The 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in World War II coincides with the “class that never was” at the South Carolina Military Academy – The Citadel. The Citadel was created in Charleston in 1842 as a college for military cadets, and Citadel graduates have served in every war going back to the Mexican War. The campus is located along the Ashley River, with distinctive crenelated barracks and parade ground that thrills visitors to Charleston year after year with military parades and a wealth of military hardware from various wars, including tanks, aircraft and cannon. The Citadel has produced more soldiers in American wars than any other colleges with the exception of the military colleges at West Point and Annapolis, and 6,000 cadets served during World War II, including a group of seniors who never had a graduation ceremony, thus the “class that never was”. With the Allies badly in need of manpower in the Spring of 1944, the senior cadets were asked to enlist in the war effort before the academic year was completed. They all did, and served admirably in the latter stages of the war. Surviving members of the class did return to get their senior rings, which is a great tradition at The Citadel, but never a graduation ceremony.
<img.src=”Charleston Military History” alt=”The Citadel Class of 1944”