We shall not forget

Posts tagged “History

Fielding Jessup Nelson, Class of 1946

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 28, 1924, to Blanche J. Nelson and Carl Theodore Nelson, young Fielding attended school in Chicago and graduated from Schurz High School June 1942. He entered The Citadel at Charleston September 1942. During his brief time at the military college, he was a member of Cadet Company A until his call to active duty as an enlisted reservist March 3, 1943.

Overseas in Italy, Private First Class Nelson served with Company E, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.

Twenty-six days short of his twentieth birthday, PFC Nelson was killed in action on June 2, 1944, in the vicinty of Palestrina, Italy, 63 km north of Anzio, 40 km east of Rome. He was buried at the U.S. military cemetery at Nettuno. This cemetery was later made into the permanent Sicily-Rome American Cemetery maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Four of Fielding’s Citadel classmates rest in eternal peace at the cemetery.

Following the war, per his family’s wishes, his body was repatriated and interred at Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois. He was survived by his parents and older brother, Carel T. (Ted) Nelson.

/RL


Bruce Curtis Robbins, ’43

Born on April 9, 1923, in Sulphur Springs township, Rutherford County, N.C., to Nevada “Vada” Jane McMahan and Lee Roy Robbins, Bruce Robbins grew up on a farm near the small town of Bostic just outside of Rutherfordton.

Cadet Robbins entered The Citadel at Charleston, South Carolina, with the Class of 1943 at the start of the 1939-40 academic year. He was a member of Band Company all four years. Throughout his four years at The Citadel, he was involved with The Shako, the cadet magazine, and was its Associate Editor his senior year. He also played in the Symphony Orchestra. He received Gold Stars for academic achievement his junior year and was President of the Beta Chapter of Gamma Alpha Mu his senior year.

Cadet Private Bruce Curtis Robbins, Class of 1943
Source: 1943 Sphinx

The Citadel chapter of Gamma Alpha Mu was formed in 1941. The organization was founded in 1928 at Clemson College for the purpose of recognizing literary ability and achievements. Gamma Alpha Mu was the highest honor a cadet could achieve in appreciation of his work in the literary field. Fellow classmate and English major, William C. Whitley, Jr., was also a member.

After graduating with a Bachelors degree in English on Saturday May 29, 1943, Bruce attended the infantry school at Fort (more…)


Florentine To Unveil Citadel War Memorial

Florence Morning News, Florence, S.C., Thursday, December 1, 1949, p. 16

Mrs. Royall Selected For The Dedication

CHARLESTON – The most important event of the Citadel’s annual Homecoming Day celebration will be the ceremony of unveiling a memorial tablet in honor of the Citadel’s war dead.

The ceremony will take place at 11:15 Saturday morning in the Cadet Chapel. Thomas H. Pope of the class of 1935, speaker of the House of Representatives of South Carolina and candidate for governor, will make the address at the unveiling of the memorial tablet.

The memorial tablets as they appeared in 2013. Click on image to enlarge.

The tablet will be unveiled by Mrs. Sam J. Royall of Florence, whose son, William Milling Royall, class of 1942, was killed in action November 19, 1944, while serving with the infantry in (more…)


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…)


Dutch Veterans Honor Citadel Men at Normandy

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…)