Scroll of Honor – Thomas Edward Davis, Jr.

Inside the Reich

Written by: Kelly Durham

By the spring of 1945, the Germans, pinched from both the east and the west, were facing certain defeat.  Even with their homeland invaded, Hitler and his Nazi cronies were unwilling to face the reality of their dire circumstances. They refused to give up and so the fighting and the dying continued.  Thomas Edward Davis, Jr. was one of the junior officers leading the Allied offensive inside Germany.

Davis was a member of Clemson’s Class of 1944. At the conclusion of his junior year, the architecture major from Newberry saw his collegiate career suspended when he, like most of the other cadets on campus, was ordered to active duty.  The War Department’s need for manpower to fight a global war trumped the benefit of retaining able-bodied men in the relative safety of college campuses.

Davis trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky and earned his commission as a second lieutenant in August 1944.  He was assigned to the 80th Tank Battalion of the 8th Armored Division, the “Thundering Herd.”  The 80th departed its training base, Camp Polk, Louisiana, in October 1944 and headed to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey for embarkation.  The battalion sailed from New York on November 7, its overseas destination unknown.  Arriving in England on November 19, the battalion proceeded to Tidworth to draw its equipment and then moved into a staging area to await its transportation to France.

An M-4 Sherman Tank of the 80th Tank Battalion.

On January 6, 1945, the battalion sailed from Portland and arrived at LeHavre, France the following day.  A long road march in cold, windy, snowy conditions eventually ended with the battalion’s arrival in Vilt, Holland.  On February 19, the battalion relieved British tank units near Hingen and saw its first combat action.  The battalion, still a part of the 8th Armored Division, was now under the command of the 9th Army and was acting as a holding force pending a planned offensive into the Roer Valley.

The 80th entered Germany on February 28 as the big offensive got underway.  Throughout March, the 80th battled its way deeper into Germany, crossing the Rhine River on March 26.  Against “very stiff” German resistance, the 80th reached Bork, Germany on April 1 and was then relieved by elements of the 95th Infantry Division.  But the 80th’s rest was short lived.

On April 3, intelligence reports located two German Armies and at least one Panzer Division in the Ruhr pocket.  The 8th Armored Division was ordered to attack from Lippstadt toward Hirschberg, about twenty miles to the south, to isolate and destroy the German forces.

Second Lieutenant Davis, commanding a platoon of five M-4 Sherman tanks, was attached to Task Force Walker for the attack.  While approaching the town of Norddorf at 0750 hours, the task force encountered enemy tank fire.  As it advanced, German tank fire was augmented by artillery, small arms, and anti-tank weapons.  During this attack, Davis was killed.

Thomas Edward Davis, Jr. was survived by his parents and sister.  He was awarded the Purple Heart and buried at the American Military Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.

For more information about Second Lieutenant Thomas Edward Davis, Jr. see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

Scroll of Honor – Charles Edward Coleman

First Night

Written by: Kelly Durham

At the end of the 1942-43 academic year, David Lawrence Alexander, Jr. and the rest of his Class of 1944 bade farewell to the Clemson campus.  They were headed off to war, a war from which many would never return.

Alexander arrived at Clemson in 1940.  A mechanical engineering major from Aiken, he was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment of the Cadet Brigade.  When the spring semester ended in 1943, Alexander and most of the rest of Clemson’s cadets were ordered to report for Army basic training.  With his experience as a Clemson cadet, Alexander did well enough in basic to qualify for Officers’ Candidate School.

While Alexander continued his Stateside training, America’s fortunes were improving.  In the Pacific, Marine and Army forces were winning grueling battles in New Guinea and at Guadalcanal.  In Europe, Sicily was conquered and Italy invaded.  Then came the invasion of France on D-Day.  The change in the momentum of the war came with a steep price tag.  In a seventy-five day campaign in Normandy, the Allies suffered nearly 210,000 casualties including almost 40,000 dead.  Casualty rates were highest, as one would expect, among the frontline infantrymen.  In Normandy, some divisions experienced casualty rates as high as 100% among enlisted soldiers and 150% among junior officers, the lieutenants and captains leading platoons and companies.  According to historian Stephen Ambrose, one regiment of the 90th Infantry Division lost platoon leaders at a rate of 48%–per week.

