest tribute possible - there are many people who are better and happier because he lived.

- His sister, Patricia