Fightin' Blue Hen Hall of Heroes
Framed photographs of each inductee and a volume of biographical resumes are on display at the
University's ROTC headquarters on the main campus in Newark.
Among the first group of inductees chosen were Capt. Robert Kirkwood, a Revolutionary War
infantryman who attended Newark Academy, and Lt. Gen John W. "Iron Mike" O'Daniel,
Delaware '17, '56PhD, veteran of four wars. O'Daniel earned his nickname in World War I when a
German bullet passed through the left side of his face, but didn't stop him from continuing to fight
for 12 more hours.
To qualify for election to the Hall of Heroes, alumni must have received a commission from the
University's ROTC program or one of its predecessors, and have one or more significant personal
or professional achievements. These can include earning the Medal of Honor or other combat
decoration, election to a state or national office, achieving a leadership position in an organization
or corporation, recognition for state or national service or other professional contributions.
The Fightin' Blue Hen Battalion Alumni Association, incorporated in 1995, is responsible for
maintaining the Hall of Heroes display. An ROTC advisory council composed of representatives
from many academic disciplines assists in evaluating nominees.
The late T. Alan Bennett, Delaware '32, began his 35-year Air Force career in 1933 as one of the first
75 flying cadets assigned to Randolph Field in Texas. From 1943-46, he was commander of the
China American Composite Wing, flying 96 combat missions and logging 888 combat flying hours.
The late Elmer Paul Catts, Delaware '52, held a regular commission as first lieutenant. After
receiving a doctorate in parasitology, he served as a professor at the University of Delaware from
1962-1980 and from 1980-1992 at Washington State University. He was widely regarded as one of
the foremost forensic entomologists, having pioneered efforts to use insects to assist in murder
Edward W. Cooch Jr. of Newark, Del., Delaware '41, who served in World War II, practices law in
Wilmington, where he is senior partner of Cooch & Taylor. Active within the state, he has been
president of Delaware Wild Lands and Christina Conservancy, director of the Wilmington Trust
Co. and trustee of the UD Library Associates and the Historical Society of Delaware.
Ernest A. Davidson of Dover, Del., Delaware '39, received a Purple Heart and seven battle and
campaign awards for his service as an anti-aircraft battalion commander in Africa and Italy and the
Mediterranean theatre from 1941-46. Retiring as lieutenant colonel, Davidson first served as an
engineer with the Delaware Highway Department and then as director of highways.
The late Berwyn N. Fragner, Delaware '50, whose military career spanned more than 40 years, rose
to the rank of major general and commander of the 63rd Army Reserve Command, with
responsibility for all Army reserve units in southern California, Arizona and Nevada. An aerospace
executive, Mr. Fragner was vice president of strategic development for TRW Space & Defense Sector
The late Joseph H. Harper, Delaware '22, who served 37 years with the U.S. Army, was promoted
to colonel in 1942 and was assigned command of a glide infantry regiment of the 101st Airborne
Division. Accounts of his experiences with this glider infantry, Sky Rider and Paratrooper!, are
available in the University's Morris Library.
William E. Hart of Christian, Miss., Delaware '51, a first lieutenant, served on active duty from
1952-54. After receiving a Ph.D. in marine science, he taught at George Washington University
while holding a first chair in mapping, charting and geodesy at the Naval Postgraduate School in
Monterey, Calif. Hart retired as a director of the Naval Oceanographic Office, Bathymetry Division.
Fred G. Harvey of Bethlehem, Pa., Delaware '50, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was
graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1969. After attending Harvard Business
School in 1973, he worked for 33 years in steel plant operations and served as a senior manager at
Bethlehem Steel and Steelton.
H. Stanley Hughes of Wilmington, Del., Delaware '52, was an air defense officer during the Korean
conflict, serving in various reserve assignments in Delaware and Puerto Rico from 1954-84. He is
owner of a consulting firm specializing in business services for mental health providers and
executive director of the Delaware Psychological Association.
The late Robert Kirkwood, a distinguished Revolutionary War soldier, was born in Mill Creek
(Del.) Hundred and lived with his sister in colonial Newark, probably while he attended Newark
Academy, predecessor to the University of Delaware. He became a trustee of the academy in 1783.
