Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

More than 14 years ago, a group of members of the class of 1941 decided it was time that the College do something to honor the French soldiers who, under General Marquis de Lafayette, gave their lives at the Siege of Yorktown which won independence for the United States during the Revolutionary War.

For three years, the group worked to generate interest in the project and to raise funds. Then in June 1991, during their 50th reunion, the 10-foot bronze plaque–attached to the side of Alumni Gym–was dedicated. It features the names of the French soldiers as well as members of the class of 1941 who gave their lives in World War II.

The key organizers and major contributors were Jim Farrell '41, lieutenant, Coast Guard; Larry Goldring '41, major, Army; Andy Bissett '41, captain, Marine Corps; Jack Steele '41, lieutenant commander, Navy; Carl Becker '41, lieutenant colonel, Marines; and the late Jack Quinn '41, captain, Army. The project was coordinated by Kal Hecht '41, lieutenant commander, Navy.

“The spirit of the Marquis de Lafayette is content today…as Lafayette honors the gallant French soldiers who gave their lives in the Siege of Yorktown,” said Hecht at the dedication.

“We are the class that graduated in the year of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the United States into World War II…almost the entire class fought in the war. Today we are honoring seven who gave their lives–Bud Breining '41, Norm Davis '41, Win Erhardt '41, Sy Keidan '41, Bob Levy '41, Terry Overton '41, and Bill Shepherd '41.

Men of Lafayette
by Kal H. Hecht '41

Oh, we're the Yanks of '41
Yanks of '41 are we
We left Easton for the fields of war
Across the wide, wide sea.

Oh, we're the Yanks of '41
Yanks of '41 are we
We hit the beaches of Guadalcanal
We rode the tanks into Normandy.

Oh, we're the Yanks of '41
Yanks of '41 are we
We left classmates in the soil of France
Our college, never more to see.

Oh, we're the Yanks of '41
Yanks of '41 are we
We came back to take our stance
Men of Lafayette, with thee!

Written for 60th reunion, June 2, 2001.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles