About Citadel POW/MIA
The Citadel honored all prisoners of war and those missing in action by raising a POW/MIA flag on POW/MIA Recognition day on September 16, 2005. The flag now flies on the northwest end of Summerall Field to remind everyone of the sacrifice that prisoners of war and those missing in action have endured while fighting for our country.
There are 10 known living alumni who were prisoners of war during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The six who were able to come to campus were special guests for the day. Their stories are lessons in courage and valor. They shared their experiences with cadets during a panel discussion and later with alumni at a larger gathering.
Col. Quincy Collins, USAF (Ret.), ’53, who spent more than seven years in captivity during the Vietnam War, gave the keynote address during the evening program. He spoke of the principles of teamwork, commitment and loyalty that kept him and others going during those years of imprisonment and isolation.
“Those alumni who were prisoners of war are shining examples of the leadership and sacrifices that duty may require,” Curtis said. “Bringing these former POWs to campus gives cadets a powerful connection to their heritage and to the traditions that have made The Citadel great.”
The black POW/MIA flag was developed by the National League of POW/MIA Families. It serves as a reminder of those who were held in enemy captivity as well as the more than 1800 Americans who are still unaccounted for.
The Class of 1964 has funded the flagpole and plaque bearing the inscription:
This flag flies every day and night
as a tribute to those great Americans
who are Prisoners of War or Missing in Action
and to remind each member of the
South Carolina Corps Of Cadets
of the sacrifices made by Citadel alumni
as well as all American servicemen and women
in the cause of freedom.
The number of Americans missing and unaccounted for during wartime service since WWI stands at a staggering 93,266.
I Am Old Glory
I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory. I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings. I stand watch in America’s halls of justice. I fly majestically over great institutions of learning. I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world. Look up and see me!
Missing In Action
The status of Missing In Action is especially tragic to families of those so listed because there is no confirmation of loss and never any “closure.”
War Between The States
There were 39 known Citadel prisoners of war during the War Between The States. Read more…
World War II
An unhappy meeting place for four alums in World War II In November of 1944, fate seemed to handpick four Citadel alumni from the hundreds of thousands of soldiers fighting in World War II, placing them at the same prison camp in Schubin, Poland, at the same time.
Floyd O’Neil, ’48, was serving the United States as a member of the Air Force on March 4, 1952, when his F-51 was shot down over North Korea.
There are six Citadel alumni still alive who are known to have been prisoners of war on the side of the United States during the Vietnam War:
Cdr. Alfred Agnew, USN (Ret.) ’62
Col. Quincy Collins, USAF (Ret.) ’53
Lt. Col. William J. Elander, USAF (Ret.) ’57
Capt. Alan J. Kroboth, USMC (Ret.) ’69
Capt. Henry E. Lesesne, USN (Ret.) ’58
Lt. Col. Glen Myers, USAF (Ret.) ’64