World War II

Midshipmen enter campus


World War II

More than 15,000 Columbians served in the armed forces during World War II. As many as 450 are reported to have died. Among the first was Captain Franklin Van Valkenburgh, who earned an MS in engineering at the University in 1917, and who received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroism as the captain of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

Beginning in 1942, Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus served as a training center for the Navy. It used twelve Columbia-owned buildings to house a Midshipmen’s School that trained more than 20,000 officer candidates during the next four years for duty in the fleet. In addition, Columbia was a site for the Navy’s V-12 programs, which trained doctors and dentists for military service. A third program, the Military Government School, was established under the direction of Professor Schuyler Wallace of the Department of Government to train a cadre of Naval officers to handle the administration of occupied territories. These contributions to the war effort gave the military a strong presence on the Columbia campus, a presence that was recorded in many ways, including in the artwork of the students who illustrated the yearbooks during the war years.

As in World War I, the College of Physicians and Surgeons created a hospital in Europe to minister to the wounded, following U.S. troops first to England and later to France, sometimes operating in hospitals behind the lines and at other times in tents nearer the front. In addition, in 1942, the College organized the Second General Hospital on the Washington Heights campus to treat soldiers and sailors who were sent home due to the severity of their wounds. Staffed with 65 doctors and 120 nurses, the facility remained in operation until June 1945.

Columbians also supported the war effort through their research. For example, the Manhattan Project was started at the University in 1940, and members of the faculty made contributions to the improvement of the detection capacity of radar.

At the end of the conflict, many veterans enrolled in the University with support from the G.I. Bill of Rights. Other veterans resumed academic careers as members of the faculty or joined the administrative ranks of the University.

Alumni Who Perished in This War


Midshipmen enter campus Midshipmen entering the gates of Columbia University, circa 1943.

Alumni who perished in this war

A - Architecture J - Journalism
BARD - Bard College L - School of Law
BU - Business OPT - Optometry
CC - Columbia College PH - Pharmacy
DEN - Dental & Oral Surgery PS - Physicians & Surgeons
ENG - Engineering TC - Teachers College
EXT - University Extension UNC - Unconfirmed
GR - Graduate Faculties  

