One day during our stay (in our “spare”
time), they marched us to the railroad sta-
tion to help the war effort by loading scrap
iron into railroad boxcars. I think that it was
raining that day. Even so, it was almost a relief
from studying.
The active-duty officers who were in
charge of the program were nice to us. I think
that they knew what a heavy schedule we had,
and they would tell us Army stories during our
military classes to lighten our load. One ma-
jor claimed that he once lost an Army fishing
boat, but that because there would be so much
paperwork to fill out he changed what he lost
from a fishing boat to a gravy boat (a utensil
you put gravy in) in the statement of charges.
When this major inspected our room one
day, he knew that we had forgotten to dust
above the sill of the door. As he was leaving
the room, he ran his white-gloved fingers over
the sill and, without turning around, showed
us his now dirty gloves. I think that he enjoyed
this demonstration because he knew how
green we still were in the ways of the Army,
despite our basic training.
The Army disbanded the ASTP in March
1944 due to the critical shortage of infantry-
is having a
birthday, too!
men in the winter of 1943–44. (The equivalent
Navy program continued.) And here I thought
it was due to my poor grades.
When the Army disbanded the ASTP, the 238
men at Puget Sound were reassigned to the 21st,
55th, and 63rd Armored Infantry Battalions of
the 11th Armored Division and fought in the
Battle of the Bulge, the bloodiest battle experi-
enced by U.S. forces during World War II. The
CPS soldiers helped save the vital highway link-
ing Bastogne with Neufchâteau in the Ardennes
area of Belgium before encircling the Germans
at Houffalize and sealing off the Bulge. They
then liberated the town of Goedange in northern
Luxembourg and broke through the Siegfried
Line into Germany, crossed the Rhine, fought in
what is now the Czech Republic, and liberated
the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps in
A plaque was unveiled at the university in
memory of ASTP Unit 3966 on Aug. 11, 1996.
Men of the unit who were killed in action were
made “Roll of Honor” alumni of the university.
Mac McCarty survived the war; he died at the
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
in 2012.
We note that in the college’s very first
alumni publication, the
Puget Sound
(November 1929), the
masthead states: “Issued quarterly
(we hope).” That ambition pretty
much has been met. The
was is-
sued regularly, starting out as a typewrit-
ten newsletter and becoming more pol-
ished as the years progressed, until 1972.
Class notes (titled variously “Personals,”
“Lost and Found,” “Here and There,”
and “Over the Back Fence”) appeared
from the beginning. The library is in the
process of digitizing back issues of the
they will be available for view-
ing early this year (http://soundideas.
started out as a tabloid-type
newspaper 40 years ago, in the winter of
1973, and was published in that format
until 2000, when it was redesigned as
a magazine. In the past 13 years
has won more than 25 awards for writ-
ing, photography, and general excellence
from the Council for Advancement and
Support of Education, and the Society
of Professional Journalists. Its circulation
now stands at about 42,000.