We shall not forget

1LT Edwin “Benny” Newman ’39

“Everyone gets a nickname.” That was the first, and seemingly, most important Citadel sailing team order of business, according to George Puckhaber ’86 and Greg Walters ’87 when we arrived at the yacht club for our introductory team meeting my knob year. The upperclassmen already had their nicknames. The ones I can still remember are “Cookie”, “Smoker”, and “J.T.”. My last name is Long, and being the tallest in the room Greg immediately dubbed me “Shorty”. From that moment on that was my name as far as my teammates were concerned. I can still hear and picture Tom “Laundry Man” Londrigan ’89 and Rhett Turner ’89 calling me “Shorty” all the way up to our graduation.

I was “Shorty” only to my teammates though. Otherwise I was “Knob Long” that first year. I did not bring any other nickname with me or acquire one while at The Citadel, but back in the “Old Corps” everyone had a nickname. According to John Burrows, Class of 1940, “All the people had nicknames in those days. We probably had a dozen ‘Bubbas’ in my class.”[1]

newman-1939-sphinx-croppedCadet 1st Lieutenant Edwin Karl Newman, Class of 1939
Source: 1939 Sphinx, The Annual of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets

Edwin Karl Newman was a “jolly, good-natured fellow [who] acquired the name of ‘Benny’ from the Corps”. “Benny” was a Business Administration major from Winston Salem, North Carolina. He was a D Company Sophomore Corporal, Junior Platoon Sergeant, and Senior First Lieutenant. Besides having fair grades and holding rank, his “ability for telling tales (we sometimes wonder about their veracity) and singing that ‘good ole mountain music’ [was] surpassed by none.”[2]

I, too, am from North Carolina and a graduate of The Citadel, and I feel a strong bond with 1LT Newman for yet another reason. He was killed in action at 0300, 26 February 1945 in the vicinity of Aandenberg at Montfort [map], The Netherlands, approximately 15 km (9 mi.) from the place I now call home.[3]

First Lieutenant Newman was commanding C Company, 7th Armored Infantry Battalion, 8th Armored Division. They were supporting the assault on German forces 1000 yards south of Roermond, a city on the east bank of the Maas River and a stone’s throw from the German border. The city had been occupied since the first hours of the German invasion of The Netherlands 10 May 1940. On 1 March 1945 the Reconnaissance Troop of the 35th Infantry Division entered Roermond.

“Benny” left behind his wife and young son. He now rests in peace at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Plot D Row 7 Grave 14. Another seven Citadel Men rest with him at Margraten. For us who live here these words ring true everyday:

HERE WE AND ALL WHO SHALL HEREAFTER LIVE IN FREEDOM
WILL BE REMINDED THAT TO THESE MEN AND THEIR COMRADES
WE OWE A DEBT TO BE PAID WITH GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
OF THEIR SACRIFICE AND WITH THE HIGH RESOLVE
THAT THE CAUSE FOR WHICH THEY DIED SHALL LIVE.[4]

/RL


[1] John Burrows ’40, Interview by Jack Bass, 10 December 2008, The Citadel Oral History Program
[2] Sphinx 1939, The Citadel, p.223
[3] 7th Armd. Inf. Bn. – S-1 Report, Feb 25-27, 1945
[4] “On the exterior wall of the museum is this inscription taken from General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s dedication of the Golden Book in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London”, American Battle Monuments Commission, Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial brochure, p.8

4 responses

  1. awesome post “shorty.” I knew all those guys mentioned above and I am sure “Benny” is honored by your blog. Thanks for posting…

    “Spicolli”

    April 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm

  2. Deborah Long

    Excellent post. I’ll be thinking of “Benny” for quite some time.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

  3. Pingback: One Year of The Citadel Memorial Europe | The Citadel Memorial Europe

  4. Pingback: Dodenherdenking | The Citadel Memorial Europe

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