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Project honors 142 Tucson High alumni who died in World War II

Project honors 142 Tucson High alumni who died in World War II

At well over 100 years old, Tucson High Magnet School is rich in tradition.

Known for its robust student body, athletics and performing arts programs, one group is now working to put the spotlight on the contributions of 142 alumni who were killed while serving in World War II.

The Badger Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides scholarships for Tucson High graduates and supports the high school, is spearheading the project.

Jerry Strutz, chairman of the Badger Foundation, said it was time to honor the sacrifices of the 142 men.

The plan is to honor each of the fallen service members in a special section of the Badgers’ Hall of Champions, a brick walkway with approximately 2,300 bricks. Currently about 600 of them are engraved.

The list of honorees in this project includes several sets of brothers who died in the war, like Pharmacy Mate Third Class John Ellis Hardy, 21, and his younger brother, Pfc. George Albert Hardy, 19. The younger Hardy enlisted after the death of his brother.

George Hardy’s obituary indicated he was survived by his parents, seven sisters and three brothers.

There was Sgt. William H. Boykin, who was only 22 when he was killed in action in the Philippines. Not long before his death, he had visited an Australian photographer with another soldier from New York, Delmo Franchi. The photographer was asked to send the photos to the men’s parents, but he switched the pictures. Before the mix-up was fixed, both men had died.

Lt. Robert Clyne married Ann Daly on Nov. 21, 1942, at St. Philip’s in the Hills. Weeks later, on Jan. 6, 1943, he died in a plane crash with 10 other flyers.

Capt. Richard Carlisle graduated from Tucson High School and went to the University of Arizona and was active in the ROTC. He was promoted to captain in July 1942 and was reported missing in action after an operational flight over enemy lines from Cairo on Aug. 23, 1942.

Seventeen-year-old James Randolph Van Horn was the sole Tucsonan who died aboard the USS Arizona during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

There is another Van Horn on the list: James Byron Van Horn. They are not believed to be related.

Lt. Peter Hamlin Waid was married to Prudence Myrland in August 1942. He died in January 1944, and his son, Peter, was born the following May in New York.

Peter Hamlin Waid II talked about his father recently, recalling that his father was adopted by a Wall Street lawyer. The elder Waid had allergies and problems breathing, so he was sent to Tucson to the Fenster Ranch School. He then went to Tucson High and the University of Arizona before joining the Army Air Corps. He died in an airplane crash during a World War II training exercise in Lubbock, Texas.

The younger Waid said he and his mother came back to Tucson when he was 3 months old. They lived with his great-grandmother, his grandmother and two tenants in a two-bedroom, one-bath house and a converted garage. Times were tight and even harder for a recent widow with a new baby.

“I don’t think my mother ever recovered from his death,” Waid said.

The younger Waid joined the U.S. Navy. He said he has a grandson who looks identical to the elder Peter Waid.

In an effort to honor these men and others who died in World War II, the Badger Foundation is accepting donations toward 142 engraved bricks to be placed in the Hall of Champions.

In a second phase, the foundation would like to include bricks for any alumni who served in the war. There is also a section for military veteran alums, living or dead.

Bricks are available for a $150 donation to the foundation.

Money from the sale of the bricks will go to the Badger Foundation Endowment Fund. The interest from that fund last year supplied the $22,000 in scholarships given by the foundation.


1st Lt. Conwalt Frederick Ahrens

Lt. Paul Kring Allen

Pvt. Candido S. Aros

Torpedoman/1c Lester Leroy Baker

Pfc. John R. Banuelos

Pvt. Bobby J. Barker

Lt. Richard Ambler Beck

Staff Sgt. Fernando Belis

1st Lt. John J. Bickley

Pvt. Robert Patrick Bickley

1st Lt. Vernon (Ted) Bland

Ensign William Blythe Bogle

Pfc. James Lee Bow

Pvt. Clark (Jimmie) Boyer

Staff Sgt. William H. Boykin

1st Lt. Ted Brannon

Pilot Officer Robert Burlinson

Pfc. Carlos Y. Burruel

Capt. Richard William Carlisle

Lt. JG John Bliss Chandler

Pfc. Ramon Chaparro

Flight Officer James Clement

1st Lt. Robert Clyne

Cpl. William C. Cocio

Cadet Charles Willis Collier

Sgt. Gustavo E. Contreras

Radio Tech/2c Herbert Curtis

Lt. JG Charles D’Autremont

Sgt. Harold Drummond

Cpl. Chester Robert Ebeling

2nd Lt. Bruce G. Ellis Jr.