With Germany far from defeated, the need for replacements, particularly among the infantry, was acute.  To meet the increasing manpower need, the Army shipped individual replacements to existing divisions and deployed fresh divisions that had been organized and trained in the United States.  Second Lieutenant David Alexander was assigned to the 71st Infantry Division which was among the last US infantry divisions committed to combat in Europe.  It arrived at Le Havre, France in early February 1945.  After in-theater training, the 71st moved east in March and relieved the 100th Infantry Division at Ratzwiller in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France.  The mission of the 71st was to continue to push the Germans out of France, across the Rhine River, and into Germany.

On March 13, 1945, Second Lieutenant Alexander was killed in action during his first night in combat near Bitche, about six miles west of the German border.

David Lawrence Alexander, Jr. was awarded the Purple Heart and was survived by his parents.  He is buried at the Epinal American Military Cemetery in France.

For more information on Second Lieutenant David Lawrence Alexander, Jr. see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

Scroll of Honor – Charles Edward Coleman


Written by: Kelly DurhamCharles Edward Coleman

Charles Edward Coleman and Willi Maximowitz never formally met, but their encounter in the unfriendly skies over wartime Germany would have tragic results.  Coleman would be at the controls of an American heavy bomber, Maximowitz was the pilot of a German fighter.

Coleman arrived on the Clemson campus in 1940 after attending Carlisle Military School in Bamberg.  A textile engineering major from Charlotte, North Carolina, Coleman was assigned to K Company, 3rd Battalion of the 1st Regiment of the Cadet Brigade.  With the outbreak of war, Coleman broke off his studies and volunteered for the Army Air Force.

Coleman earned his pilot’s wings in September 1943 at Turner Field  near Albany, Georgia and was selected for multi-engine aircraft.  In October, he married Betty Hunneycutt of Charlotte.   After completing his combat crew training in the B-17 bomber, he shipped overseas to England where he joined the 388th Bomb Group at Knettishall.

Second Lieutenant Coleman’s second combat mission was to bomb aircraft production facilities in the vicinity of Brunswick, Aircraft - Pegasus TooGermany as the copilot of Pegasus Too, piloted by First Lieutenant L. Wilson.  From 0600 to 0651 on March 23, 1944, thirty-one aircraft took off from the 388th’s base.  Assembling into formation without difficulty, the aircraft turned to the east.  According to the group’s mission report, the formation crossed the enemy coast ahead of schedule.  This efficiency led to disaster.  “Consequently,” the report continues, “no friendly fighter escort was met until the formation was near the IP,” the point from which its bomb run commenced.  As a result, thirty-five to forty-five enemy fighters, mostly Focke-Wulf 190s, attacked the formation between 0955 and 1010 hours.  “The attacks were vicious.”  The German fighters attacked from above and to the left front of the bombers.  Two of the bombers were shot down.  Coleman’s aircraft, however, was attacked in a less conventional manner.

Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz was the pilot of one of the attacking German fighters.  Chased by an American P-38 fighter

Willi Maximowtizi in his FW 190

which had now caught up with the bombers, Maximowitz streaked through the American formation and aimed his nimble fighter at Coleman’s big bomber.  As he barreled past, Maximowitz lowered his wing and clipped off five feet of the B-17’s horizontal stabilizer—the tail plane that controlled the bomber’s pitch angle.  Coleman and Wilson, were unable to control the airplane and it began to spin.  Crewmen from other bombers in the formation saw three parachutes escape from the plane, which subsequently crashed near Steyerberg, south of Bremen.  Coleman, Wilson and five of their crew were killed.  The three who successfully escaped the spinning bomber were captured and made prisoners of war.

Maximowitz likewise was forced to bail out of his damaged fighter, the wing of  which had been sheared off.  Nonetheless, he was credited with his third enemy bomber, this one “Rammabschuss”–shot down by ramming.  Maximowitz would go on to shoot down a total of fifteen American bombers before his fighter group was transferred to the Eastern Front in early 1945.  He would add twelve Soviet aircraft to his tally of aerial victims before failing to return from a combat mission on April 20, 1945.