Joseph M. Lank of Newark, Del., Delaware '52, entered military service as a distinguished military
graduate upon graduation and retired as a colonel in 1980. He accepted an appointment in
Delaware in 1981 and served as adjutant general with the rank of major general. Lank received
many decorations for his service, including the Bronze Star and the Vietnam Service and Campaign
Joseph V. Marra of Wilmington, Del., Delaware '54, served on active duty from 1954-59 and on
reserve duty for 22 years. After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1959, he
worked as a research scientist at Hercules until 1989. Currently, he is a senior research associate at
Jerome D. Niles Jr. of Heathsville, Va., Delaware '39, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in
the Coast Artillery Corps, U.S. Army, serving on a searchlight battery along the Eastern seaboard.
In 1942, he was sent to Iceland, later serving in New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. Retiring as
a brigadier general, he worked in the area of public health and was regional administrator of
maternal and child health and crippled children's services for Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia,
West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., when he retired.
The late John W. "Iron Mike" O'Daniel, Delaware '17, '56PhD (honorary), serving more than 40
years in the U.S. Army, in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Robert H. Papy of Cape Coral, Fla., Delaware '47, who was the first distinguished military student
from UD, served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II from 1942-1945, and received a Bronze
Star, campaign ribbon with three battle stars and both presidential and unit citations. He served in
various management positions with Sears until his retirement in 1987.
Arthur R. Vande Poele of Fenwick Island, Del., Delaware '54, who was commissioned a second
lieutenant upon graduation, served with the First Cavalry Division in Japan. Joining the Delaware
Army National Guard in 1956, he served in various positions, rising to command the 198th Signal
Battalion until 1975. At that time, he was promoted to colonel and held various training positions
with the 261st Signal Command in Dover, Del., becoming chief of staff in 1980.
Kenneth L. Rieth of Atlantic City, N.J., Delaware '53, who played football at UD under coaches Bill
Murray and Dave Nelson, received a commission in artillery and served in Alaska from 1954-56.
From 1982 to 1990, he was deputy adjutant general of the New Jersey Department of Military and
Jules J. Schwartz of Belmont, Mass., Delaware '53, served from 1953-57 in U.S. and Germany. A
graduate of the Command and General Staff College, he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1982. After
receiving a doctorate in business administration in 1973 from Harvard Business School, Schwartz
has taught management and engineering at Boston University.
Robert R. Smith of Pisgah Forest, N.C., Delaware '51, who graduated from Command and General
Staff College in 1976, rose to the rank of colonel. He was employed by the DuPont Co. from
1951-1990, where he served in a variety of positions.
Walter F. Williams Jr. of Bethlehem, Pa., Delaware '51, who served as a first lieutenant in Korea,
received a Bronze Star Medal. He joined Bethlehem Steel, working for that company for 42-1/2 years
and rising to the position of chairman, president and chief executive officer in 1986.
Lewis W. Wright of Fairfax, Va., Delaware '53, served 28 years on active duty, including battalion
commander in Vietnam from 1969-70; comptroller of the Army in the Pentagon from 1970-73;
Department of the Army inspector general in the Pentagon from 1973-76; Army Materiel
Command, inspector general, from 1976-79; and Army Materiel Command, director of programs
from 1979-81. He was program manager at National Systems Management Corp. from 1981-1993.
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Daniel Rogers, EG '32, M '39
After several years in the U.S. Army Reserve, Rogers began active duty in World War II and served
from the invasion of Utah Beach in Normandy through the German occupation. After his service
in the Korean War, he had command assignments in the Pennsylvania National Guard until his
retirement. He is still active in several military organizations. Rogers has chaired the Middle Pazton
Township Planning Commission and is a member of a nonprofit organization sponsoring a river
paddleboat, The Pride of the Susquehanna, frequently used for civic and charitable purposes. A
philanthropist, Rogers and his wife, Barbara, established a private foundation for charitable
donations, and they also presented 167 acres of forest near Harrisburg, Pa. to the YMCA for use as
a park and day camp.
Col. (Ret.) Robert V. A. Harra Sr., AS '40
Harra received his commission from UD in 1940 as a second lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps.
