Clemson Veterans Remember World War II

Several of Clemson’s thousands of military veterans have recorded their memories in various formats for future generations.   Clemson World War II veterans’ books in Special Collections include:




Snow Ridges and Pillboxes by Wallace R. Cheves

Wallace R. Cheves (class of 1938) compiled and edited the history of the 274th Infantry Regiment, with which he served from December 1941 until 1948.  The cover illustration is by George D. Way (class of 1936).




And So It Was by John H. Truluck, Jr.

John H. Truluck, Jr. (class of 1938) published his memoir of his days as a fighter pilot. Called from his architecture practice to active duty in the Infantry in February 1942, he  underwent pilot training in Texas before training in the P-47 in Tallahassee.  Truluck was sent to England in March 1943 and joined the 56th Fighter Group, the top-scoring American group in the European theater.  From June 1943 to April 1944, he flew 71 combat missions, logging over 200 hours of combat flying. Truluck later trained pilots in England for eighteen months and in the United States before his release from the Army in early July 1945.




 A Reluctant Soldier by J. Nash Broyles

Nash Broyles (class of 1941) wrote about his three months in combat as First Lieutenant in L Company of the Eleventh Infantry Regiment, Fifth Infantry Division, during the last stages of the Battle of the Bulge, the penetration of the Siegfried Line and the assault crossing of the Rhine.  The company had a 300 percent casualty rate and Broyles was the only officer to last continuously for three months.





Some Survived: An Epic Account of Japanese Captivity During World War II  by Manny Lawton

Manny Lawton (class of 1940) survived the infamous Bataan Death March and three and a half years as a prisoner of war in the Philippines and Japan.  His book mentions other Clemson alumni held prisoner in the Pacific: Henry D. Leitner (class of 1937), Beverly N. “Ben” Skardon (class of 1938), William English (class of 1937), Francis Scarborough (class of 1939), Otis Morgan (class of 1944) and Martin Crook (class of 1939).  Of this group, only Lawton and Skardon survived.




From Barn Burner to Bombardier by Willis Hastings

Willis Hastings (class of 1950) enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. He became a Bombardier with the 15th Air Force and flew combat missions until his plane was shot down. He spent almost nine months as a POW in Germany.