We shall not forget

The Citadel

The story of ‘The Class that Never Was’ now in four languages across Europe

This article was originally published by The Citadel Newsroom on November 6, 2014.

CHARLESTON, SC – In honor of the 70th Anniversary of The Citadel’s Class of 1944, known as “The Class that Never Was”, and in memory of the members of the classmates who served in or were killed in action in World War II, the college released a special video presentation in 2014 just before D-Day.

Citadel Cadets 1942

Cadets consider enlisting with the Navy, 1942

Now, that video, which includes rare film footage from campus in the 1940s, is being shown in four languages throughout Europe, thanks to the work of Roger Long who is a member of The Citadel Class of 1989, and members of The Citadel Memorial Europe Foundation. Long is president of the BENELUX Citadel Club, and founder and chairman of The Citadel Memorial Europe Foundation. He lives in Heythuysen, in the Dutch province of Limburg. He is originally from Raleigh, N.C.

“Members of The Citadel Memorial Europe Foundation volunteer in middle schools around the continent. The video about The Class that Never Was is the perfect teaching tool we needed to help honors and memorialize the Citadel men and their allies who died while in the service of their country here in Europe and in North Africa,” Long said.

Long worked with translators to establish subtitled copies of the video in DutchFrench and Italian, to complement the original version in English, enabling Europeans speaking those languages to view the video. (more…)


Spring Break: Over There

by Steven V. Smith, ’84 – Chair, CAA History Committee

This article originally appeared in the Alumni News of The Citadel – Summer 2017. It is published here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association. Photos have been added to this web post which did not appear in the original print version.

Cadets enrolled in Professor Kyle Sinisi’s class, History 391: The U.S. in World War I, spent their days of Spring break walking the American Expeditionary Force battlefields in France. Accompanying the class were Board of Visitors member, Col. Myron Harrington, USMC, Ret., ’61, and the director of Daniel Library, Lt. Col. David Goble, SCM, ’69. The group was also fortunate to have Matthew Davenport, critically acclaimed author of First Over There: The Attack on Cantigny, America’s First Battle of World War I, accompany them.

Citadel Cadets at the famous Bulldog Fountain near the village of Belleau.

In the village of Cantigny, they walked the terrain of America’s first combined arms attack as Davenport described the action where in the early morning of May 28, 1918, the 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Division climbed out of their trenches to (more…)


Melvin Charles Helfers, ’37

By Col. Jared Kline, ’80, USA (Ret.)

It is 23 September, and I have to remember an old friend. Today would have been the 105th birthday of my old mentor, LTC Melvin Charles Helfers, Citadel Class of 1937.


Cadet Captain Melvin Charles Helfers
Infantry — English
Addison, Illinois

“Melvin came to us our Sophomore year after making an outstanding record at prep school. It did not take him long to acclimate himself and demonstrate his ability. Gold Stars came his first year and a staff captaincy followed in his last year. Always quietly efficient this Chicago lad capably handled the position of Prose Editor of The Shako and has been one of the most valuable members of the Round Table. One of the most brilliant men in the senior class. Melvin plans to teach and we predict his success with no trepidation.
1934-35 Pvt.. Co. C: Gold Stars. 1935-36 Plat. Sgt.. Supply Sgt.. Co. C; Gold Stars; The Round Table; Varsity Baseball. 1936-37 Capt.. Reg. Staff; Gold Stars: The Round Table; Prose Editor, The Shako: Yankee Club; Fourth Corps Area Rifle Team.” – Source: 1937 Sphinx


He was an Army captain stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked in 1941, and went on to become General Patton’s ULTRA intelligence officer for the war in Europe. Although he was an infantryman, he was put into signals intelligence work because he came from a German (Prussian) family in Illinois and spoke German perfectly. Here is a picture I have of him, taken on 26 August 1944, (more…)


LIFE AT THE CITADEL

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, May 31, 1942, p.43


This is another in a series of articles on Life on the Campus at our leading schools and colleges. By ELEANOR NANGLE

FOR THE last week more than 200 first classmen at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina at Charleston, have been approaching, with a reluctance they wouldn’t have believed possible four years ago, the most eagerly anticipated event of their lives. As seniors they have led the corps for the last time. They have formed in the reviewing stand to receive the last parade. Yesterday they were graduated.

Today they are scattering to their homes in all parts of the country, most of them pausing only briefly before they enter the armed services. But something of them remains at the Citadel, adding in large or small measure to the vast stores of cadet tales and traditions there. And the spirit of the Citadel goes with them. In the life of all Citadel men the thread of Citadel memories is one of the most colorful, durable, and treasured in its whole tapestry.

Full-dress parade in the Spring of 1943 (Courtesy of The Citadel Archives)

The Citadel man has absorbed more than rigorous training of mind, body, and spirit, and when he reviews them, as all graduating cadets do on commencement day, he places new value on other gifts of the school to the student – the Spartan discipline, the good counsel, the friendships, the democracy, the pageantry of patriotism and the essence of it. (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…)


Army ROTC at The Citadel celebrates 100 years

citadel coastal artillery cadets drilling circa 1923Citadel Coastal Artillery Corps ROTC cadets with 8 inch Howitzer M1918 MkVIII, circa 1923


Originally published by The Citadel, October 20, 2016, on thedigitel.com


The Citadel marks its Army ROTC Centennial on Oct.  21, 2016

By Maj. Steve Smith, TAC officer and Citadel historian

The Citadel applied to the U.S. Department of War in 1882, requesting that an Army officer be assigned to the college as Professor of Military Science and Tactics. That application laid the groundwork for what would eventually become an Army ROTC program at the college. (Photo: Citadel CAC ROTC cadets drilling Howitzer M1918 MkVIII, circa 1923)

In the coming years, The Citadel was classified as an Essentially Military College — meaning students were housed in barracks, constantly in uniform, and bound to a disciplinary system. As a result, the war department’s college division inspected The Citadel annually from 1904-27, during which time the college earned the distinguished college title 20 times until the program was suspended. In 1916 and 1917, the designation allowed The Citadel to recommend (more…)


The Citadel Museum Reopens

Daniel Library Director, David Goble, ’69, talks about the much anticipated re-opening of The Citadel Museum, which represents the history of The Citadel from it’s founding in 1842 to the present. This exhibit explores the long history of the school by showcasing some of our past and present uniforms displayed along a timeline. A display of The Citadel rings from 1895 to the present is also a focal point of the museum.


Look for other topical displays throughout the Daniel Library. Through a self guided tour, the visitor experiences the essence of each era in The Citadel’s history. (more…)