D-Day

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D-Day

Postby ARTerrier on Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:18 pm

Tomorrow marks the 71st anniversary of the D-Day invasion that took place on June 6, 1944. While I don't have a complete list of those who served or lost their lives in the conflict, I'd still like to take the time to remember these selfless individuals.

A little shy of a month ago, I decided to look through an older (2008) Wofford football media guide that I have. Having not opened it in a little while, I began combing the pages with attentiveness, rediscovering things I perhaps used to know, finding a letterman from Arkansas (I've yet to complete research on that.), and enjoying some memories. Eventually, everything within the book was exhausted, and I stumbled upon the college's athletic hall of fame on a page near the back cover. For some reason, I was quickly drawn to the name of a multi-sport Terrier athlete and student body president, Aubrey Faust.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recalled that name. (After all, I knew I had read this before.) As I began to read the extremely brief biographical blurb under his name, however, I noticed something that I hadn't particularly remembered. Faust was killed in action on the beaches of Normandy in July 1944, about a month after the D-Day invasion. Immediately, I began to research this subject.

Faust garnered Little All-American honors in 1942, his senior season -- from what I can find, he was the first Wofford player to be named an All-American -- according to this Herald-Journal article from Dec. 9, 1942 (https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KPkeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8soEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6712%2C3478570). On Aug. 9, 1944, however, came the grim news that 2nd Lt. Faust, along with Capt. W.P. "Bill" Burhman, had been killed in action (https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=q ... %2C2855802).

While I don't have the names of all seventy-three Wofford Terriers that lost their lives in World War Two (perhaps someone here does), I'd like to take the time today to remember all those that served, including the late Lee Hanning.

With courtesy to Doyle Boggs of the Wofford College library, here is a passage that Dr. Bryan Crenshaw '43 penned for the Greenville Piedmont newspaper in 1983:
"It is not enough to remember generalities. With glittering platitudes and broad sweep of oratory, we can pay superficial tribute to those who have died. The pain comes in the specifics, as we remember the individual persons.
"Guy Wilkes was my boyhood friend and hero. We were natives of Chester, S.C., and for most of our early lives, we lived only a few blocks apart. Guy was clean cut, of slight build and modest spirit. He was an excellent student, gentle in demeanor, loved by his teachers, and admired by his peers. He attended Wofford College, where he received many honors; and in his senior year of 1942, he was president of the graduating class.
"Guy was killed on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944.
"Aubrey Faust followed Guy as president of the Wofford senior class of 1943. He was six-four, strikingly handsome, and perhaps the most popular student in school. He was first-string All-America in both football and basketball.
"Aubrey and I were good friends in college, and best friends in the service. We entered the Army together at Fort Jackson, graduated together from Officers' Candidate School at Fort Benning, and served together at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin. We shared bunks on the troopship overseas and joined the same regiment of the 29th Division in Normandy shortly after D-Day.
"In early July, less than a month and not more than 20 miles from where Guy was killed, Aubrey was leading a night patrol behind enemy lines just north of St. Lo. His mission was to pinpoint some mortar positions; and as he crossed a hedgerow, a single rifle shot shattered the silence. Aubrey was hit center breast.
"His body was never recovered, though God knows I tried to find him on the next night when I led a patrol in the same sector with the same mission. He was officially listed, 'missing in action, presumed dead'…"
(Dr. Crenshaw did not make it clear in telling this story that he volunteered to organize and lead the patrol he described above. He also did not reveal that he was terribly wounded himself and spent months in an Army hospital before recovering.)
The column went on to end:
… "Perhaps remembering, we can someday come to the place where we can love the things we love with the intensity that we can hate the things we hate, and be willing to pay as dearly for peace as we have been willing to pay for war.
"I am sure that Aubrey and Guy would say "Amen" to that."
ARTerrier
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Re: D-Day

Postby Loyalterrier on Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:59 pm

ART You are so correct. And thank you for posting. Your story was a good one. We should always remember the men and women that risked and lost their lives during the entire WWII especially on D-Day. D-Day was a crucial time during the war and if the Allies had been pushed back and lost their footing in Europe then the war may have turned out a lot differently than it did. Thanks to all those brave soldiers
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Re: D-Day

Postby lawdog on Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:21 pm

ART, thanks indeed; well researched and presented ... the greatest generation. Dr. Crenshaw, long-time minister in Spartanburg, had two (as I recall) sons who also attended Wofford. For an extremely well-written recent book on the European theater of WWII from D-Day to Berlin, and details of what Faust and his comrades endured, read Rick Atkinson's Guns at Last Light. It is the third book in Atkinson's excellent Liberation Trilogy, the earlier two books being equally riveting treatments of the North African and Italian campaigns. And ART, if you ever get a chance to meet Doyle Boggs, who recently retired from the college but who is still around and a trained and accomplished historian, he would no doubt enjoy sharing further thoughts with you on this and related subjects.
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Re: D-Day

Postby ARTerrier on Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:49 pm

Thank you for the recommendation, LD; I'll be sure to look into finding that book. Also, thanks for the additional information on Dr. Crenshaw and Mr. Boggs. I agree with you and LT wholeheartedly: those who served in these campaigns exemplified honor, bravery, and — above all — uncommon selflessness.
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