New name added to memorial

by Tara Kyle | 10/17/00 5:00am

Students who look closely at the College's World War II and Korean War Memorial as they walk to their Hinman Boxes each day may have noticed a change in the last two weeks -- a new name, Charles Weller Jr., '38, has been engraved at the bottom.

Weller's name was originally omitted from the stone tablet because the College Archive Office was unaware of his death until 1956, when they were informed by his wife. Records from 1953, eight years after his death, showed Weller to be alive but without a listed address.

The absence was noticed by Judd Alexander, a seasonal Vermont resident and veteran who served with Weller in World War II. He visited Hanover two years ago to see the names of two friends on Dartmouth's memorial.

"His platoon and class had an interest in resolving this, we wanted to see his name added," Alexander said, adding that Weller has no immediate family alive today.

Alexander acted by contacting and working with College Archivist Anne Ostendarp and Class of 1938 president Robert Reeve. The addition has taken two years primarily due to repeated weather-related delays by the hired stone cutter.

This is the first time in 40 years a new name has been added to the memorial.

During his brief military service, Weller was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze star, two battle stars, and the combat infantry badge.

"He was a brave man in an era of brave men," Alexander wrote in an essay about Weller's death. "As a son of Dartmouth, he deserves to be remembered."

Last week, Alexander and 12 members of his platoon returned to the Holland battlefields where they fought. While in the small village of Maasbich, they met with the mayor who gave them a presentation and medal.

Alexander served with Weller on Company B, 58th Armored Infantry Battalion, 8th Armored Division. The two first met on training maneuvers in Louisiana, and left for the war overseas in November of 1944.

Weller was killed on February 26, 1945 in Linne, Holland, while participating in an attack on fortified woods near the German border.

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