At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii, seven Citadel Men who died in the service of their country and its allies during World War II are interred and another ten are memorialized on Tablets of the Missing.
Click photographs to enlarge.
Second Lt. James Theodore Baugh, Class of 1943, was a platoon leader in the 24th Marines. After his freshman year at The Citadel, Baugh transferred to Texas Christian University at Fort Worth. March 1942 he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and attended Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned and attended the infantry training school at Camp Lejeune in October 1944. Baugh was killed in the fighting on Iwo Jima to secure the Motoyama plateau and Airfield No. 2 on Feb. 24, 1945. According to relatives, he had undergone an eye operation aboard ship but insisted on leading his rifle platoon into action.
Pvt. Boyd attended the Asheville, N.C. public schools and graduated from The Citadel. Before the war, he owned the Carolina Press, Inc. of Asheville. He received his training at New River, and was serving with the Fifth Marine Division in his first combat duty when he was killed in action on Iwo Jima.
Lt. Cooper was a graduate of Greenville High School and of The Citadel. On August 28 1942, a flight of three B-17Es from the 36th Bombardment Squadron took off on a bombing mission against Kiska, an Aleutian island occupied by the Japanese between 6 June 1942 and 28 July 1943. The flight, late in taking off, ran into darkness and rain during the return flight. The first B-17 landed at Fort Glen’s Cape Field located on Umnak Island in the Aleutians in heavy rain followed by the second B-17 30 minutes later. The third bomber, 41-9146, flown by Lt Albert J. Wilsey, disappeared during a turn in the darkness. Lt Wilsey and his copilot apparently became disorientated and flew off in another direction. The last radio transmission heard from him was that he had an hour of fuel left. In addition to Lt Wilsey, those lost included Lt Raymond L. Adair, Lt Charles H. Cooper, Lt John W. Sheppard, Cpl Paul W. Lyden, Pvt Charles W. Fantner, Pvt Rudoph S. Olesnsevich, Pvt Harold N. Knutson and Pvt Donald W. Brown. (Hist, 36th Bomb Sq, p. 13; Wheeler Diary, Carter and Mueller, Combat Chronology, World War II, p. 35.)
Major Ellerbe, a graduate of The Citadel, was the grandson of former South Carolina governor, William H. Ellerbe. He completed his air corps cadet training at Randolph Field, Texas, in February 1941. He then went onto Kelly Field where he received his pilot training and his commission. He and his B-29 crew were killed in action over Tokyo, Japan.
LCDR “Bob” Evins attended The Citadel. After his freshman year, he transferred to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland from where he graduated and received his commission in the U.S. Navy in 1939. In April 1944, he took command of Composite Squadron (VC) 4, operating from USS White Plains (CVE 66). On June 17, 1944, in the vicinity of Saipan, the carrier division was attacked at dusk by enemy aircraft which necessitated landing the CAP after dark. LCDR Evins, piloting his FM-2 Wildcat, did not return from this flight.
A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Lt. Franks attended The Citadel and Wofford College. He enlisted on December 13, 1941 in Fort McPherson, Atlanta. He was the co-pilot of one of four B-25Js assigned as fighter decoy during a photographic “offensive sweep” of Suribachi Airfield on Paramushiru, Kurile Islands (now part of Russia), the B-25 flight was working with Consolidated B-24s and United States Navy Lockheed Venturas to photograph the island. Suribachi was an auxiliary airfield for the Imperial Japanese Army. His and another B-25 crew were lost when they were shot down by Japanese fighters.
Lt. Harvey attended The Citadel before joining the Army Air Corps. He received his wings and commission in December 1943 at Eagle Pass Field, Texas. Until June 1945, he served as a flight instructor at air base near Waycross, Georgia. On July 13, 1945, Lt. Harvey, piloting a P-51, was killed in action when he crashed into Futami Harbor, Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands. He had only been overseas 11 days, and he was on his second combat mission.
Lt. Holton, a native of Charlotte, N.C., attended The Citadel and Davidson College. He was a member of the crew of Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker’s bomber which was reported lost after crashing into the Pacific during the Battle of Midway. Maj. Gen. Tinker was the commander of the Hawaiian air force, and he selected himself to lead the flight of bombers to attack the Japanese fleet off Midway Island.
