Association of Retired Faculty Veterans
This is an excellent “read” about ARF military heroes from World War II, most of whom are deceased. Read about them!1 You’ll be glad you did. Wallace
We owe our way of life to the veterans of military service. The Mississippi State University Association of Retired Faculty has a number of veterans, and we thank all of them for their service. As a token of our appreciation, we sent a questionnaire to our members asking them to tell us of their service. Twenty-seven members responded that they had been in the military. I then contacted most of them, and then, with help from many of them, I prepared a brief biographical sketch. Read their stories. You’ll be glad you did!
Charles R. Aiken served in the Pacific for 3 ½ years from March 1943 till the fall of 1946. He first served a couple of months in New Guinea, then in the Philippines until Japan surrendered, and then went to Japan as the Company Commander of the 12th Special Service Company. The duty of his company was to provide recreation and entertainment for the troops. The company had 4 platoons, each of which was assigned to a different army unit.
Dale H. Arner enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942, got into navigator school, and then out because of air-sickness. He then trained for self-defense and became a Judo instructor for the remainder of his 3 ½ years of service. He began in the U.S., then to North Africa, and then to Europe.
Bryan Baker was a combat engineer –water specialist in the Army. He landed in France six days after D-Day and kept his division in potable water until they reached the Elbe River in Germany a year later. Each division had 4 groups and each group consisted of 4 units; 1. Up front, 2. In middle, 3. Rear echelon, and 4. Reserve. A unit was composed of 4 men. Each day the up-front unit went to the rear echelon and the middle group moved up, etc. Each night before going to bed, each unit had to fill a 3000 gallon tank of water to begin the next day. Bryan joined the Reserves at the end of World War II and served for 8 more years.
Billie J. Ball joined the 932nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 31st Division Mississippi National Guard in 1949. In December 1950, in the fall semester of his senior year as a Chemical Engineering major at Miss. State University, his Division was called to active duty for an 18 month tour of duty. MSU permitted him to take final exams early and report for duty at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He served as a Sergeant in the Battalion Personnel Section. Late in 1951, the Division’s tour of duty was extended to 27 months. Billie applied for Artillery Officers Candidate School, was accepted, started in January 1952 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and finished as a 2nd Lieutenant in July 1952. He was then assigned to a Guided Missile Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas. In September 1952 he was assigned and attended a 9 months Artillery Officer Radar School at Fort Bliss and then a 4 weeks Counter Mortar Tactics Radar Officers School at Fort Sill. He was then sent to Korea and, fortunately for him, the cease-fire was signed while he was enroute. He served in Korea as an Artillery Battalion Counter Mortar Radar Officer very near the DMZ north of Seoul, Korea in the winter of 1953-54. He returned to the US as a First Lieutenant in April 1954. Upon return he was discharged from active duty and promoted to Captain in the Army Reserves where he served 10 years sometime in the Reserves and sometime in the National Guard. Billie says that when his guard unit was called to active duty, he thought it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. But later, he says it was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. When he came back from service he had 4 years of the GI Bill education benefits. He also had some understanding of and experience with radar systems. He changed his major area of study to Electrical Engineering. He obtained the BS in Chemical Engineering and the BS & MS in Electrical Engineering at Miss. State Univ. Then he obtained the PhD in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He served as an Instructor in EE at MSU while studying for the MS in EE. Then he served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor at Texas A&M while studying for the PhD in EE. He believes his military education and experience was very beneficial toward his receiving and being successful in these appointments.
Joe M. Blackbourn was a freshman at Texas Agricultural College (later named The University of Texas at Arlington) when, late in 1942, he joined the Navy V-12 program. This was a Naval Officers training program. He went to Pre-midshipman School at Asbury Park, NJ. Next, he went to Midshipman School at Notre Dame where he was commissioned as an officer. He then went to Naval Communication School at Harvard. He served aboard the USS Tumult, which was a minesweeper-destroyer escort. He served in the European, Pacific, and American theaters. His ship was the second ship to come into Tokyo Bay at the end of hostilities with Japan. After completing his tour of active duty in Southeast Asia, he served in the Reserves for seven years.
Bill Bost was drafted into the Navy in 1943 after 2 years of college. He had completed 1½ years of ROTC and requested the U.S. Army Infantry but was sent to the Navy Boot Camp in San Diego, California. He was put in charge of the Naval Medical Records office which had 15 civilian and 4 naval persons. He spent his military career in San Diego and was mustered out in 1946.
Albert H. Boyd graduated in 1951 from MSU and was in the ROTC program. He served as a lieutenant in the Army for one year in the Korean War as an air observer (to sight enemy aircraft) for the artillery. He spent another year in the Army and started in the Reserves in 1953.
