Remembering those who gave all on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, Dutch veterans pay their respects. On, the 6th of June, 2014, these Dutch veterans made a special trip to the Normandy American Cemetery to place a white rose, on the behalf of The Citadel Memorial Europe, at the six graves and one name on the Wall of the Missing of the Citadel men there. The day after, one of the group stated, “We did it with great honor and respect. Yesterday, we had a great day.”
My favorite story resulting from the work of The Citadel Memorial Europe over the past five years took place back in June 2014. Probably it is my favorite because it is a tale of action, simple in execution but not without risk, and it is a perfect example of the remarkable character of the Dutch veterans I have come to know and respect.
Three years ago, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy was commemorated with great anticipation and celebration. The preparations by the French people took years. The leaders of the WWII allies were present, the news coverage was complete, and the invasion of veterans, politicians, and celebrants overwhelming.
For me, the story began a year before when chatting with a Dutch friend of mine, Job Kosterman, I learned that he and a group of his mates, all Dutch military veterans, were planning a trip to Normandy for the 70th anniversary. (more…)
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.
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…)
BIJ DE BUREN
De Amerikaanse begraafplaats Henri-Chapelle stond gisteren in het teken van de Citadel Men. Jongens die uit de schoolbanken zijn geplukt om tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog te vechten.
door Stefan Gillissen
Amerikaanse militaire training is vooral bekend van het grote scherm. Films schetsen een gruwelijk beeld van de eerste weken in dienst van Uncle Sam, met Full Metal Jacket en Jarhead als uitschieters. Het breken van de wil, het decompenseren van de geest, creëert de ideale vechtmachine. Het is niet per se een onjuiste observatie, maar wel één zonder enige nuance. De opleiding is nodig om een eenheid te smeden die in oorlogstijd bevelen opvolgt.
Een doedelzakspeler speelt voor de gevallen mannen. foto Arnaud Nilwik
Maar niet alleen in het leger ondergaan kandidaten wat Boot Camp of Hell Week wordt genoemd. Ook op Amerikaanse militaire academiën worden cadetten onderworpen aan een zware introductie. Minstens 40 procent van de mannen en vrouwen gaat anno 2015 in actieve militaire dienst en wordt een uithangbord voor het vaderland. Gevormd door brute training, gedreven door eergevoel en liefde. (more…)
Een herinnering vanwege Memorial Day en de zeventigste herdenking van D-Day: zeldzame filmbeelden uit de Citadelarchieven en het verhaal van de “Klas van 1944” die bekend werd als de “Klas die nooit bestond” vanwege haar voortijdige inzet tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog.
Charleston, S.C. (PRWEB) May 27, 2014 (View original here)
Fysieke trainingen, exercities en inspecties. Oude rekruteringsbeelden uit 1942 laten beelden zien uit het dagelijkse leven van de kadetten uit het “South Carolina Korps”. De filmbeelden van “The Citadel” werden vertoond op scholen en in theaters om de waarde van een militaire opleiding aan te tonen op het moment dat Amerika zich mengde in de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Maar de kadetten die ten tijde van de filmopnames tweedejaars student waren, konden hun opleiding niet afmaken. Hun opleiding werd op dramatische wijze onderbroken.
‘Zo wordt de klas terecht genoemd omdat er voor ons geen diploma-uitreiking was, geen ceremonie met de afstudeerring en wij nooit de privileges zouden ervaren van de ouderejaars studenten aan De Citadel. Uiteindelijk vind ik de naam “de klas die nooit bestond” dus heel toepasselijk,’ zegt Timothy Street, lid van de “Klas van 1944”.
Als eerbetoon aan de “Klas van 1944” en de leden van de klas die dienden in of sneuvelden tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog heeft De Citadel een film gemaakt met zeldzame beelden, (more…)
by Steven V. Smith, ’84 – Chair, CAA History Committee
This article originally appeared in the Alumni News of The Citadel – Summer 2014. It is reprinted here in its entirety with the permission of the Citadel Alumni Association.
The observance of the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandy poignantly reminds us that those young men who embarked upon that great crusade and were fortunate enough to have survived are in their eighties and nineties now. Even as this article was written, The Citadel’s most decorated veteran of WWII, Colonel Theodore S. “Ted” Bell, class of ’42, recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and two Bronze Stars, who fought with the 77th Infantry Division in the Pacific, passed away at the age of 93. We are fast approaching that point in time when memory will forever pass into history. It is incumbent upon we who are the recipients of the fruits of their sacrifice to take a few minutes to remember the exploits those who were there.
Of course, the exploits of Major Thomas D. Howie, class of 1929, “The Major of St. Lo”, commanding officer of 3/116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division seventy years ago are, or at least should be familiar to alumni. Howie, serving as operations officer or S3 for the 116th Infantry Regiment landed with the third wave on OMAHA Beach at H+70, June 6, 1944. Five weeks later on July 17 during the operation to liberate St. Lo and four days after taking command of 3/116, he would lose his life in that attack on Martinsville ridge; an action for which he was awarded the Silver Star. His home town of Abbeville, South Carolina, St. Lo, France, and The Citadel all have memorials to his memory, “Dead in France, Deathless in Fame” his grave in the Normandy American Cemetery is one of the most visited in the cemetery. There are other alumni who are less well known or even remembered. What follows are a few of those stories.