A-G  |  H-N O-Z

Name School Year Date of Death
Adams, Jr., John Popkin L 1943 August, 1943
Allingham, George Edmond TC 1939 April 11, 1945
Altglass, Edward Altglass BU 1935 April 3, 1943
Andrews, John Rankin CC 1946 February 24, 1944
Austin, Donald E. L 1941  
Bamberger, Alan Jordan CC, L 1936, 1938 March 24, 1943
Bangs, Jr., Francis Nathan CC 1940 December 18, 1944
Barnes III, Albert McClellan L 1940 May 5, 1944
Bartlett, John Phillip CC 1939 November, 1942
Bayer, Philip Palmer TC 1942 September 18, 1944
Berck, Maurice Marshall CC 1925 January 4, 1943
Bergamini, Jr., John Van Wie CC 1942 July 28, 1944
Berta, John Joseph CC 1945 June 8, 1944
Bertull, Henry CC 1938 August 28, 1944
Bezazian, Harold Arsene J 1934 March 11, 1945
Blanchard, John J 1937 September 30, 1945
Bode, Bruce Herbert BU 1944 February 2, 1945
Bolen, Edward James CC 1945  
Boles, Burton B. UNC    
Bowden, Herbert Ellis CC, BU  1940, 1940 March 26, 1945
Bowdery, George John CC 1937 April 5, 1945
Brand, John Eliot BARD 1936-1939 March 12, 1945
Brugge, Byron E. CC 1930 March 4, 1945
Bruns, Christopher Leslie ENG 1908 July 10, 1943
Budington, Thomas Gunton CC, BU  1937, 1938 MIA October 25, 1944
Buettner, Edward Charles CC 1945 October 17, 1944
Burgess, Jr., Julian Howard CC 1940 July 2, 1944
Burke, John CC, L 1932, 1934 March 31, 1946
Busch, Frederick Anderson CC 1941 June 13, 1943
Byrne, Austin Patrick CC 1941 August 5, 1944
Candiello, S. Albert ENG 1940 January 1, 1943
Carberry, Vincent James BU 1940  
Cassell, Clement Lloyd CC 1944 August 15, 1944
Cassidy, Edward UNC 1930s November 11, 1944
Chamberlin, Theodore L. PH    
Chermak, Jerry J. CC 1943  
Christianson, Jr., Thomas Cornell BU, CC 1939 April 28, 1905
Clarke, Jr., William Joseph CC 1941 January 6, 1945
Cohn, Walter J. CC 1943 June 5, 1945
Colwin, Jr., Martin Bruce CC 1938  
Connolly, Dixon Petherick OPT 1942 July 24, 1945
Convoy, James G. L 1913  
Cook, Robert Seabury BARD   January 23, 1944
Cooper, Leonard Sidney PH 1943 September 27, 1944
Cooper, Leslie B. L 1918 October 18, 1944
Cothran, Walter Monroe CC 1941  
Curtis, Leslie LaVerne CC, GR, L 1920, 1921, 1922 December 9, 1944
Cuthbert, Jr., George Kydd CC 1943 April 18, 1945
Davis, John Edward A 1945 August 19, 1944
Dawson, Richard PH   June 6, 1944
De Soucey, Joseph Edward BU   July, 1944
Deacy, James T. J 1936 July 13, 1944
Dean, James Peyton CC   November 19, 1943
Dehnert, Henry John, Jr. ENG 1946 February 23, 1945
DeJarnette, James B. CC   July 8, 1944
Des Marets, Jr., Herbert Neville CC 1930 July 29, 1944
DeWitt, Paul B. L 1942 August 25, 1944
Di Sesa, Richard Henry CC 1946 August 31, 1945
Dounce, Roger Esty CC 1942 February 21, 1946
Drogula, Ralph Lee BARD   September 22, 1942
Dunbar, Glenn Stanley CC 1937 June 14, 1945
Dunn, Robert James CC 1942 July 4, 1944
Durnan, Thomas Richard CC 1941 October 1, 1944
Duschatko, Alfred Maloch CC, PS 1938, 1942 December 16, 1944
Dutile, Yope UNC    
Eckerson, Edwin B. PS 1931 April 28, 1945
Ehrichs, William Holcombe CC 1937  
Eiwen, Frank Wendlin CC   December 3, 1944
Epstein, Julius CC, DEN 1934  
Evers, William Clancy CC, L 1940, 1943 February 26, 1945
Evison, Robert Appleton CC   July 31, 1944
Fairbrook, Warren Seelye BU 1940 March 27, 1945
Fairchild, Jr., Willard EXT 1937-1938 May 1, 1942
Feigen, Melvin PH 1940 July 13, 1943
Feinberg, Sydney Charles CC   December 25, 1944
Fisher, Wayne A. PS 1938 January 9, 1945
Foshay, Morgan BU   November 21, 1942
Fowler, Denman L 1937 April 23, 1943
Fredericks, George Robert CC 1944 April 1, 1945
Fredericks, Williams UNC   MIA June 1945
Freidman, Leo Mitchell CC    
Frelinghuysen, Theodore L 1936 February 19, 1943
Frese, Raymond L. L 1943 April 6, 1944
Fritz, George Henry CC 1944 July 15, 1944
Froehlich, Charles J. CC, BU  1940, 1940 August 20, 1942
Fuglseth, Tor CC 1944 November 19, 1944
Gendar, John Richard CC, BU  1940  
Gifford, Jr., James Parsons CC 1941 July 25, 1945
Gillespie, Jr., John Stuart CC 1931 April 23, 1942
Gillespie, William Hildreth PS 1938 June 7, 1945
Gillmore, Sigmund (Goldberg) CC, L 1939, 1942 December 9, 1944
Gittins, Clarence Elmore CC 1944 December, 1944
Goodman, Howard K. L 1941  
Gore, Herbert Robert CC 1929 July 26, 1944
Granetz, Abraham Bernard DEN 1939 October 11, 1946
Greenbaum, Jerome William CC 1934 December 7, 1944
Greenfield, Morris I. L 1934 June 1, 1944
Gunter, Manning PS 1938  
1811.OfficersInFrontOfLow NROTC Officers in front of Low Library surrounded by flags and banners