T/Sgt. Irvin E. Ellis

Sgt. Edward H. Ferguson

T/Sgt. Damon S. Figueroa

Seaman/2c Frederick Figueroa

Sgt. Robert John Friedman

2nd Lt. Aloysius (Al) Geis

Pfc. Dord Gibson

Seaman/1c William Grabe Jr.

Lt. JG Robert William Gunason

Ensign Charles A. Hallett

Pfc. George Albert Hardy

Pharmacy Mate/3c John Ellis Hardy

Mach Mate/1c William Hart

Staff Sgt. George Henderson

Staff Sgt. Stanley R. Heslington

Pharmacy Mate/1c John Hildebrand

Pvt. Donald Lewis Hoag

Radio Tech Curtis Huff Jr.

Flight Officer Robert Huff

Cpl. Louis J. Itule

Pfc. Milton W. Johnston

Ens. Earl Fowler Jones

Pfc. Elmer H. Jones

2nd Lt. John Montieth Jones

Pvt. George Benton Kelley

Pvc. Frank Henry Kempf

Maj. Kenneth Alspaugh King

2nd Lt. Wesley Arthur Kleinkauf

2nd Lt. Blair Blythe Knudson

1st Lt. Kenneth L. Koebel

Pst. Carl Herman Krauch

Capt. William A. Kromer

1st Lt. Russell C. Landry

Staff Sgt. John Harold Larson

1st Lt. William Pearson Leisenring

Lt. Hervey William Lowell

Staff Sgt. Louis L. Lulley

Flight Officer Juan Madero Jr.

Cpl. Robert Edwin Manning

Pfc. Arnold G. Mariscal

Lt. Kenneth Allan Marquis

Pvt. Frank O. Martinez

MM/2c Albert Charles Mast

1st Lt. Lindsay L. McCall

2nd Lt. Elwood Ray McClendon

Lt. Cmdr. Thomas P. McGrath

Pfc. Danny Gene McKinney

Pvt. Gilo Mejias

Pfc. Robert G. Menzie

Cpl. Cornelius S. Moore

Cpl. Henry M. Moreno

Maj. Henry M. Morrow

Staff Sgt. James Herbert Nabours

Pfc. Marvin Lester Nacho

Sgt. John Arthur Noble

1st Lt. Jose V. Ortega Jr.

Seaman/2c Rufus Miller Overstreet Jr.

Pvt. Robert M. Pacheco

Sgt. Henry C. Parmer

Seaman Apprentice Carroll P. Parrish

Radar Mate/2c Irving Paul

Pfc. Gerry Peirce Jr.

Cpl. Richard S. Peyron

Sgt. John (Jack) A. Ramsey

Sgt. Miguel A. Reyes

Pfc. Valjean H. Rich

Pvc. James Edward Riegel

T/Sgt. Alfred G. Riesgo

Staff Sgt. Tony R. Rios

Pvt. Russell Roby

Pvt. Frank P. Romero

Pvt. Theodore M. Rosovich

Pvt. Robert Rubio

Pfc. George D. Ruff

Sgt. William Griffin Sales

Pfc. John Williford Savage

2nd Lt. Donald F. Schultz

1st Lt. Herman John Schulze

Pvt. Francis Brooks Seeley

Sgt. John Edward Sewell

Sgt. Seymour Edison Sonkin

1st Lt. Charles Lincoln Sortomme

Bruce Spaulding

1st Lt., John David Sprinkle

1st Lt. William Frederick Squire

Lt. Harold (Hal) Stewart

1st Lt. Phillips D. Terry

Lt. Thomas B. Throssell

2nd Lt. Edward Clinton Tully

Pvt. Jesus Badilla Valenzuela

Lt. James Byron Van Horn Jr.

Seaman Apprentice James Randolph Van Horn

T/5 Raul F. Vasquez

Pfc. Robert C. Vega

Staff Sgt. Fernando Veliz

Capt. Calvin Keefhaver Vermillion

1st Lt. Philip Ernest Villaescusa

Lt. Peter Hamlin Waid

RT/1c Jack Wall

Pfc. Leroy H. Webb

Staff Sgt. Leonard Sigurd Werner

1st Lt. Eugene Eblen White

Cpl. Francis F. Whitney

2nd Lt. Robert E. Wick

Sgt. Oscar (Rusty) B. Wilbanks

Cpl. Larry K. Williams

2nd Lt. Warren E. A. Young

2nd Lt. Reno D. Zambonini

1st Lt. Arthur MacIver Zipse

Missing in Action

Lt. George J. Mattan

Sgt. Mike Reyes

Contact Johanna Eubank at

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Online producer

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991.

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