We shall not forget

Netherlands

Joseph Altomari, Class of 1945

Born in 1923 to Maria and Pasquala Altomari, Joseph grew up at 60-12 68th Avenue in Ridgewood, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. He attended The Citadel for two years before entering service in the U.S. Army. During his freshman year, he was a member of Cadet Company “H”. The following academic year, he was a member of Cadet Company “K” and joined the English Club. On December 6, 1942 in Charleston, he enlisted in the army and was placed in the Enlisted Reserve Corps which allowed him to continue his study at The Citadel until the time he was called up for basic training.

Cadet Private Joseph Altomari, Class of 1945
1943 Sphinx, Annual of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets

In Europe, he served in Company “C”, 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. Sgt. Altomari died, (more…)


Thomas Edwin Campbell, Jr., Class of 1946

Born on May 12, 1924, in Florence, Alabama, to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas “Ed” Campbell, Thomas “Tom”, Junior, attended grade school in the Florence city schools. After completing two years  at St. Bernard College at Cullman, Alabama, he transferred to Columbia Military Academy at Columbia, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1942. He entered The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina, to study engineering in the fall of 1942, but volunteered for the services in the Air Corps in December. His father, Ed Campbell, attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia and was a fighter pilot during the First World War.

Tom Campbell was called to active duty in February, 1943 and upon his completion of his training received his wings and his commission at Dothan, Alabama. Sent overseas in February, 1945, he served in the 8th Air Force, 446th Bomb Group, 705th Bomb Squadron, as a co‐pilot of a B‐24H bomber and completed about 40 missions.

March 24, 1945 – Operation Varsity and Drop Zone Wesel

The mission on 24 March 1945 was in support of Allied troops engaged in (more…)


Mysterieuze verbintenis maakt een Nederlandse Citadel-Cadet trots tijdens de Amerikaanse Veteransday en ver daarna

The Citadel Newsroom, November 11, 2016. Read the English version:
Uncanny connection brings pride for cadet from Holland on Veterans Day and beyond


De Nederlandse middelbare scholier en fervent basketbalspeler Tom Koopman kreeg een telefoontje van een Amerikaanse sportscout, behorende tot de Amerikaanse militaire academie “The Citadel”, gelegen in Charleston, South Carolina. De scout bood hem een volledige studiebeurs aan in de V.S. als Tom zou besluiten daar te komen basketballen.  Koopman had nog nooit gehoord van deze school maar desondanks accepteerde hij het aanbod en startte als eerstejaars aan The Citadel in augustus 2013. Met deze start begon ook het spelen voor het basketbalteam van de school, The Bulldogs. De 203 cm lange Tom zit nu in zijn afstudeerjaar, is een succesvolle cadet en leider van het team.

At The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., on October, 2016. Zach Bland/The CitadelCadet Tom Koopman en zijn vader tijdens de ringen-ceremonie in oktober 2016

“Dit was het begin van iets unieks. Ik begreep van de aannamecommissie dat The Citadel een militaire school was, maar totdat je het hier echt zelf ervaart, is het moeilijk te begrijpen hoe speciaal deze plek eigenlijk is” aldus koopman. “Het was best zwaar aan het begin, maar wanneer je jezelf als cadet ontwikkelt, begin je het grotere plaatje te zien en begrijp je de waarde van een plekje in het South Carolina Kadettenkorps.”

Koopman ontving zijn felbegeerde Citadelring in oktober tijdens het ouderweekend. Zijn vader Patrick vloog naar Charleston vanuit zijn woonplaats Baarlo om de bijzondere prestatie van zijn zoon mee te kunnen vieren. Maar voordat vader en zoon gezamenlijk door de symbolische grote gouden ring zouden lopen, hadden ze samen al iets bijzonders in handen dat hun familie al decennia eerder aan de school verbond.

“Toen ik dit ontdekte kreeg ik er kippenvel van” aldus Roger Long, voorzitter van The Citadel Memorial Europe Foundation (more…)


The class where 34 seats remained empty.

Originally written and published in the regional Dutch newspaper, Dagblad de Limburger, Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 23, 2015.


American Cemetery Eight pre-war students of the Citadel lie buried at Margraten.