A-G  |  H-N  |  O-Z

Name School Year Date of Death
Hagstrom, Carl Gustaf CC   August 30, 1945
Halbrecht, Samuel Abraham CC   May 18, 1944
Hale, William Goodwin BARD   January 30, 1944
Hall, John O. CC 1937 MIA July 1943
Haltom, Winfield Scott BU 1923 December 15, 1944
Hansen, William D. L 1942 MIA April 30, 1943
Hanson, John Dennett CC 1932 April 27, 1905
Harrison, Jr., J. Robert CC    
Hartwell, Griffith CC 1944 April 12, 1945
Hawkes, Albert W. L 1935  
Hegblom, Allen PH    
Heider, Donald Peter CC 1946 March 19, 1945
Hetfield, Francis Ward BU   November 8, 1946
Hildenbrand, John Charles CC   December 19, 1944
Holt, John Ernest CC    
Houghton, Royal A. CC 1928 November 21, 1939
Howett, Paul David CC   Winter 1945
Hoyt, John D. H. BU 1923 January 8, 1943
Huber, Jr., Charles Eugene CC    
Hughes, Jr., Harold Kenneth CC 1934 MIA July 1943
Hyland, Joseph Matthew ENG 1942 January 13, 1946
Jacobius, Herman Lawrence CC 1936 September 23, 1944
Johnson, Harry Bradbury CC 1942 September 7, 1945
Johnston, Donald Elliott CC    
Jones, Holcomb E. M. CC 1940 August 8, 1943
Joseph, Jacob (Jack) CC 1940 October 22, 1942
Kamen, Paul DEN 1941 April 20, 1945
Kantzler, Conrad Louis CC, TC 1940, 1941 September 13, 1944
Katz, Alton H. CC 1936  
Katz, Lester DEN 1946  
Kelly, Robert Harry CC 1944 November 24, 1945
Kimmelsman, Jay Maurice CC 1946 January 15, 1945
King, Robert Nicholas L 1938 December 7, 1941
Kingston, Paul Williams BARD    
Kirchmer, Harold Frederick CC, PS 1934, 1938  July 28, 1945
Kirkman, Robert CC    
Kleeberg, Gordon Saul CC, L 1907  
Kline, Edward F. CC, PS 1928, 1931  April 25, 1905
Klube, Robert CC   April 24, 1945
Knott, Widnell D. CC 1939 September 3, 1944
Kober, William Melvin CC 1934 August 29, 1944
Koceniak, John Joseph PH 1945  
Krakes, Victor F. CC   July 1, 1945
Kuser, John Mitchell CC   June 26, 1943
Lamont, Rogers S. L 1924 May 27, 1940
Lang, William A. UNC    
LaRosa, Julius CC   February 22, 1945
Lawson, James Brooks CC, BARD    
Lee, Kenneth Gordon CC, ENG 1935, 1937 June 8, 1942
Lemmon, Thomas W. L 1936  
Leroy, Jean Louis CC 1945  
Levinson, Louis I. GR 1931 October 24, 1944
Linz, John Clarence CC, L 1934, 1936 May 6, 1945
Lowe, Harry CC    
Lussier, Alfred O. UNC    
Lyons, Alfred Labori CC 1922 April 28, 1945
MacDonald, John Alger CC 1946 November 11, 1944
Mack, Ira James CC 1932  
Mackenzie, John Grant PS 1941 September 4, 1943
Magin, Louis Hughes UNC   April 7, 1945
Maloy, Joseph H. L 1943 October 22, 1944
Mansell, Paul Allan CC 1940  
Mara, Raymond P. CC 1940 January 7, 1945
Marino, Mario A. CC   April 19, 1945
Marshall, Pardee L 1938 April 19, 1945
Mason, Newton Henry DEN 1943  
Masterson, John L. CC    
Maxon, James M. J 1931 September 18, 1941
McCraw, Nelson Stewart BU    
McCuistion, John Ed CC    
McDonnell, Jr., Alexander Angus L 1942 June 20, 1944
McGuinness, Jr., Raymond Joseph CC    
McKenzie, John Grant PS 1941  
Mersereau, Robert UNC    
Millen, Harry Charles CC 1933 March 20, 1944
Miller, John Anthony CC 1946 February 8, 1945
Miller, Robert Sanford CC    
Mohr, George C. CC    
Moller, John Thomas CC    
Moller, Paul Andrew CC    
Morrison, John R. L 1934 April 27, 1945
Moser, Rene Norman BU   March 29, 1941
Movelle, Paul Thomas CC 1941 January 17, 1943
Mullen, John Joseph UNC    
Muss, Larry CC 1946  
Nate, Jr., Joseph J    
Neuman, David Leonard ENG 1913 November 24, 1944
Neville, Francis William CC, BU  1940, 1941  
Nierengarden, John S. CC 1944  
OnCampus Navy Review on campus, 1944-1945

