Memorial Service Held For Wake Foresters Killed in War.
Dr. Easley Speaks

March Issue WAKE FOREST COLLEGE ALUMNI NEWS, 1944 Page Eighteen


Twenty-five years ago the world was exuberant. Sixty million men turned their faces homeward after four cruel years of war . . . fierce, brutal war such as we are engaged in today. May we pause a moment in retrospection....

Thus spoke Dr. T. A. Easley in a memorial service for the Wake Forest boys who have been killed in this war. "The world experienced the happiest day it had ever known. Whistles were blowing, bells were ringing, flags were flying, confetti and ticker tape were showered down upon the heads of milling and exultant throngs. In churches and in private homes worshippers knelt in humble thanksgiving."

Dr. Easley, standing beside the American flag against a background of greenery spoke to a sober audience. In the mind of each person was the thought, we fought before . . . why are we fighting again? And as an answer came the speaker's voice, "This tragic return to war came about because as we say, while we won the war, we lost the peace; the man at arms won the victory, but the man in civil pursuits lost it. Somehow we betrayed those scores of thousands who laid down their lives in the cause we believed to be just."

College Boys Once

It is hard for us to realize that some two thousand Wake Forest men are in the service of our country. It is hard for us to think of them as anything but gay, laughing college boys. For it was only yesterday that they were here among us, strolling under the magnolia trees, cheering at the football games, griping about freshman English.

The service was opened with the singing of "America," followed by "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past," sung by the Glee Club. The stars on the flag seemed to sparkle that morning, and the songs were sung with more feeling than ever before.

The student-body and the faculty had gathered that morning to pay tribute to "our" men in the service. "Many of these are dear friends, some are the members of your families. They rank from private to Brigadier General and they are scattered through a hundred camps in this country into the jungles of the South Pacific, the fog-enveloped islands of the North, the Mediterranean and the Far East. TheSun never sets on Wake Forest men at arms."

The audience was solemn. The speaker continued. "But there are twenty-eight names marked off with a heavy black line of mourning. Twenty of them are reported killed, the remainder missing." We pause . . . we think. Those twenty-two men . . . gone . . . they'll never return to laugh and be gay again, never stroll peacefully under the magnolias never....

"They have paid the full measure of devotion to insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to the world. But to us they throw the torch, 'tis ours to hold it high. These who have fallen we remember with gratitude and humility, and with a resolution that they shall not have died in vain."

Those Missing

Slowly the group rose to their feet as the names of those twenty-eight valiant men were read aloud.

Dick Akers, '37, of Stuart, Va., reported missing at sea.

William M. Beddon, '42, of Birmingham, Ala., missing in action in a raid over France.

Hugh Thomas Blalock, '41, of East Spencer, reported as missing in action.

Lt. N. L. Britt, '40, of Lumberton, missing in action over Italy.

Walter C. "Butch" Clark, '42. 'of Baltimore, killed in action in New Guinea.

Edward L. Cheek, '43, of Graham, killed in an airplane crash at Greenwood, Miss.

Second Lt. Marshall Reid Cheek, '40, of Chapel Hill, killed in action August 22 in the South Pacific.

Hodges Collins, Jr., '3a, Nashville, reported missing in action.

Roy T. Cox, '35, of Winterville, killed in the Pacific.

Eric Farmer Davis, '27 of Zebulon, killed in the Philippines.

Thomas Spencer Gilliam, '36, of Statesville, killed in an airplane crash.

G. W. Gilpin, '41, of Atlantic City, N. J., killed in North Africa.

Jack A. Hutchins, Jr., 'ad, of Speneer, killed at sea.

Lt. (j.g.) Thomas Johnson, '41, of Durham, reported as missing somewhere in the South Pacific.

Christopher Billy Lambert, '40, of Ridgewood, N. J., killed in an airplane crash.

Frank P. "Ed" McCarthy, '38 of Newtonville, Mass. killed on Midway Island.

Lt. Lawrence Edward McDaniel, Jr., '3 8, of Jackson, killed in the Philippines.

Harry L. Matthews, '39, of Gatesville, killed in an airplane crash.

Dallas Morris, '3 7, of Charlotte, killed in an airplane crash.

Lt. James J. Page, '37, of Autryville, killed in an airplane crash.

Lt. Wm. A. Roach, Jr., '40, of Lumberton, reported killed in action in an Army Air Force raid over Germany. He was awarded a medal for gallantry before being listed as missing.

Henry C. Sinclair '37, of Norwood killed at Pearl Harbor.

Bernard W. Spilman, '41, of Greenville, missing at sea.

Lt. Benjamin F. Steelman, '35,' of Asheville killed in action in Italy.

Oliver Cromwell Turner, '41, of Gatesville killed in an airplane crash.

George W. Wirtz, '38, of Princeton, Indiana, killed in a railroad accident.

Pilot Kenneth Wodenschek '41, of Woodridge, N. J., killed Oct. 14 in Africa

Lt. James E. Jennings '42 Raleigh, missing in action.

With bowed heads Dr. Easley voiced the final tribute for the audience:

"God of all comfort, Father of our spirits, we give thee grateful thanks for the lives of these whose names we have just read.... We thank thee for their life here at Wake Forest and for their devotion to their country.... Grant that we who live may live worthy of their sacrifice, and that each of us in our place may be faithful to every obligation and responsibility.... Grant Thy blessing upon all Wake Forest men in the service of our country. May Thy grace and mercy he upon them. . . Not for them only do we pray. May all men caught in this awful struggle find Thee near to them.... Amen." -- Old Gold and Black.

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