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
“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…)
Born on October 26, 1924, in Kern County, California to Linnie Rebecca Gibbs Ferrel and Clarence John Ferrel, Joseph graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1942 and then entered The Citadel with the Class of 1946 at the start of the 1942-43 academic year. While there, he was a member of Cadet Company P. He was called away mid-way through his freshman year, enlisting in December 1942 and entering the U.S. Army on March 27, 1943 at Fort Macauthur, San Pedro, Los Angeles, California.
Cadet Private Joseph Gibbs Ferrel, Class of 1946
Source: 1943 Sphinx
A Private First Class, he was sent to Europe in August 1944 with Company K, 414th Infantry Regiment, 104th Division. The regiment landed at (more…)