Lt. Jervey graduated from The Citadel and then attended to the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston. After completing his internship in Charleston, he returned to his hometown of Tryon, N.C. to practice medicine together with his father, Dr. A.J. Jervey, who had been a major during the first world war. Lt. Jervey died in Hawaii of wounds received in combat somewhere in the Pacific.
A native of Morganton, N.C., Lt. Long attended The Citadel and the United States Military Academy at West Point from which he graduated. He enlisted in the Air Corps in May 1942, entered the service in October 1942, and received his wings and commission in the Air Corps at the single engine training school at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. He spent 6 months in Panama and then became a member of the Second Air Command Group and was sent to Burma as a pilot of a P-51 Mustang in November 1944. In his six months tour of duty, he completed at least 43 missions. Lt. Long was killed in action over Burma.
LT. Meros attended The Citadel and the University of Florida from which he graduated. He received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in November 1940. After a special six-month period training at the academy he was commissioned an Ensign in the Naval Reserve. He then attended the Post-Graduate School at Annapolis. He returned to the States in June 1944 after two years at sea, and after a brief period ashore, he embarked on his second tour of Pacific duty. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant around December 1943.
LT. Meros was serving as the Executive Officer aboard USS Conklin (DE-439) when he was swept overboard during a typhoon. He, along with three other men, was outside on the flying bridge trying to pilot the ship. All four were swept overboard. LT. Meros and S1C Rudolph A. Slavich were lost at sea. The other two men were recovered and lived. “After a night of high seas, wind and storm, the typhoon of June, 1945 reached it’s peak in the dark early morning hour of 5AM, at which time a freak wave hit the destroyer escort USS CONKLIN DE 439 and rolled her onto her side. The ship rolled more the 72 degrees, and lost all power. By rights the ship should have continued to roll and sink. A freak wave reportedly knocked the ship upright again.” (http://www.ussconklin.org/typhoon.htm)
Second Lieutenant Moznette, a graduate of The Citadel, was killed in the crash of U.S. Army Air Corps B-24D Liberator #41-23929. On January 8, 1943, the crew took off from Barking Sands Airfield, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands, on a training flight leading a mock attack against Pearl Harbor on Oahu. The plane crashed two miles off Barking Sands. The B-24 “Super Man” took off on a search mission for the missing bomber which they spotted offshore underwater. The crew of ten men were officially declared dead the day of the mission. Five of the crew are listed as Missing in Action and their names are memorialized at the Court of the Missing, Court 7. Four crew members are interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The tenth crew member is buried in Texas.
Lt. Shaw completed a year at The Citadel. Before joining the Air Corps, he was a promising young businessman in Laurens, South Carolina. He is reported to have been a pilot. Lt. Shaw died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds while stationed at Nurmea, New Caledonia.
Lt. Simons, a native of Charleston, S.C., died of non-battle related causes. He was originally buried at Okinawa Island Cemetery, Ryukyu Retto.
Lt. Stallings attended The Citadel and the University of North Carolina before enlisting in the National Guard. In 1942 he was transferred to the Army Air Corps. He received his commission and wings as an Aerial Navigator at Selma Field, Monroe, La., in June of 1944.
Lt. Stallings and crew were lost when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff. They were ferrying B-29A 42-94021 between Kwajalein Atoll and Guam, His brother, Lt. June B. Stallings, a P-51 pilot, had been killed in action over Germany 26 days earlier. In 1951, the Air Force renamed the old WWII Marine Corps Air Field at Kinston, N.C. “Stallings Field” in their honor.
Major Stewart was a graduate of Florence High School and of The Citadel. His first three years at The Citadel, he was a member of Band Company. His senior year, he was appointed Cadet Major and commanded Second Battalion. Upon graduation he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He served several Pacific combat tours of duty aboard USS Mississippi (BB-41). He received his gold oak leaves on the way to Iwo Jima. Major Stewart was commanding Able Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division when he was fatally shot by a Japanese rifleman on Iwo Jima as he was moving forward to personally direct the action.
Lt. Walts attended The Citadel until joining the Air Corps in 1943. A B-29 pilot, he died of non-battle related causes. He was originally buried at Tinian Cemetery, Marianas Islands.
Memorial portrait photos, unless otherwise noted, have been provided courtesy of The Citadel Archive and Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.
With special thanks to Rick Ellis, ’89, Deborah Long, and Caroline McGuire who photographed all the names and markers during a visit to the Honolulu Punchbowl, March 2018.