James A. Bryant completed his undergraduate study at Mississippi State University in 1968 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force as a result of being in the ROTC program. He then spent 27 months at the University of Mississippi in the accelerated program producing a three year law degree in 27 months. He received his degree in 1970 then went to Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tullahoma, TN as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate. He was a claims officer and was involved in unusual jurisdiction questions between the military and civilian laws. He left the service in 1974.
Walter R. Carnes joined the Army Air Corps in the cadet program at San Antonio, TX in July 1942. He then went to flight training at San Antonio. He then became a flight instructor at Coffeyville, KS in 1943. He ferried aircraft from India to Burma to China from October 1944 until June 1945 (flying over the hump). He returned to the service (Air Force) as a B29 Maintenance Test Pilot from April 1951 until the summer of 1953.
Warren Couvillion joined the Army Reserves in 1962. He took basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina then completed his active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In October 1962, on a Sunday evening, they were called to be ready for combat. They prepared for an air strike on Cuba from Fort Bragg as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Part of the preparation was to tell the superiors where to send the last check-in case they didn’t survive. He survived and remained in the Army Reserves at Alexandria and Baton Rouge, LA until 1968.
James C. “Curt” Delouche was drafted into the army in 1955 after receiving his Ph.D. at Iowa State University. He took his basic training at Fort Chafee, Arkansas and then entered the military’s enlisted scientific and professional program (ESPP) with assignment to the Chemical Research Laboratories, Army Chemical Center, Edgewood, MD. He participated in research on the effects of chemical agents on animals and volunteers with occasional collaboration with the Biological Warfare Group at nearby Ft. Dietrick, MD. Following separation he joined the MSU faculty at a local Army Reserve Unit, received a direct commission, served 10 years in the active Reserve, and left as a Captain.
Elford Samuel (Sam) Dudley, Jr. enlisted in the Army December 14, 1942. He went to basic training and then went into the Army Special Training Program (ASTP) at Hope College, which was one of the many officer training program facilities during WWII. Late in 1944, as it appeared we were close to the end of the European War, ASTP participants throughout the US were suddenly sent to the Army Infantry. Sam went to Knutsford, England to prepare for landing in Europe, which he did in 1944. He arrived just in time for the Battle of the Bulge. His unit of eight men which he led met the 5th Queens’ own Highlander (Scottish) Contingent, that closed the pincher on the Germans in Belgium near the town of Champlon on January, 14 1945. He received two Purple Heart medals and the Bronze Star medal. He was discharged December 8, 1945.
Rodney Foil graduated in 1956 and was immediately drafted into the Army. He served as a clerk in the Post Headquarters at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. He then served in the same capacity for one year in Anchorage, Alaska. Afterwards, he spent 6 years in the Reserves.
Robert N. Ford, III joined the Army Signal Corps in 1953 in Seattle, Washington. He went to Alaska to build a ground signal station. He left the Army in 1956.
Clinton H. Graves, Jr. graduated from high school at age 17 in 1945 and joined the Navy. He went to Japan after the war and served on an ARL, an LST converted to a repair ship (for repairing diesel engines in this case). He was sent to Manchuria to map the harbor where ships had been sunk. He left his full-time Navy stint then joined the Reserves for 6 years.
Wallace E. Killcreas served during the Vietnam conflict. He went into the Navy Flight School in January 1967. He left flight training and became a computer specialist doing system analysis and programming at Norfolk, VA serving the Atlantic Fleet. He was discharged in mid 1970.
Ned Lovell was in the Navy from 1956-58. He served in the USA theatre.
James Moak joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. He was a copilot delivering B-24 bombers to India. He flew from Montreal, Canada to Bermuda, to the Azores, to Tunis, then to India. He left the Air Corps in 1945.
Charles N. Moore joined the Navy in January 1942 and served in the Pacific war. He was part of the Amphibious Navy. He was captain of an LST (Landing Ship Tank) which was 325 ft. long and manned by 12 officers and 125 enlisted men. He was in the first wave at Okinawa on April 1, 1945. At each landing, an LST would land a complete company with all their armament. He was mustered out of the Navy in October, 1946.
Lyle E. Nelson began college at North Dakota in 1939. During the summer of 1942 he was drafted into the Army Quartermaster Corps and began training at Fort Warren in Wyoming. He also spent 6 weeks training for Army Administration at Ole Miss and then went to Vancouver Barracks in the state of Washington Quartermaster School. In 1943, he was sent to South Carolina then to England to prepare for D-Day. He landed in France on July 6, 1944 and followed the troops through France, Belgium (including the Battle of the Bulge), and on into Germany. He was a Master Sergeant in the Sales Company. He sold uniforms to the officers. He was mustered out in November, 1945 three months after VJ day. He completed his BS at North Dakota State in 1948. He then went to Cornell from 1948 to 1952, where he received his PhD degree in soil Chemistry.