During World War II, he was deployed to Iceland with the 25th Coast Artillery Battalion, then to
England with the 47th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigade, which participated in planning the invasion
of France. In June 1944, the brigade arrived on Utah Beach, and Harra was awarded the Bronze
Star Medal and battle stars for his service in campaigns in Normandy and northern France.
Leaving active duty in 1945, Harra, a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff
College, served in a variety of command assignments in the U.S. Army Reserve until he retired in
Col. Frank S. Pettyjohn, EG '56
Pettyjohn served as company commander of the 76th Engineer Battalion in Korea in 1957-58. He
received his medical degree from Hahnemann University in 1963 and later attended the U.S. Navy
School of Aviation Medicine and U.S. Army Flight Surgeon School. Pettyjohn served as a flight
surgeon and was cardiologist and flight surgeon for returning prisoners of war from North
Vietnam in 1973, and he served in the same capacity for returning POWs from Iraq in 1991.
Currently a Federal Aviation Administration aviation medical examiner and cardiology consultant,
Pettyjohn also is chairperson of the Department of Emergency Medicine and professor of medicine
and emergency medicine at the University of South Alabama. He continues his military career as a
master flight surgeon with the Alabama Army National Guard. He has been awarded the Combat
Medical Badge, the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit and several other military decorations.
Maj. Gen. George K. Hastings, AG '60
As adjutant general for the Delaware Army and Air National Guard, Hastings is responsible for
the mission readiness of all of these Delaware units. After active duty for training in 1960, he served
in the Delaware Army National Guard with the 198th Artillery Battalion in a number of
assignments. He also was in the transportation battalion and the signal battalion. In 1984, he
returned to active duty as project officer for the National Guard Bureau and was assigned in 1986
as Army National Guard adviser to the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center in Kansas. He received
his master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1989, and
was appointed assistant adjutant general for army, Delaware National Guard, in 1990. His awards
and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters,
Army Commendation Medal and others.
Col. Paul W. Hamblin of Atlanta, Ga.UD Class of 1943
Hamblin was born in Millsboro, Del., on May 23, 1922. He graduated from Millsboro High School
in 1939. He was commissioned a second lieutenant upon completion of the UD ROTC program in
1943.He served with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Europe in World War II and with
the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C, from 1948 to 1957. He completed 105 parachute
jumps during his career. Hamblin was an infantry company commander in Korea in 1952 and 1953.
During this conflict, he was awarded the Silver Star medal, two Bronze Star medals for valor and
the Purple Heart with two clusters for wounds received in combat. He served as an adviser to the
Republic of Vietnam Joint General Staff in Saigon in 1964. For his service, he was the first member
of the U.S. Armed Forces awarded the Republic of Vietnam Army Distinguished Service medal,
second class. In 1965, he was adviser to the II Vietnam Army corps. He was wounded during a Viet
Cong attack on the military installation at Pleiku in February, 1965. From 1965 to 1967, he was the
post chief of staff at the U.S. Army Headquarters, Ft. Riley, Kansas. In 1968 and 1969, he was the
chief of the military equipment delivery team in Rangoon, Burma. Among his other military
decorations are the Distinguished Service medal, the Legion of Merit (second award), the Join
Services Commendation medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart
with four clusters, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachute Badge, the Aircraft
Crewman Badge and seven overseas bars. After 28 years of service, he retired in 1971 and moved to
Atlanta. Following his retirement, Hamblin was the director of training for Ryder Technical
Institute until 1977. He then founded a transportation training company, which he operated until
recently. He is currently a training and safety consultant to automotive and heavy vehicle fleets
and is a former member of the board of directors of the Georgia Motor Truck Association and the
Georgia Safety Council. He was active in the Masonic Order and was a member of the Isis Shrine
Temple in Salina, Kan. He is married to the former Sylvia Dutton from Beckley, W. Va. They have a
son, Paul II and a grandson, Paul III of Minneapolis. Hamblin's brother John Lee resides in
Col. Arthur F. Krause
Brig. Gen. Edwin W. Thompson
Col. William H. Francisco
1st Lt. John R. Fenimore Jr.
Col. Norman F. Lord
|Delaware Military History