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2nd Lt. Lloyd Herbert "Pete" Hughes, Jr.
(12 Jul 1921 - 1 Aug 1943)

'Roll Call for the Absent' and 'Silver Taps'
Will Honor Heroic Dead at Aggieland Muster

COLLEGE STATION, April 20 (UP. - In a solemn, reverent Easter morning ceremony on Kyle field, Texas Aggies will have their "roll call for the absent" Sunday.

They will call the roll of four dead heroes of Texas A. and M. college - just four names to represent all the death, pain, misery and grief that was part of the war effort of this great school.

For Texas A. and M. college, which turned out more fighting men for America in World war 2 than did West Point, lost at least 696 in dead, over 2000 in wounded.

To Play 'Silver Taps'

And Sunday, with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, under whom so many Aggies fought, present at this Texas Aggie muster, "Silver Taps" will be played to honor the fallen.

For the first time since Aggie musters began in 1903, the public has been invited. Ten thousand will be here.

Four names, the names of four Aggies who won the Congressional Medal of Honor but who lost their lives on foreign soil, will be called out.

"Lt. Thomas W. Fowler, class of 1943."

"Here," a friend will answer from the assemblage.

"Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, class of 1943."

"Here," from a friend.

"S.Sgt. George Dennis Keathley, class of 1937."


"Lt. Turney W. Leonard, class of 1942."


Two Winners Survive

Aggieland has two other winners of the nation's highest military award. They survived, but Lt. Eli Whitely of Georgetown lost his right eye, and Sgt. William George Harrell of Rio Grande City has no hands.

All over the world there will be Aggie musters Sunday. Of the 20,000 of this huge men's school who fought in this last World war, many still are in service overseas.

There will be musters in Camp Dachau, Germany, in Rome, Berlin, Shanghai - and at Corregidor.

It was at Corregidor four years ago, with Bataan gone, hope of relief vanished, ammunition low and the overwhelming Japanese forces ever more menacing, that a group of 25 Aggies got together briefly. They talked of old times, cussed the Japs, sent a message back to Aggieland and then returned to the job of holding the rock island fortress until the end two weeks later.

On other hallowed ground of all American warriors - Valley Forge and the Alamo - musters are scheduled, as well as in 110 other towns and cities of Texas, in 70 other spots in 30 other states.

Held on the anniversary of one of the world's few decisive battles - San Jacinto in which Texas won her independence in the face of heavy odds - Sunday's musters will feature prayers for the victory so dearly won, for the men who died and for their families.

Eisenhower To Speak

Gen. Eisenhower will speak. Later he and 29 former Aggie students who have achieved the general's rank will be awarded honorary degrees. Fourteen wearers of the general's star will be here.

But the focal point of the muster will be the "roll call for the absent."

The list is too long to honor each dead Aggie individually. College authorities feel that calling only the dead Medal of Honor winners will spread, in a fashion, the glory won not only to all 696 Aggies who died, but also to all 20,000 who served.

"Lt. Thomas W. Fowler..." This Aggie was killed on the road to Rome, the road he had helped open. Near Carano, he jerked away barehanded Nazi mines... He led two disorganized infantry platoons ... He directed tanks to position and closed a gap in Allied lines ... He took three prisoners, killed others with grenades, exposed himself to fire to reach a flaming U. S. tank and give aid to wounded tankmen.

On First Ploesti Raid

"Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes ..." He spun to his death at the controls of his flaming Liberator on the first Ploesti raid. His ship was in the last formation ... The enemy was thoroughly alerted by earlier raiders ... Hughes' plane was hit early, before the target was reached ... He could have landed. Unhesitatingly he entered the blazing refinery area and dropped his bomb load with precision ... The plane then crashed.

"S-Sgt. George Dennis Keathley ..." He took command at Mount Altuzzo, Italy, when all officers had become casualties ... The Nazis attacked, he shouted his orders precisely, with determination ... Mortally wounded by a grenade, for 15 more minutes he gave his orders, fired his rifle, inspired his men. The Germans withdrew. S-Sgt. Keathley died.

"Lt. Turney W. Leonard ..." This blond, 23-year-old Dallas Aggie had wanted to be a farmer, wanted to drive a tractor. He got a tank destroyer instead. Near Kommerscheidt, Germany, in a fierce, three-day fight, he repeatedly faced overwhelming enemy fire in advance of his men ... He went on lone reconnaissance missions ... Wounded early, he continued to direct fire that blasted six enemy tanks. A high explosive shell finally got him. Gen. George C. Marshall termed it "superb courage, inspiring leadership, indomitable fighting spirit." \

Four Heroes Who Died

These were but four Aggie heroes who died. There was two times All America Guard Joe Routt, killed in Belgium; there was Brig. Gen. Claudius M. Easley, killed by a Jap sniper on Okinawa; there were many more.

The "here" for those names not called Sunday will be present in all the Aggie hearts.

Note: There were seven Aggies who were awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. Missing from this article is Horace Seaver Carswell, Jr.

Source: Personal papers. Newspaper article from Page 7 of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas, USA, dated Sunday, 21 Apr 1946.

Created: July 17, 2008

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