The American Cemetery at Margraten holds countless stories of bravery and sacrifice. Relatively unknown is the fact that eight of the men who are buried there were students of the famous Citadel, a military academy.

By Stefan Gillissen

It’s June 1940. The German army overruns the European continent and declares war on Great-Britain. In movie theaters all over the United States the Fox Movie-tone News shows Hilter’s armies marching through Paris.

The future first-year students of The Citadel, a military academy, see the images but don’t take much notice of them. They just finished high-school and are enjoying their summer holiday. In September 565 boys have to report at Charleston. Until then they still can enjoy their freedom.

C Garlington Jr and A B Hunt JrCreswell Garlington, Jr., and Arthur Bradlee Hunt, Jr.
from the 1943 Sphinx, the Annual of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.

On the 2nd of September 1940, forms are filled out and bills are paid in Charleston. The annual costs of studying at the Citadel lay between 530 and 670 dollars, a huge amount, but also a firm investment for a bright future. Great chances come to those who graduate from The Citadel. Nothing is known about the dark future of some of the students when General Charles Pelot Summerall, President of The Citadel, addresses them in his (more…)


Experience of POW Lt. Richard H. Kellahan

By Richard H. Kellahan, Class of 1944

Posted here with the permission of the Kellahan family. Originally written for the Oflag 64 Association (website).


Our entire class of 1944 left the Citadel at the end of our junior year in 1943. Infantry cadets went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, for 17 weeks of basic training with other ROTC students from various schools. Upon completion of basic training we returned briefly to the Citadel for the Advanced Student Training Program while awaiting the beginning of a new class at Officer Candidate School where we would be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants upon completion of the 17-week course. We graduated from OCS in May of 1944 and joined the 84th Infantry Division at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, for the final stage of training before we were shipped to England and Europe for the final push into Germany.

Richard H. Kellahan, Class of 1944Richard H. Kellahan, Class of 1944
Cadet Platoon Sergeant, “C” Company

1943 Sphinx

We arrived in Germany in October 1944. The Allies were bogged down at that time in the mud and bad weather of late October and early November at the Siegfried Line, Germany’s heavily armed line of defense that was about 5 miles deep and ran from the Baltic Sea to the Alps. It was filled with pillboxes, anti-tank equipment, and every other kind of defense imaginable. Any advance by our troops was measured in yards.

My Citadel classmate Creswell Garlington and I led two platoons from [“I” Company] 3rd Battalion of the 335th Regiment on the morning of November 29, 1944, for a daylight attack on a small village called (more…)


Dodenherdenking

Dutch Remembrance Day… Since the end of WWII, every May 4th at 8 p.m. the entire country of the Netherlands observes two minutes of silence to remember those who gave their lives for their freedom. The entire country, everyone stands still.

At the Netherlands American Cemetery it is observed with a simple yet impressive ceremony in which local school children are invited to participate. The national anthems of the Netherlands and Unites States are played followed by Taps. The Assistant Superintendent of the cemetery gives a brief word to those present. The flags are then lowered and folded by the children. The slideshow contains photos taken during the ceremonies of 2013 and 2014. (more…)


More than a name in marble

Originally written and published in Dutch in the Limburg’s local newspaper on March 26, 2015.
Link naar artikel in het nederlands. Translation by W. Kiggen and M. Heemels.


AT THE NEIGHBORS [1]
The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery was yesterday dominated by the Citadel Men. Guys who were plucked from the school to fight in World War II.

by Stefan Gillissen

US military training is best known for the big screen. Movies paint a gruesome picture of the first weeks in the service of Uncle Sam, with Full Metal Jacket and Jarhead as stand outs. Breaking the will, the decompensation of the mind, creates the perfect fighting machine. It is not necessarily an incorrect observation, but one without qualification. Training is needed to forge a unit that follows commands in wartime.

Citadel Cadet plays Amazing Grace at Henri-Chapelle American CemeteryA Citadel cadet plays for the fallen men. Photo Arnaud Nilwik

But not only in the army do candidates undergo Bootcamp or what is called Hell Week. Also at American military academies, cadets are subject to a heavy introduction. From there, at least 40 percent of the men and women will go into active military service in 2015, and they are a showcase for the country. Formed by brutal workout, driven by honor and love. (more…)