Charles Edward Colman's headstoneSecond Lieutenant Charles Edward Coleman was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was survived by his wife and his parents.  He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

For more information about Charles Edward Coleman see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

Scroll of Honor – Benjamin Franklin Robertson, Jr.

“…Never Was a Night so Black…”

Written by: Kelly Durham

He is little known today, but at his death in early 1943, Benjamin Franklin Robertson, Jr. was arguably Clemson’s most famous son.  A hometown boy, Robertson grew up in Calhoun, the tiny community just north of the railroad tracks that run through what is now more commonly known as Clemson.  His father and namesake, a member of Clemson’s first graduating class in 1896, worked on campus in the office of the state chemist.   Ben’s mother died on Christmas Eve 1910, perhaps from a diabetic reaction from sampling the numerous holiday cakes and pies she was preparing.  Ben’s grieving father sent his son to live with the boy’s uncle in Liberty.  When Robertson senior remarried in 1913, Ben and his sister Mary returned to the family’s home on Hotel Hill, overlooking the campus.

When time came for Ben to continue his education at the collegiate level, it seemed only natural that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and enroll in Clemson.  Though Ben was gifted with a facility for words and literature, Clemson was an agricultural school without any liberal arts degree programs.  Ben selected horticulture as his major.

According to his 1923 classmates, Ben Robertson “loved to gossip.”  Even so, read his senior profile in Taps, “to know him is to like him,” a circumstance due in part to his reputation for integrity—and also perhaps because Ben knew how to have a good time.  He was the founding pianist of the Jungaleers, Clemson’s dance band.  “When it comes to jazzing a piano, Ben paws a mean pedal,” Taps proclaimed.  Of course, Ben may have had some influence over his profile: he served as the yearbook’s editor-in-chief as a senior.   He was also the associate editor of the Chronicle, the campus literary magazine.  In addition to being a man of letters, Ben was a member of the Pickens County Club and the Dancing Club.  He sang in the Glee Club and put his musical prowess into practice as a member of the campus orchestra.

After graduation, Robertson headed west, to the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.  After a year at Missouri, Ben returned to South Carolina.  In order to gain experience and accumulate funds to return to school, he took a job with Charleston’s News and Courier where his writing , according to biographer Jodie Peeler, reflected a “personal, folksy story-telling style.”   Ben returned to Missouri in 1925 and completed his degree in journalism in 1926.  Ben must have been stricken with wanderlust, or perhaps a profound curiosity about the world, for he followed his graduation with a stint in Honolulu on the staff of the Star-Bulletin.  In 1927, he headed west again–further west–to Adelaide, Australia.  From 1929 to 1934, he reported for the New York Herald Tribune, after which he took a job with the Associated Press.  He bounced over to the United Press in 1935, but two years later was back with the AP.  In 1938, Robertson published his first novel, Traveler’s Rest, based on his ancestors’ experiences in South Carolina.

In 1940, following the outbreak of war in Europe, Robertson went to London to cover the story for the anti-fascist New York newspaper PM.  There he came to know the most famous American correspondent of the day, Edward R. Murrow, who reported from London for CBS Radio and who would later describe Ben as his “best friend.”  With Murrow, Ben would venture out of London to Shakespeare Cliff overlooking the English Channel at Dover. There they witnessed the dogfights between British and German aircraft that characterized the Battle of Britain.  His observations would inform his second book, I Saw England, published in 1941.  Robertson wrote:

I lost my sense of personal fear because I saw that what happened to me did not matter.  We counted as individuals only as we took our place in the procession of history.  It was not we who counted, it was what we stood for.  And I knew for what I was standing – I was for freedom.  It was as simple as that.  …  I understood Valley Forge and Gettysburg at Dover, and I found it lifted a tremendous weight off your spirit to find yourself willing to give up your life, if you have to – I discovered Saint Matthew’s meaning about losing a life to find it.  I don’t see now why I should ever again be afraid.

When Ben’s friend Ernie Pyle, the famous Scripps-Howard columnist, arrived to cover the Blitz, Ben showed him how to navigate wartime London.  “I feel like a mental child beside them,” Pyle wrote of his correspondent colleagues.  “Yet I discovered that almost without exception they are friendly and helpful.  And I discovered that among them almost nobody stands higher than my one old friend in London, Ben Robertson of PM.”

