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
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
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
"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.
"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
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.