This story was originally published in the Sandlapper, Autumn 2009. It is posted here in its entirety with the permission of the author.
The 1940 plebes prematurely were carried off by a small diversion known as “World War II.”
At mess one day in 1943, The Citadel Class of ’44 were ordered to stand up. They heard the words: “Gentlemen, you are shipping out.”
By Sheila Collins Ingle
In 1940, World War II enveloped Europe. Belgium, Norway and France surrendered to the German Army. Italy, siding with Germany, declared war on Britain and France in June. Hitler’s parade into Paris was broadcast in American theaters on Fox Movie-tone News. Air battles and daylight raids between the Luftwafte and the Royal Air Force over Britain’s skies began in August. Men, women and children were dying.
That same year in America, Big Band sounds filled the air waves and dance floors. Crooner Bing Crosby and comedian Bob Hope made their first movie together. Everyone flocked to laugh at My Favorite Wife and The Philadelphia Story. (Our Office of War declared movies essential for morale and propaganda.) But in May, the country listened to President Franklin D. Roosevelt give a “Fireside Chat” on National Defense. He looked backward and forward at the situation in Europe and its future
effect on America.
World War II was winding closer to home shores.
On September 2, 1940, 565 high school graduates reported to The Citadel in Charleston for their freshmen year of college. They came from across the United States. Each enthe same wrought iron gate. Young men arrived from California, Indiana, Pennsylvania . . . but most were South Carolinians. Registration began at 9 a.m. in the armory with forms to fill out and fees to pay. Freshman expenses were $531.50 for first-year South Carolina cadets, $671.50 for out-of-state cadets. Gen. Charles Pelot Summerall, Citadel president, welcomed the class that night. (more…)
By Rose Marie Godley, Citadel News Director
This article originally appeared in Alumni News of The Citadel – Winter 1972-1973. It is posted here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association.
Front cover of Alumni News of The Citadel – Winter 1972 -1973
The earth shuddered as the Germans began their heavy counterattack. Maj. Thomas Dry Howie, ’29, warned his men, “Keep down!” And reassured them, “We’re getting out of here soon. We’ll get to Saint Lo yet!”
The Germans knew the value of holding Saint Lo with its vital network of roads. Only after the town was taken could American armor maneuver in the plains beyond to achieve the longed-for breakout.
Above the noise Howie explained his position over the battle phone to Maj. Gen. Charles H. Gerhardt, the commanding general.
“The Second can’t make it,” he yelled into the phone. “‘They’re too cut up. They’re exhausted. Yes – we can do it. We’re in better shape. Yes – if we jump off now. Okay.” Howie smiled. “See you in Saint Lo.”
Howie called for his map and gave orders for attack on Saint Lo – so close.
Then came a sudden German mortar barrage. (more…)
The Citadel’s Class of 1931 
“We, the members of the Junior class, are extremely proud and grateful of the honor of being an important part of The Citadel. Perhaps greater classes have gone before us, but we doubt if any can show a greater devotion to and love for our Alma Mater.
Ours was the largest Freshman class ever to enroll at The Citadel, and the surviving Juniors of the hard grind of two years represent a small part of our classmates who first matriculated. Some have fallen by the wayside; others have battled heroically to attain the qualifications of a Junior in scholarship, military advancement, and moral leadership. Our path has been hindered by obstacles; but overcoming them, we have increased our momentum and have set our eyes on the goal of graduation next year.
Experience in various lines of duty has been acquired throughout our Freshman and Sophomore years. Realizing that vanity, arrogance, and boastfulness are detrimental to advancement, we hope and believe those factors have been removed in our first years here. Still we are conscious of imperfections in ourselves, our class, our school. An imperative duty thus faces us — to give our best for progress. We are determined not to be found wanting in that respect.
Ours is not a conservative class; neither is it radical. Our representatives have possibly been (more…)
Yesterday, I was searching for articles about William Montague Nicholls, Class of 1912, the first Citadel Man killed in the First World War. A young man from Spartanburg, South Carolina, he left his father’s law practice in 1914 to join the war in Europe and served in the British Royal Field Artillery. While I found several news articles of interest, the one item that continues to elude me is a picture of him. There should be one of him in the Naval Academy’s 1914 Lucky Bag, but I have not yet found the senior class’s pages digitalized on the web. During his second year at The Citadel, he won an appointment to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and he joined its Class of 1914.
I did find the pages describing the 1913 Army-Navy football game at the Polo Grounds in New York City where “Monty” Nicholls quarterbacked the Navy team. There is a very blurry black and white photograph captioned with “Monty takes 40 yards”, but real details cannot be made out. [Author’s note: Since the original posting of this article, I have found the Lucky Bag page… Montague’s senior page with photo.]
The article that caught my attention and imagination though was Wilton Garrison’s “Sports Shots” column printed the day before the Wofford College homecoming of 1934. Wofford, situated in Spartanburg, would play against The Citadel Bulldog football team.