George W. Parsons received an R.O.T.C. commission, along with a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture on June 1, 1955, at LSU. His active duty assignment after orientation was to Headquarters 15th Air Force (SAC) as a planning engineer in the Plans and Facilities Division. During his time on active duty, one of the 15th Air Force Bases (Castle) was selected by the Air Force to bring the B-52 bomber on line to begin replacement of the B-47 for long range SAC missions. After accepting a 3-month early out from active duty, March 3, 1958, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve, was promoted to Captain and assumed an “M” day assignment until resigning from the Air Force Reserve on October 19, 1965.
Dero S. Ramsey graduated from MSU in 1950 and was in the four-year ROTC program. He went into the infantry as a Second Lieutenant and was a platoon leader. He served in Korea in 1951 and 1952. Upon completing his tour in Korea, he was in the Reserves for 27 years.
Lewis E. Ryan joined the Navy (pre-World War II) in 1937. He was a radio-man. He served on the Yorktown, but not up to the time it was sunk. He began in the Southwest Pacific and worked northward to the Philippines. His job was to provide radio communications with patrol planes. He retired from the Navy in 1957.
Richard L. Still began his military service in 1946, after WWII ended, and went to the U.S. Naval Academy. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USMC. He served in Korea from 1951 to 1953. He was shot down in December 1951 and was a North Korean/Chinese POW until the cease-fire. He was commander of the Honor Guard at the US Naval Academy from 1953 – 1955. He remained in the reserves to complete 20 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USMC. He earned an LLB degree which was later converted to a JD in 1957 and earned an LLM degree in 1960. He taught a number of law courses at MSU from 1988 to 2004 and retired as an Assistant Professor Emeritus. He was recalled in the fall of 2004 as a Retired Assistant Professor Emeritus until 2008.
William Graham Wells joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in October 1951. He learned navigation at the Air Navigation Training Base, Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He then served in the 425 Transport Squadron based in Montreal. One of the exciting missions consisted of 2 transport planes each with 12 mechanics and support materials and equipment accompanying 24 fighter planes across the North Atlantic to Europe. He completed his tour of duty in July 1955.
Michael R. Williams was in the army 4 years from 1968 to 1972. He had received an MS Degree in Entomology in 1967 which resulted in his being assigned to the Preventative Medicine Unit. His duties were mess hall inspection and mosquito and other insect control.
Ralph S. (Scotty) Wofford went into the Army Air Corps in 1943 from Wood Jr. College (in Mathiston). He received his wings in May 1944. He was a P38 pilot in the North Pacific Theater (ATTU) which is 750 miles from Tokyo. The war ended 3 days before his first scheduled mission to Japan. He served 3 years and 4 months active duty and 29 years in the Reserve.
Troy E. Daniel joined the Navy in October of 1952. He was 17 years old. He completed boot camp in San Diego California, Airman Prep School in Norman, Oklahoma, and ATA School in Millington, Tennessee. He was an Instructor in the Basic phase of that school until he was transferred to FASRON 104, Port Lyautey, French Morocco in 1955. He was released from active duty and returned to Mississippi in November of 1955. He attended Delta State College, where he received his BA degree. He applied for a direct commission in the Navy, and received it in April of 1961. He began drilling with an Air Intelligence Unit in New Orleans. He retired with around 30 years of creditable service, attaining the rank of Commander.
John Mylroie served in the U. S. Naval Reserve from 1971 through 1977 (1 year of active duty, and 5+ years of drills) as a Sonar Technician. He was in a special program called a “4x10”, that helped the Navy build up a pool of expertise in technical fields. The Vietnam war was winding down at that time, and the needs of the Military at that time was for less full-time personnel. They designed the program for those who were willing to serve by going through training, attending drills, learning critical skills, and being available in a Military Crisis. This was a lucrative program for young draft-eligible American men because of the relatively small active-duty commitment. It was also lucrative to the Navy because they were “tooling down” from the Military buildup of the Vietnam War.
John Fuquay served in the US Air Force from 1956-1959, during the cold war. After pilot training, he was stationed at Dow AFB, an air refueling squadron in Bangor, Maine. He flew KC-97 tankers.
Last Updated: 2/12/2019 Webmaster: Wallace E. Killcreas