Reporting for PM and the Chicago Sun, Robertson circled the globe often flying as a passenger on Pan American Airways’ famous Clipper flying boats and covering stories in the Pacific, Asia, and North Africa.  He navigated the fine line between propaganda and advocacy journalism, certain that the United States should support Great Britain in its battle against Nazi Germany.

Robertson’s best-known—and last book—was published in 1942.  “By the grace of God, my kinfolks and I are Carolinians…” opens Red Hills and Cotton: An Upcountry Memory.  The book was widely-praised for the charm, warmth, and beauty of Robertson’s descriptions of his family and an energetic, self-confident South.  Though noted for his writing about family and his ability to befriend the low-born as well as the noble, Ben never married.  He did maintain a relationship with a woman friend, Jeanne Gadsden, who typed and edited his books and with whom he shared the foster parenting of a boy Ben brought home from the devastation of London’s Blitz.  The boy, Leslie Phillips, would eventually become an American citizen and make a career in the US Air Force.

In January 1943, Ben joined first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and former Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie on a speaking tour to promote a campaign for Russian relief.  Then, having accepted a job as head of the New York Herald Tribune’s London bureau, Robertson was on the move again.

On the morning of February 21, Robertson boarded the Yankee Clipper, one of Pan American’s flying boats, at the Marine Air Terminal at New York’s Municipal Airport.  Technically under the control of the Army, the Clippers though still crewed and piloted by Pan Am employees, were reserved for official government travel.  Ben had waited for several days for his turn to board the big aircraft for its flight to Europe.  Bound for Lisbon in neutral Portugal, Ben’s flight stopped first in Bermuda and then in the Azores before completing its journey on Lisbon’s Tagus River.  The Clipper was a luxurious aircraft which had inaugurated trans-Atlantic passenger service.  It was noted for aerial elegance, from its dining room to its sleeping berths.  Settling into his seat, Ben looked across the narrow aisle to discover that his neighbor was Jane Froman, the prominent singer and a friend of Ben’s from their days together at the University of Missouri.  Froman was bound for Europe with a USO troupe scheduled to perform for American military personnel.

On February 22, after its seven-hour leg from Horta in the Azores, the Clipper descended toward Lisbon and approached the landing area on the Tagus River as a thunderstorm swept into the area.  Although there was little wind or rain at the moment, lightning was reported nearby.  Port officials noted that the Clipper, under the command of experienced captain R. O. D. Sullivan, was in radio contact as it neared its landing and that the flight was proceeding normally.  Suddenly, as the aircraft turned left, its wing struck the water, flipping the Clipper and slamming it into the river at one hundred thirty miles per hour.  Fifteen aboard, including Captain Sullivan and Jane Froman, survived the crash.  Ben Robertson and twenty-three others were killed.

Robertson’s body was recovered about three weeks later some thirty miles downstream.  It was returned by ship to the United States and then to Clemson where a funeral service was held on April 17.  He was laid to rest in the  family plot at Westview Cemetery in Liberty.  College officials added Robertson to the Clemson Scroll of Honor by virtue of his status as an accredited war correspondent.

The SS Ben Robertson, a Liberty ship, was launched from Savannah, Georgia in January 1944 and served both the Normandy landings and operations in the Pacific.  It is a fitting honor to a man who traveled on and over the seas, but perhaps the most poignant tribute was paid by his friend Murrow.  On one of his broadcasts to America, Murrow described Robertson as “the least hard-boiled newspaperman I have ever known.  He didn’t need to be, for his roots were deep in the red soil of Carolina, and he had a faith that is denied to many of us.”   Murrow’s deep, familiar voice crackled over the airwaves, “There never was a night so black Ben couldn’t see the stars.”

For more information on Benjamin Franklin Robertson, Jr. see:

For additional information on Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

See also Jodie Peeler’s excellent biography, Ben Robertson: South Carolina Journalist and Author, University of South Carolina Press, 2019.

