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.
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 Dutch, French and Italian, to complement the original version in English, enabling Europeans speaking those languages to view the video. (more…)
Born on September 5, 1923 to Mr. Jack E. James and Mrs. Myrtle Allen James, “Jackie” was a native of Summerton, South Carolina graduating from Summerton High School in 1940 prior to entering The Citadel with the Class of 1944. His junior year, he was a member of Cadet Company “L” as well as a member of the Second Class Rifle Drill Platoon known as the “Bond Volunteers”.
Cadet Platoon Sergeant John “Jackie” E. James, Jr., Class of 1944
September 5, 1923 – December 24, 1944
Photo source: 1943 Sphinx
After basic training and officers candidate school at Ft. Benning, Georgia, Lt. James served with Company “C” of the 264th Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division having joined them at Camp Rucker, Alabama. His regiment and the 262nd Infantry Regiment were being rushed from England to the continent via (more…)
By Richard H. Kellahan, Class of 1944
Posted here with the permission of the Kellahan family. Originally written for the Oflag 64 Association (website).
Our entire class of 1944 left the Citadel at the end of our junior year in 1943. Infantry cadets went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama, for 17 weeks of basic training with other ROTC students from various schools. Upon completion of basic training we returned briefly to the Citadel for the Advanced Student Training Program while awaiting the beginning of a new class at Officer Candidate School where we would be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants upon completion of the 17-week course. We graduated from OCS in May of 1944 and joined the 84th Infantry Division at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, for the final stage of training before we were shipped to England and Europe for the final push into Germany.
Richard H. Kellahan, Class of 1944
Cadet Platoon Sergeant, “C” Company
We arrived in Germany in October 1944. The Allies were bogged down at that time in the mud and bad weather of late October and early November at the Siegfried Line, Germany’s heavily armed line of defense that was about 5 miles deep and ran from the Baltic Sea to the Alps. It was filled with pillboxes, anti-tank equipment, and every other kind of defense imaginable. Any advance by our troops was measured in yards.
My Citadel classmate Creswell Garlington and I led two platoons from [“I” Company] 3rd Battalion of the 335th Regiment on the morning of November 29, 1944, for a daylight attack on a small village called (more…)
On April 30, 1945, 2Lt. Richard “Paul” Padgett, ’44, native of Walterboro, South Carolina, was killed in action in the vicinity of Tirschenreuth, Germany near the Czech border. Born to Mr. and Mrs. C. Gadsen Padgett on February 16, 1923, Paul was a standout student leader at both Walterboro High School and The Citadel.
A member of The Citadel’s Class of 1944, he was 4th Battalion Ordnance Sergeant his junior year. He was a member of the Bond Volunteers and a member of the Sphinx, Ring, and Standing Hop Committees. Indicative of his standing among the Corps of Cadets, Paul was chosen by Gen. Summerall to be the (more…)
AT THE NEIGHBORS 
The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery was yesterday dominated by the Citadel Men. Guys who were plucked from the school to fight in World War II.
by Stefan Gillissen
US military training is best known for the big screen. Movies paint a gruesome picture of the first weeks in the service of Uncle Sam, with Full Metal Jacket and Jarhead as stand outs. Breaking the will, the decompensation of the mind, creates the perfect fighting machine. It is not necessarily an incorrect observation, but one without qualification. Training is needed to forge a unit that follows commands in wartime.
A Citadel cadet plays for the fallen men. Photo Arnaud Nilwik
But not only in the army do candidates undergo Bootcamp or what is called Hell Week. Also at American military academies, cadets are subject to a heavy introduction. From there, at least 40 percent of the men and women will go into active military service in 2015, and they are a showcase for the country. Formed by brutal workout, driven by honor and love. (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…)
Un 70e anniversaire souvenir du Memorial Day et du jour J : extraits de films inédits des archives de la Citadelle et l’histoire derrière la classe du collège de 1944 qui est devenue connue sous le nom de la classe qui n’a jamais éxisté en raison de leur service dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale.
Charleston, S.C. (PRWEB) May 27, 2014 (View original here)
L’entraînement physique, des exercices, des inspections … recensement defilms de 1942 qui représentent des scènes de la vie dans le Corps des cadets SC. Les films de la Citadelle ont été une fois joués dans les écoles et les théâtres pour promouvoir la valeur d’une éducation d’une école militaire ainsi que de l’Amérique qui a été entièrement engagée dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale et deux ans avant le jour J. Mais les cadets qui étaient étudiants en deuxième année à l’époque du tournage étaient sur le point d’avoir leur parcours scolaire interrompu de façon dramatique.
“C’est vrai parce qu’on n’a jamais eu de diplômes , on n’a jamais eu de cérémonies,et on n’a jamais eu une quelconque particularité propre à un ancien de La Citadelle – un des privilèges qui appartient à un ancien de la Citadelle. Donc, par conséquent, (more…)
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…)
WILLIAM ALVIN HENSON, II, Class of 1944
June 8, 1923 – September 28, 1944
My grandmother, Raleigh Mae Farrar, communicated regularly with most of the families on the Next-of-Kin list she received from the War Department. I believe she wrote to every single family, and she saved letters from all of the families except for the McMann family and the Henson family. As a future post will discuss George McMann, I’ll concentrate on William Alvin Henson II, the navigator serving with the Buslee crew on the Lead Banana on September 28, 1944, in this one.
William Alvin Henson II was the original bombardier on the Gerald B. Sammons crew.
Henson’s first mission was mission 109 on May 19, 1944 to Berlin, Germany. Henson flew his first four missions with the Sammons crew. On their second mission, Group B, including the Sammons crew, did not locate the formation and…
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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…)
In my previous post, I remarked that at Lorraine American Cemetery, the largest American WWII cemetery in Europe, a lone Citadel Man rests in peace – 1Lt Peter Franklin Cureton, Jr., Class of 1940 – a “fact” which just never has sat right with me. For that reason, and, because there is still so much to be learned about all our Citadel Men remembered here, I frequently go back down previous research paths to check if I missed anything, or if new information has come to light.
Last Friday night, I was reviewing a database when I came across a single new entry in one of 2000 data fields. I went back and checked lists from 2010 and 2011 and then cross-checked these against more lists from another source. Long story short, there is, in fact, a second Citadel Man whose final resting place is Lorraine American Cemetery in France  –