Major Howie was not the first Citadel alumnus to land at OMAHA Beach. That distinction goes to Private First Class Thompson Gallety Dicks, class of 1944, assigned to A Company, 1/116th Infantry Regiment landing in the first wave on the Dog Green sector at H+1. Within ten minutes of landing, the murderous grazing and plunging machinegun and mortar fire rendered the unit combat ineffective with Dicks and over two thirds of his company, many from the town of Bedford, Virginia, dead or dying on that beach forever known to history as “Bloody Omaha.” Bedford Virginia is home to the National D Day Memorial. Thompson’s father, Colonel John Leon Dicks, class of 1918, had his son’s remains permanently interred in the Normandy American Cemetery. (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…)
A Memorial Day and D-Day 70th anniversary remembrance: Rare film footage from The Citadel archives and the story behind the college’s Class of 1944 that became known as The Class that Never Was because of their service in WWII.
Charleston, S.C. (PRWEB) May 27, 2014 (View original here)
Physical training, drills, inspections…old recruiting films from 1942 depict scenes of life in the S.C. Corps of Cadets. The Citadel’s films were once played at schools and theaters to promote the value of a military college education just as America was fully engaging in World War II and two years before D-Day. But cadets who were sophomores at the time of the filming were about to have their college careers interrupted in dramatic fashion.
Cadets considering enlisting in the Navy, 1942
“It’s the truth because we never had graduations, we never had ring ceremonies, and we never had any of the particulars that go with being a senior at The Citadel − any of the privileges that go with being a senior at The Citadel. So as a result I don’t think the label of The Class That Never Was is all together inaccurate,” said Timothy Street, member of The Citadel Class of 1944.
In honor of The Citadel’s Class of 1944 and the members of the class who served in or were killed in action in World War II, the college released rare film footage in conjunction with a video describing (more…)
By Hal Boyle
With the 116th Infantry Regiment in France, July 23 – (delayed) – (AP)
They passed out Presidential citations today to officers and doughboys who cracked St. Lo, the eastern hinge of the German battle-line, and it was a sad ceremony to many because the “Major of St. Lo” was not alive to receive his.
The “Major of St. Lo” was Thomas D. Howie of Stauton, Va., one of the best beloved battalion leaders in the American army. He was killed July 17, the day before the city fell, after he broke through the Nazi wall to relieve another battalion of this regiment which was encircled on the outskirts.
Today the major lies in honor with other officers and men in the 29th division’s cemetery  – but on the day St. Lo was taken the dead major was carried through the streets in state in an ambulance and his flag-draped body was placed on a pile of rubble beside the shell-wrecked church of Ste Croix. The storming force passed in review through an artillery barrage thrown by the withdrawing Germans.
Howie was bald and in his middle thirties. He formerly taught English literature and coached boxing and football at Staunton Military academy. He was an athletic star himself earlier at The Citadel Military College, Charleston, S.C.
Normandy Trip 2012 Agenda
I am sharing this so that maybe you can use it as a basis if you ever have the chance to visit Normandy. There are museums and memorials around almost every corner, and it can be difficult to determine beforehand from the guidebooks which are the quality, must-sees.
Our trip leader, Willem, history teacher and WWII expert, put the agenda together based upon his many visits to the D-Day beaches. It looks like a lot. It was a lot. But it was not over-the-top. We still had plenty of time to relax at a café for a cup of coffee in the morning and a beer or sparkling cider in the afternoon. We were back at the hotel on average around 9.30 p.m. We would have a drink together, and then the younger cohort would stay out awhile longer. The 8 a.m. start was easily made by everyone, and the breakfasts of orange juice with fresh croissants, baguette, ham and cheese was the perfect way to start each day’s adventure.
I can think of only a few places on this earth whose name can evoke so many images and emotions. While for a few William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of England in 1066 may immediately spring to mind, for most the flash begins with the 6th of June, 1944.
In America, everyone learns about D-Day when studying modern history and the Second War World. Normandy, however, is not remembered as a region of France but as a cemetery and a string of 5 beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. In reality, it is so much more. Last week, I took a trip to Normandy. It was my first time there, and it was an unforgettable experience which I would like to share with you, a day at a time.
But first, to tell the story properly, I must provide background. It was a group excursion which began from my home in The Netherlands. We were a group of 9. What made this a special group for me, and what I considered a once in a lifetime opportunity, was the fact that the trip was arranged by a college history teacher (and very close friend). We were joined by 4 of his students (all aspiring history teachers), a former museum curator, and another amateur enthusiast like me. Rounding out the group was my friend’s former student who now teaches history at a high school and who is a WWII expert. The WWII expert, Willem, drew up our agenda based upon the knowledge of the area he has gained through many previous visits. It was an amazing program. Providing another aspect of uniqueness, all my travel companions were Dutch.