Scroll of Honor – McFaddin Moise

Clemson to Annapolis

Written by: Kelly DurhamMcFaddin Moise

McFaddin Moise of Sumter began his collegiate career at Clemson College enrolling in the late summer of 1940.  He was a member of the Sumter County Club and remained on campus for two years before transferring, in the midst of World War II, to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.  At Annapolis, Moise played soccer on the Academy’s plebe, junior varsity, and varsity squads and, despite “some worry” during his plebe year, handled the academic rigors of a midshipman.  The Lucky Bag, the Academy’s yearbook, noted that Moise’s “encounters with the Executive Department,” which meted out disciplinary corrections to midshipmen, “were fewer than average due to two years of previous experience at Clemson College.”  Moise, a member of the Academy’s Class of 1946, actually graduated in June 1945.  Due to the war, the entirety of  the midshipmen’s junior year was removed from the curriculum.

McFaddin MoiseMoise was immediately assigned to a minesweeper serving in Japanese waters.  After the war’s conclusion, as the Navy reduced its strength, Moise was put in command of the ship for its return voyage to Charleston Navy Base.  Following an assignment in underwater research at Hampton, Virginia, Moise requested and was granted a transfer to the Navy’s aviation arm.  On December 21, 1948, Moise married Betty Garris of Andrews.

Upon completion of flight training, Moise reported to Chincoteague Naval Air Station, Virginia as part of the Atlantic Fleet.  He was next ordered to Pensacola, Florida for jet training.  Then came an assignment to the Navy’s flight testing facility at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

On Wednesday, February 4, 1953, Lieutenant Moise and Aviation Machinist James Vaughn climbed into an AJ-2 Savage for a Navy bombersroutine armaments test.  The Savage was a medium bomber designed to carry atomic bombs from the decks of Navy aircraft carriers.  As such, it was at the time of its development the heaviest aircraft to operate from a carrier.  It was powered by two wing-mounted piston engines plus a turbojet incorporated into the rear of the fuselage.

Upon take off, Moise’s aircraft climbed 200 feet into the air and was then struck by a “mechanical failure.”  The plane crashed into Chesapeake Bay killing both Moise and Vaughn.  Moise was buried in the family plot in the Sumter Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife, son  McFaddin, Jr. then two-and-a-half, daughter Mary Frances, eight months, his parents, four brothers, and a sister.

McFaddin Moise grave stoneFor more information about Lieutenant Moise McFaddin see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

Scroll of Honor – Henry Milton Laye, Jr.

Rainbow Warrior

Written by: Kelly Durham

Like the other members of his Class of 1944, Henry Milton Laye, Jr., a mechanical engineering major from Seneca, had his collegiate career interrupted by orders from the War Department.  All junior cadets and underclassmen were sent to basic training.  Those like Henry Laye, who demonstrated military aptitude, were subsequently ordered to officers’ candidate schools to become the junior leaders of the still expanding Army.  Henry Laye would soon be assigned to one of the Army’s storied divisions, the 42nd Infantry.

In 1917, an Army major named Douglas MacArthur suggested the creation of a new division composed of National Guard units from several states.  The resulting organization, MacArthur explained, would “stretch over the whole country like a rainbow.”  The new division, the 42nd Infantry, became known as the “Rainbow Division.”  When the 42nd was reactivated for service in World War II, Army officials honored its legacy by filling its ranks with men from all forty-eight states.  Henry Laye was one of the South Carolinians assigned to the Rainbow Division’s 232nd Infantry Regiment.

The division trained for its eventual combat deployment at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.  The division arrived at Marseille, France on December 8-9, 1944 and was under the command of General Alexander Patch’s 7th Army.  On Christmas Eve, the division relieved the 36th Infantry Division, entering combat in the vicinity of Strasbourg, the French city resting on the west bank of the Rhine River directly across from Germany. Most of the action at that moment was farther north, where what would become known as the Battle of the Bulge was raging.  Before long, the desperate Germans, formerly masters of Europe but now reeling from the Anglo-American offensive in the west and the Soviet onslaught from the east, would attempt yet another counter-offensive, Operation Northwind.

