West Point ’41: The Class That Went to War
By Anne Kazel-Wilcox and PJ Wilcox
Bataan. North Africa. Sicily. Omaha Beach. The Ardennes. This is the inspiring true story of the West Point class of ’41, which graduated into combat leadership in World War II and went on to shape policy in Korea, during the Cold War, and in Vietnam.
From Sandy Nininger, awarded the first Medal of Honor of World War II for his actions leading Philippine Scouts in the early days of the war, to Charlie Fletcher, Ed Rowny, Paul Skowronek, Herb Stern, and dozens of others who quickly found themselves leading companies, battalions, and regiments, these young officers struggled with the fog and terror of war and early command. In a postwar era of unprecedented military latitude, they helped shape defense strategy, led development of America’s rocket programs, and created the theory and practice of helicopter airmobile combat that came to dominate in Vietnam.
In Europe, Asia, and with the Soviets, ’41ers practiced diplomacy and tradecraft as architects of American Cold War policy. All the while, they clung tightly to tenets of duty and moral courage inculcated at West Point: often tested, but holding firm to the bonds that make up the “Long Gray Line.”
West Point ’41: The Class That Went to War and Shaped America is an uplifting story of ordinary young men in extraordinary times, in extraordinary places, who graduated directly into the teeth of battle and displayed unwavering leadership, honor, duty, and determination.