A-G  |  H-N  |  O-Z

Name School Year Date of Death
O'Brien, James Milton CC 1944  
O'Connell, James Joseph CC    
Ostapow, Edward T. UNC   August 2, 1944
Packard, Harry B. GR 1939 December 15, 1944
Pangalos, George M. UNC   January 15, 1944
Pellicci, Pasquale Mario CC 1943 April 11, 1945
Perine, Irving Van Gilder UNC   April 21, 1942
Perry, Joseph CC 1945  
Pessin, Lewis David BARD    
Peterson, James H. UNC    
Pfeil, William Herbert CC 1945 April 25, 1905
Phelan, John James CC 1935 April 15, 1945
Piccirilli, Nathan Fabio CC, GR 1939, 1941  
Pinter, Bruce Edmund J 1933 December 3, 1944
Pitcher, Lynn Richardson BARD   February 18, 1945
Plante, Amos Alexander CC   May 23, 1945
Plese, Thomas Michael CC 1944 September 9, 1944
Porterfield, Joseph Arthur BU 1941 December 19, 1944
Procita, Gerald CC, L 1945 February 19, 1945
Puglisi, John CC   March 10, 1945
Rafferty, William Edward UNC    
Rahmstorf, Warren H. CC 1943 October 1, 1942
Ralston, Thomas H. L 1943 October 19, 1944
Rapp, Alvin L 1944  
Redes, Rosario Robert CC 1942  
Reidy, Daniel C. BU 1937 May 6, 1944
Ripley, Warren Albro BARD    
Robbins, Eugene BARD    
Roche, James Michael CC    
Rogers, Jr., Sanford CC 1941 June 26, 1944
Roseberry, William John J    
Rosenberg, Martin John CC 1946 MIA November 5, 1944
Russell, Henry Potter CC   March 3, 1943
Samuel, Harry Lawrence CC 1924 December, 1944
Schlesinger, Stanley Allen L 1939, 1941 November 25, 1944
Schwartz, Sidney L 1939 August 11, 1944
Seixas, Jr., Everett M. L 1935 December 27, 1944
Shanley, James Vincent CC 1941 August 4, 1944
Sharp, William L. L 1942 February 26, 1945
Shedden, Robert L. L 1943 January 22, 1943
Sica, Robert Joseph CC 1943 August 1, 1944
Siddall, John R. PH    
Sideri, Rudolph David CC 1946 October 28, 1944
Siegal, Norman Jay UNC 1943-1944  
Simmons, Conrad Christopher CC 1921 June 24, 1944
Skalski, Gus Stanely CC   January 12, 1941
Skinner, Charles B. PS 1941 March 23, 1944
Smith, Florence UNC   November 1, 1943
Sommerville, Robert Gibson CC, BU  1937, 1938 October 25, 1944
Spencer, Jr., Herbert UNC    
Standerwick, Jr., Henry Fischer CC, PS 1935, 1940 January 5, 1943
Stavers, Stephen CC, GR 1940, 1941 September 18, 1944
Stevens, David Stetson BARD    
Stoller, William UNC    
Stricker, George Jacques PS 1940 October 5, 1945
Taylor, Edward Jessup ENG 1926  
Thoman, William Perley CC 1942 June 24, 1943
Thomas, William Herman CC 1945  
Tilghman, George Hammond EXT 1920-1922 January 3, 1944
Turino, Thomas Robert PS 1931 MIA July 19, 1944
Unhoch, Philip George CC 1940 November 7, 1944
Upton, Robert Carleton BARD    
Vagoun, Edward Jerrome CC 1942 May 14, 1945
Vail, William Henry PS 1939 September 19, 1942
Van Valkenburgh, Franklin ENG 1917 December 7, 1941
Veitch, Jr., Charles Veitch CC 1945  
Vincent, James Michael CC    
Wainwright, Talcott PS 1933 April 19, 1945
Waller, Russell CC 1944  
Ward, Milton J. UNC   February 20, 1945
Warner, Harry CC    
Weinberg, Howard George CC 1944 April 6, 1945
Weinrib, Morton Coleman DEN 1940 September 29, 1944
Werner, Donald Pierre CC    
Wheeler, Henry Smeallie CC, ENG 1940, 1942 August 23, 1943
Wheeler, Joseph Towne L 1939 October 25, 1944
Wight, Douglas Robert CC   March 27, 1944
Williams, Francis Morgan CC, PS 1933, 1937 March 24, 1942
Wing, Lucius Townshend PS    
Winterbottom, Harry Vincent BARD 1941 January 9, 1945
Wladyka, Alexander Luke CC 1946  
Wolff, Clifford Martin CC 1938 MIA July 1943
Wood, Alden Nelson CC 1942 MIA July 4, 1943
Wortis, Herman L. PH   August 23, 1942
Zasuly, Lester CC   January, 1945
Zelinsky, Robert Martin CC   January 4, 1945