By early January, Laye’s 232nd Infantry Regiment was stretched to the limit, defending a front thirty-three miles long.  On January 5, as French troops were moving into the line to relieve the cold, weary Americans in Strasbourg, the Germans attacked.  Enemy infantry and armor, ferried across the Rhine, overwhelmed the thinly held American lines resulting in the capture of more than eleven hundred American soldiers.  Aggressive counterattacks and assistance from the neighboring 314th Infantry Regiment eventually repulsed the German attack.

Ten days later, the elements of the 232nd Regiment, including Laye’s platoon from K Company, were occupying French towns on the west bank of the Rhine River when Germans from the 7th Parachute Division attacked.  In three days of attacks and counterattacks in the cold, snowy villages and woodlands along the river, the Germans were driven off, but the regiment took many casualties, including Laye.

Second Lieutenant Laye was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  He was buried in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Belgium.

For more information about Henry Milton Laye, Jr. see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:

Scroll of Honor – Malcolm Brodie Edens

Conflict and Confusion

Written by: Kelly Durham

We know precious little about Malcolm Brodie Edens, a member of Clemson’s Class of 1947.  The 1939 Taps lists him as a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment of the Corps of Cadets, but no picture identified as Edens is included in the annual.  Edens was among that large group of Clemson cadets whose educations were interrupted by World War II.  In Edens’s case, the interruption was voluntary.  Following stints at Presbyterian College and then Clemson, Edens dropped out of school in October 1941, even before the United States was dragged into the war.  Conflicting accounts of Edens’s history pop up at this point.  Although his home was in Pumpkintown in Pickens County, one account shows Edens enlisting in Miami, Florida while another places his enlistment at Fort McPherson, Georgia.  Regardless of the location, Edens volunteered for the Army Air Force and was accepted into the aviation cadet program.

Edens would eventually be assigned to the 503rd Fighter Squadron flying escort and strafing missions from RAF Fowlmere just south of Cambridge, England.  On November 26, 1944, while piloting a P-51 Mustang fighter, Captain Edens shot down two German FW-190s in aerial combat southeast of Dümmer Lake, near Hanover, Germany.  Edens would survive the battle and the war.  He returned to Clemson and resumed his studies, graduating with a degree in dairy science on June 8, 1947.

18th Wing Insignia

The Korean War erupted with a surprise attack by Communist North Korean forces in June 1950.  Edens had made the transition from the Army Air Force to the Air Force and was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing.  Here again, Edens’s record becomes confused.  Rather than flying above the battlefield, Edens was fighting on it, serving as a forward air controller alongside Army ground forces along with radio operator Sergeant Philip Tilch.  In late November, the unit Edens and Tilch were supporting was in danger of being overrun by North Korean troops.  The two evaded the enemy until their capture on November 30.  Without food or water, Edens and Tilch were forced to march fifteen miles north in frigid weather.  Suffering from severely frostbitten hands and feet, Edens was no longer able to walk.  His captors left him in a roadside hut along with ten other prisoners.

Post-war debriefings from repatriated prisoners offer conflicting details of Edens’s fate. Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Brown, also a prisoner of war, said that he had been told that Edens died from malnutrition and gangrene in February 1951 near Kunry.   Captain William McTaggart, Jr., was told that Edens died earlier, on December 22.  Major Roy Gamling reported that he last saw Edens on December 10 or 11 and that Edens was in such poor condition and excruciating pain that he did not believe he could long survive.

In 1951, a newly captured US officer arrived in the prisoner of war camp holding First Lieutenant William Funchess, Clemson Class of 1948.  The officer asked if there were any prisoners there from Clemson.  He told Funchess that Edens had died on the march north and that he had removed the class ring from Edens’s finger with the intent of eventually returning the ring to Edens’s family.  “With sincere apologies,” Funchess recalled, “this POW officer explained that a Communist soldier had confiscated the ring, and it was probably lost forever somewhere in North Korea or China.”  As was Malcolm Edens.

Subsequently promoted, Major Edens was never reported by the North Koreans as a prisoner of war and his remains were never recovered.  He remains one of the 7,841 Korean veterans still missing in action.

Over the course of two wars, Major Edens was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.  He is memorialized at the Courts of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii and at the Oolenoy Baptist Church Cemetery in Pumpkintown.

