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Cullum Files

historical records

Class Notes

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Class of 1942Class of 1942

Scribe - Suzanne Scullen Ericson

Duty, Honor, Country West Point for Thee
In May 1966 Fortune magazine described the West Point Class of 1942 as the "backbone class" of the Army's Officer Corps. We were proud to be honored by so prestigious a publication. In fact, we felt justifiably proud because we knew that as the first West Point Class to graduate into World War II we had made a contribution which helped to preserve the freedoms we all cherish. Our losses had been staggering by any standard but Duty, Honor, Country demanded no less. We suffered additional wounds in Korea and Vietnam. During these wars we earned numerous decorations including six DSCs, 64 Silver Stars and 134 Purple Hearts. After those wars we held many important positions and helped to initiate the actions which have led to the modern army of today. The mobility of today's army stems in art from work in which we participated or in activities like the great Infantry Conference of 1958 which we planned and led in order to develop recommendations for improving every aspect of warfare from using new and improved armored personnel carriers to the extensive use of helicopters and transport aircraft. Many of us worked in the Department of Army Staff, Department of the Air Force and the Department of Defense Staff to wrestle with the numerous details of the increasingly hi-tech Armed Forces. Those force were to take the field in the last quarter of the century to achieve stunning victories in Panama, Haiti and the Persian Gulf. Those of us still alive all lost friends and roommates. We mourn their untimely deaths but we also say to them Well done, be thou at peace. To future readers of these pages we can only say we tried to point the way by being at the front.

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