For more information on Major Malcolm Brodie Edens see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:








Scroll of Honor – Archibald Carlisle Dudley

Patton’s Reply

Written by: Kelly Durham

It had seemed as if the Germans were on their last legs, as if they might be defeated and the war in Europe ended by Christmas of 1944.  But the Allied offensive in Northern France was slowed by its very success; the more ground the Anglo-American forces gained, the longer their supply lines stretched and the more difficult it became to feed, fuel, and equip the advance.  First Lieutenant Archibald Carlisle Dudley of Mullins was an infantry platoon leader in the van of the Allied assault.

Dudley was a vocational agricultural education major in Clemson’s Class of 1941.  As a cadet, he participated in the campus chapter of Future Farmers of America and in the Dillon County Club.  He marched with the Pershing Rifles drill team and attended ROTC summer training at Fort McClellan, Alabama where he qualified as a Marksman on the firing range.  Dudley, who “was possessed of a sterling character and a wonderful personality,” married Ruby Allen of Walhalla and they had a daughter, Jeanne.

Dudley shipped overseas in October 1944.  He was assigned to Company C of the 357th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.  The 90th was one of the divisions of General George Patton’s Third Army, which by the late autumn of 1944 had pushed the Germans back to their own territory.

The 357th was pulled out of the line and enjoyed a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving while in northern France.  Soon thereafter, the regiment moved by truck to Colmen, just west of the French-German border.  On Sunday November 26, the regiment attacked Furweiler, a small German town just east of the border.  During the attack, the 357th came under fire from artillery emplacements on the Siegfried Line—the West Wall—a string of heavy defensive fortifications constructed on the east bank of the Saar River and designed to prevent the invasion of Germany from the west.  It was apparent that the regiment would have to clear German forces from the area west of the river and then cross the Saar and assault the Siegfried Line itself.

The 357th launched its assault crossing of the Saar River in the early hours of Wednesday, December 6.  During this action, First Lieutenant Dudley was reported missing in action.  Dudley’s family, despite appeals to the Red Cross, could obtain no further information about its loved one.

When the war in Europe ended, General Patton was ordered back to the United States for leave with his family and also for public appearances to rally a war-weary public to continue to support the unfinished fight in the Pacific.  Desperate for information about her missing brother, Nancy Dudley wrote to General Patton.  In late August, Miss Dudley received a personal reply from the general.

According to General Patton, First Lieutenant Dudley and his platoon set out in boats to cross the Saar River at 0410 hours on December 6.  Conditions were difficult at best, with the river swollen by seasonal rains and the temperatures very cold.  Upon reaching the east bank of the Saar near Pachten, Germany at approximately 0425, Dudley was struck in the left shoulder and chest by enemy small arms fire.  A medic administered first aid, but the fire from enemy pillboxes was so intense and the battle so “vicious” that Dudley could not be evacuated. According to Patton, at 0630 the area in which Dudley remained came under “a violent enemy artillery barrage.”  Patton reported that the area was held until December 22, but that for the entire period it was under German small arms as well as indirect fire.  As a result, Dudley “was among those many brave soldiers who were buried at night without lights or opportunity to read identification tags.”  Patton went on to assure Miss Dudley that “there was always a chaplain to speak the last words.”  He concluded his letter by congratulating her “on having a brother who did his duty even unto death.”

First Lieutenant Archibald Carlisle Dudley was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was survived by his wife Ruby, his daughter Jeanne, his mother, and three sisters.  His body was recovered and buried at the Lorraine American Military Cemetery in France and is memorialized at Miller’s United Methodist Church Cemetery in Mullins.

For more information about Archibald Carlisle Dudley see:

For additional information about Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor visit:







Scroll of Honor – Albert Powhatan King, Jr.


Written by: Kelly Durham

On a plateau 100 feet above the Moselle River near the village of Dinozé in northeastern France, rows of white markers standAlbert King, Jr. vigilant witness to the sacrifice of American lives in World War II’s struggle against tyranny.  More than 5,200 American service members are buried on the pristine acres of the Epinal American Cemetery, including Albert Powhatan King, Jr. of Ninety Six.

Bill King majored in agronomy and was selected for membership in Kappa Alpha Sigma, the Clemson chapter of the American Society of Agronomy.  He attended ROTC summer camp at Fort McClellan, Alabama and served as a second lieutenant in Company B, 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment in the Cadet Brigade.

Following his graduation on June 2, 1941, King reported for active duty at Fort Jackson and was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division.  During his time there, he married the former Bessie Davis of Columbia.  In 1943, their daughter Nancy was born.

King was transferred to Camp Wolters, Texas and Fort Benning, Georgia before shipping overseas as a replacement officer in September 1944.  Upon reaching France, King was assigned to the 313th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Infantry Division.  The division was then engaged in severe fighting in the Forêt de Parroy in northeastern France west of Strasbourg.  The 79th was attached to the US Seventh Army which had come ashore across France’s Mediterranean coast in August and attacked northward.  Now, the Seventh, which included General Philippe LeClerc’s French 2nd Armored Division, was closing in on Strasbourg, which had been occupied by the Germans for more than four years.

On Sunday, November 19, the 79th broke through to Sarrebourg, just 40 miles west of Strasbourg.  Allied artillery overwhelmed German defenders, opening the road to Strasbourg.  As the Germans withdrew, the 79th moved in.  Four days later, as King’s Company C of the 313th Infantry Regiment enjoyed its Thanksgiving lunch, orders came to move into an area that the regiment believed was secure.  The company moved out in a convoy with Captain King guiding the way in the lead jeep.  As King stood to direct his company, a German sniper shot him through the forehead. King exclaimed, “Oh my God, men!”—and died.  He was buried with full military honors the following day at Epinal.

Albert Powhatan King, Jr. was awarded the Purple Heart.  He was survived by his wife, their daughter Nancy, his father, four sisters, and his brother Harry, a member of Clemson’s Class of 1944 who was then a lieutenant serving at Fort Benning, Georgia.  King’s Clemson story did not end with his death.  His former Clemson roommate, James MacMillan, married his widow Bess after the war.  King’s daughter Nancy was one of the first women accepted to Clemson, though the college’s lack of a nursing curriculum led her to enroll elsewhere.  In all more than a dozen of King’s relatives subsequently attended Clemson.

The cemetery at Epinal is poignant memorial to the spirit and sacrifice of the young men who gave their lives to liberate France, defeat fascism, and restore freedom to western Europe.

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Scroll of Honor – Earl Pinckney Furman, Jr.

Lone Ranger

Written by: Kelly Durham

They called themselves the “Long Rangers” because of the vast distances so many of their missions covered.  Flying over the trackless Pacific Ocean, the missions of the 370th Bomb Group lasted as long as seventeen hours.  Terrifying minutes of action dodging enemy anti-aircraft fire and fighter planes were sandwiched between tedious hours spent droning to and from the target area.  Corporal Earl Pinckney Furman, Jr. was a crew member aboard a 370th Group B-24 heavy bomber.

Furman came to Clemson in 1938 from his hometown of Allendale.  A general studies major, he was assigned to E Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment of the Cadet Brigade.  Furman remained at Clemson for two years before transferring to Wofford College.  He left Wofford in March 1943 and volunteered for the Army Air Force.

By this point in the war, Army training facilities were hitting their stride, taking in young men and turning out the trained soldiers and air crewmen needed to prosecute a global war.  Furman was ordered to San Antonio, Texas and then to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for aerial radio operator training.  Following aerial gunnery training at Yuma, Arizona, Furman was awarded aircrew wings.  He shipped out to the Pacific Theater in September 1944 and was assigned to the Long Rangers.

Furman joined the crew of “Tillie,” a B-24D heavy bomber which he served as radio operator and waist gunner.   Furman’s unit, the 372nd Bomb Squadron, was operating from Noemfoor, a small island off the northern coast of New Guinea.  On November 4, Furman was seriously injured in an aircraft accident that resulted in the scrapping of “Tillie.”  Furman’s injuries were significant enough to land him in the hospital, where he died three days later.

Furman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.  After the war, his remains were returned to Allendale where he was buried in the Swallow Savannah Cemetery.  He was survived by his parents and sister.

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